October 11 is National Coming Out Day and has been for the last 24 years, after a march on Washington by more than half a million people in support of lesbian and gay rights took place on October 11, 1987.
The purpose of National Coming Out Day is to promote government and public awareness of gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender rights and to celebrate homosexuality.
As LGBT citizens and supporters celebrate this day, we wanted to take a look back at the LGBT stories that have resonated over the last year.
What do you do when your son tells you, “Mami, I’m gay”? For a trio of Latino authors – Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Justin Torres and Roberto Santiago, the experience of coming out to their families done through books. Their work has created a way for young Hispanics to begin the conversation about coming out in a culture that sometimes reinforce stereotypical attitudes about sexuality.
Mary Gonzalez told them she was the best candidate to represent them and El Paso voters agreed, but along the way, the 28-year-old doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin broke her share of barriers.
“It’s an honor to have broken so many glass ceilings – as not only being openly gay but also the first woman to get this position in my district,” says Gonzalez, who won the state Democratic primary race to fill House district 75 and will win the seat because she has no Republican opponent.
Kristine Chapa, the 18-year-old Texas teen who was shot in the head along with her girlfriend Mollie Olgin, 19, who was killed, is making remarkable progress, having left Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital and entered rehab on Wednesday. The teen, who her Army veteran brother calls a fighter, has also improved enough to make invaluable contributions to the investigation of her attacker, helping to update the sketch of the suspect.
“She’s doing awesome,” says her brother Hilario Chapa, who marvels at the progress his sister has made. “One of the last days at the hospitals her friends were able to come and see her and she lit up.”
I am a former Boy Scout, Senior Patrol Leader, and current Eagle Scout. I started scouts when I was ten years old in my suburban New Jersey town. I participated in dozens of fundraisers, clothing drives and food pantries. I can even attribute landing two jobs and my admittance to college to my affiliation with the Boy Scouts. Above all, the Boy Scouts of America taught me respect. I believe that I have the makings of an ideal Eagle Scout.
The core of Boy Scouts is “trustworthy,” which is the first word of the Scout Law. Yet, I have not been trustworthy. I have been lying for years about being gay.
He’s being called a hero and brave, but for Orlando Cruz, he sees himself as just proud. A proud, gay man.
Brian Pacheco is good-looking, smart, articulate and self-assured. But his confident demeanor comes after years of heartache as he struggled to reconcile his identity as a gay man in the Latino community. And his journey – which is characterized by the prevalence of negative stereotypes and cruel jokes made by family members mocking gay people – is the subject of a new documentary, “Gay Latino LA: Coming of Age.”
With President Obama’s announcement earlier this year that he personally was in favor of gay marriage, many said it was yet another example of changing attitudes among Americans. A new NBC Latino/IBOPE Zogby survey says 6 out of 10 Latinos in the sample agree that same-sex couples have the right to marry.
President Obama announced today that he personally is in favor of same-sex marriage becoming the first sitting president to support gay marriage. Latinos took to social media to give their thoughts on the news.
The country’s leading Latino advocacy organizations have endorsed a first-of-its-kind public service campaign, aimed at helping families understand – and accept – their Latino sons and daughters, brothers and sisters who are gay or LGBT.
Many within the Episcopal church say this ‘come as you are’ mentality extends to the gay community. According to the Religious Landscape Survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in 2007, 70 percent of Episcopalians accept homosexuality, the highest percentage among all mainline protestant denominations.