It's time to stop calling someone's sexuality "news".
If "coming out" was no longer an issue, what other social issues — real social issues — could be addressed?
Ellen Page bravely announced, "I'm Gay," at HRC's Time To THRIVE conference. And she wasn't the only celebrity to do so as of late: Michael Sam, Associated Press's SEC Defensive Player of the Year, stepped outside the lines to announce he's gay. And, one morning not long ago, the country woke to Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts shining her own brand of authentic sunshine: She was gay. These days, headline news runs rampant with stories of gay culture, lifestyle and the battle for acceptance: from announcements of well-knowns coming out of the closet, to a state (or an entire nation) recognizing the rights of all to marry, to the security and safety of Olympic athletes in Sochi this year, it seems that being gay is one of the biggest breaking news topics there is.
"Headline News". Apparently the mere act of living as one's authentic self is worthy of a homepage story, to be discussed and dissected at length. This needs to stop. These headlines steal the limelight from more urgent social atrocities — the issues of affordable healthcare, homelessness, starving children and the search for cures for life threatening diseases, to name a few. As we struggle to achieve acceptance of our diversity, it seems to me like we're going about it all wrong.
It's time for the human race to realize there are bigger battles to be fought than our neighbors' sexual orientation — and whether it's newsworthy. It's time to combat that dynamic, whether it be "Crushing standards of beauty, good life, ideas planted in your head as to how to act, dress and who you have to be," as Ellen Page so eloquently explained, or else just refusing to subscribe to archaic standards and expectations for one minute more.
Imagine, if just for a moment, a truly original news hook: "State lawmakers vow to walk out, shutting down government, until all people are allowed to authentically follow their hearts, and love one another as humans, regardless of age, race, and sexual orientation." Can you picture what a beautiful society we would become?. No more toxic, painful, deeply unfair abuse, all borne out of a genuine desire to be "less horrible" to one another.
We would become society that would recognize in people — celebrity or athlete, scared teen or mid-life adult — that no one should have to endure the mental, physical, or emotional scarring of hiding in a closet. We're each unique, and, as a society, diversity still rules. Regardless of our preconceived beliefs, there's plenty of room to bend our notion of what's "right" without breaking. But what if "regardless" didn't have to be a part of the conversation? What if, regardless became "because"?
Because of our differences, we thrive on one another's unique contributions to the world. Because of our similarities, we celebrate diversity. Because of loving and honoring our own beliefs, we're better equipped to love and honor others'.
Because we stop this madness ...
- A child walks bravely into school, embracing who he is, unafraid of being bullied ...
- A fiancée marries someone of the same sex that she's attracted to, rather than pretending to be in love and marrying someone of the opposite sex because it's what's expected ...
- A person can talk around the water cooler at work about the wonderful weekend he had with his husband, without fear of losing his job ...
- A child won't be caught in the throes of divorce because mom or dad finally came out of the closet ...
- A headline no longer has to read "Celebrity comes out as gay, shocking the world ..."
Because we finally accept each other in the warm embrace of authentic love, we begin to heal humanity. Because we're making room for more acceptance, understanding, and the ability to focus on things that really matter: being human and loving one other just the way we are.
Ready for a shot of self-love, confidence, and "I'm good enough"? Set up an introductory coaching session with Rick today, and let's uncover how coming out to be yourself is the best gift you can give yourself and everyone else!
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