Ah, the press. Not being a schooled journalist, I’m raw and untamed in the art of reporting. I do not regularly engage in activities such as investigative research, verifying quotations or reporting facts. I am not accustomed to watching what I say as I seem to have lost my verbal filter ages ago and have made no effort to look for it. I thought by having a column on my local news site, I’d enjoy a certain freedom of expression. I figured as long as I kept my language clean and coherent, I could say whatever I pleased. Turns out, there is, in fact, a line - even in columns. And, whenever there is a line, I inevitably cross it.
This week’s post pertained to the many ways we could all participate in National Coming Out Day on Monday, October 11th. For those of you who are unfamiliar with annual gay day, you can read about its origins HERE. In a nutshell, National Coming Out Day celebrates the LGBTQ community, raises awareness about issues facing us and encourages everyone regardless of orientation to live openly and honestly. In honor of the day, I submitted a post for the column providing readers with recommendations about how any gay or straight person could honor National Coming Out Day.
Most of the article made it to launch. My favorite bit, however, did not. My editor deleted a couple of paragraphs which were perhaps not in keeping with the earnest, positive tone. The deleted copy could have possibly been perceived as sarcastic or even mean-spirited, but there was nothing that was untrue. To read the banal, feel-good version of How To Celebrate National Coming Out Day, click HERE. While I understand why Ms. Editor shaved off what she did, I can’t help but feel like the shave was just a bit too short. In an effort to feel whole, I shall share with you the paragraphs that were scooped out with a proverbial publishing melon-baller.
If you haven’t bothered to read the post on Patch, I referred to the HRC’s Donate Your Status initiative on Facebook, the It Gets Better Project, discussing bullying with your children in light of the recent suicide epidemic and taking advantage of some local festive events. In addition to those worthy endeavors, I also recommended we all - wait for it -
Host a Thank-a-Mormon Party
Invite all your friends for dinner and libations, and ask each of them to bring a dish and Thank You cards to pen. Eat, drink and be merry (or gay--your choice) as you write a sincere note of gratitude to each Mormon who funded Proposition 8; and there were many. If it weren’t for the tens of millions of dollars the LDS church coughed up to ban same-sex marriage in California instead of promoting literacy or feeding starving children, the gay community would not be as mobilized as we are now to fight for equal rights. Thank you, Mormons. Without your efforts, we might still be sitting complacently at home. Without you, the Federal Court would not have ruled Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, and we wouldn’t be in such a strong position to achieve equal right at home, in our schools, in our military and at the Supreme Court level. That’s what my card is going to say, anyway.
Honestly, is Thank-a-Mormon so controversial? I think not. While I was writing this entry to include Thank-a-Mormon parties, I thought of a couple of new initiatives that were not a part of the original post. Those gears in that little head of mine-always spinning, you know.
How about National Coming Out Day-Lick a Lesbian Campaign? If I know my lesbians, we can never get enough lingual loving-myself included. Sadly, Gabriella has forbidden me from taking part in this particular initiative outside of my own home. [sigh]
Gabriella was not opposed, however, to Honk If You Love Homos. She was willing to accept the noise pollution we might produce with this event so that we might all acknowledge gays on the move. Look out rainbow-stickered mini-vans in suburbia! I'll be following you with my horn a-honking!
However you choose to spend National Coming Out Day, I hope you are able to honor the spirit of the day by living out, loud and proud whatever your orientation on October 11th and every day to follow. Make it a great one!