Lindsay Kriz: Coming out: still a big deal?

Lindsay Kriz

For years, I’ve been involved in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights and have kept up with the LGBT community, especially lately in politics. No, this isn’t me bragging. I’m simply stating facts. I digress.

While I’ve been involved, I’ve seen myriad campaigns encouraging people to be who they are and to come out of the closet whenever they’re ready, because someday, not now, but someday “It Gets Better.” Wisconsin even elected the first openly-gay senator on Tuesday night, and that’s awesome. 

My only problem with all of this is that by our society making LGBT issues so taboo in the past, we’ve made them a larger deal than they should be in the present. At the end of the day, who a person sleeps with shouldn’t really matter to the outside world. 

By throwing a parade and congratulating a person on being honest about who they really are only perpetuates the idea that somehow being who you really are sexually is a brave thing.

It is, but it shouldn’t have to be brave, because being brave denotes that there’s a reason to fear being who you are, a reason to stay hidden.

Making a big deal about someone being gay in our society takes away from who they are as a person in many cases. We tend to forget that people are multi-faceted. We can be right-handed, liberals, male, Republicans, tall, skinny and gay. There are many aspects about human beings that come into play when we get to know someone. In our society, whenever a person hears the word “gay,” it seems to be the only word they can latch onto.  

Actors make it in Hollywood for one reason: they act well. The fact that they sleep with someone of the same gender is irrelevant to their work.

So yes, coming out as a member of the LGBT community is truly wonderful, and it is a brave act.

In a society where every person’s actions are under scrutiny once they leave the closet, we’re placing too much emphasis on one aspect of a person, and forgetting that being gay is only one trait of a human being.