June is always an important month for LGBTQ+ people, a chance for us to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our community and to fight against oppression and injustice in all areas of our lives.
It’s also a time for queer people to come out, to speak our truth into the world. In just this last week, I have borne witness to the public coming out stories of three internet friends: Jordan Oostenbrink, Melissa Lee and Grant Jenkins. I’m so proud of each of you for bravely telling your truth…
For me, June is a time to learn about our LGBTQ+ elders… The brave people who went ahead of us, paving the way for the incredible freedoms that we enjoy today. We still have a long way to go, but things are so much better and getting better all the time. And we have people like Cleve Jones and Troy Perry and Jane A Spahr and Annie Steinberg-Behrman and Jim Mitulski and of course the late, great Harvey Milk to thank for that.
I love this portrait of Harvey, painted by my friend Jun Yang. And as I contemplate the power and beauty of coming out, I reflect on Harvey’s words:
“Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell your neighbors. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. And once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all. And once you do, you will feel so much better.”
Happy #Pride, y’all. ❤️