It has been more than 30 years since I "came out," first to myself, then gradually to my family and friends. In fact, I think I have been out so long that I'm not sure where the closet is any more. And I smile and celebrate when I see queer folks much younger than me who have no problem being demonstratively queer in ways that I would not and, because of the stigma, could not be when I was their age and struggling with my sexual identity in the 1980s.
Still, I know that there are places in this country and many around the world where being an L, G, B, T, Q, or any variation on those will lead to ostracism, or even death. So for those of us who can be out, hooray! And keep your light shining for those who still live in the shadows yearning to leave their closets. They need to see you and know that, one day, they can be with you.
A prayer for this National Coming Out Day:
O God of love, we give thanks for our lives, for our loves, for our spirits set free from the bondage of pretending to be someone or something we are not; continue to walk along side us, march with us when we seek justice, cry with us when we face opposition, and keep our hearts rejoicing in the knowledge that we are your beloved queer children, and set us as lights for others still seeking to find their true selves. In your Holy Name we pray. Amen.