Stay Strong

I was going to post my tips and hints on re-launching your online presence, but I’ll post that in a few days. Today, I felt I needed to do a bit of a ramble on recent events in the LGBT community.

Yesterday, Tom Daley had posted a video on YouTube, coming out and announcing his relationship with a male. First off, I must say congratulations and I definitely commend him for his decision!

Now, let’s be honest, every gay male on the face of the planet cheered and every teenage girl cried, but moving on past that, it was a post by the Human Rights Campaign that I found both warm and welcoming, and also a bit off-putting.

In an effort of inclusion and acknowledgement, they posted this supporting photo:

Tom Daley

Courtesy of hrc.com

Now, I ‘liked’ the photo and shared it, however something was nagging at me, that made me delete the share off my Facebook page. After sitting and staring at it, it finally dawned on me what was getting to me. It was the phrase “open and honestly”.

I know, first hand, that coming out can be a hard, frightening and painful process, and when someone does make that decision to live openly as an individual of the LGBT community, they should be commended for taking on that privilege and burden.

However, amidst the celebration of recognizing those who decide to identify as LGBT, I think that what is lost, or perhaps forgotten, are those who are being honest with themselves and/or are unable to come out, due to personal safety, familial obligations or other such reasons. Or they make a conscious decision to not come out due to similar reasons. While we have National Coming Out Day, Day of Silence, Bisexuality Day, Spirit Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance and many more, perhaps we should have a moment in time, where we recognize those who are living in hiding because of the hate, fear and complexities of coming out and identifying as LGBT.

We should make a conscious effort to reflect, remember, and recognize that not everyone is able to come out or may be questioning. For many of us, it was a long and difficult decision to make. While sad, and in some cases its due to individuals not being honest with themselves, these individuals should still be commended for enduring the struggle in making those steps towards coming out or towards better understanding who they are as individuals. We should recognize that they have not decided to give up or end their journey in this life, but are continuing on the best they can. And following that, we should also remember those who decided not to continue in this life because of the struggle and feeling of no support when they were in hiding or in the process of coming out.

Now, there’s no easy or correct way to celebrate the many individuals and processes accomplished within the LGBT community, however, amidst the celebrations of so many celebrities and friends and family members who are deciding to identify as LGBT, we should always remember that there are those who are in the middle of the struggle and should be commended for their perseverance and enduring the struggles of identifying who they are no matter whether they ultimately decide to come out or not.

So, I share this image to commend those enduring the daily struggles of acknowledging and understanding themselves, their process and their enduring.

Stay Strong

Courtesy of Brian D. Proffer

Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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About bdproffer

I am currently the Assistant Manager for the University Activities Board at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, web 2.0, LGBT issues and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer for Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
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