It’s October 11, National (and international) Coming Out Day.
Because I wrote a picture book about a same-sex wedding, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, I’ve been asked a number of times, in interviews, whether I am a lesbian or in a same-sex relationship. I used to refuse to answer, out of solidarity with my gay friends. It seems so unfair that gay people get asked this question, and, whoever you are, it’s intrusive and nobody’s business!
However, my gay friends have asked me to start answering the question, so I’ve decided to come out as straight. There’s even a label I can put on: I’m an ally. We feel that it’s important to make it clear that there are straight people passionately committed to gay rights and marriage equality.
I’m not comfortable discussing my personal life in public and I don’t think anyone cares about it. However, I’ve taken a lot of heat for my book and read some very nasty things about it, and myself, in public forums. And I guess that really does make me an ally, because I’ve shared some of the unpleasant things that are a constant part of my gay friends’ lives.
I’ve shared wonderful things too, of course, and I’ve gotten wonderful letters from people, gay and straight, telling me how much my book means to them. It has most definitely been worth it.
And now I’ve shared another experience that I never expected to have, that of coming out in public!
So, happy October 11, everyone. I’m proud of all of you.