- Jimmy Broccoli
Pride Month - My Coming Out - Mama Cass - And Beautiful Thing (Film)
In honor of Pride Month, I'd like to thank all allies and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community.
I came out to family and friends at age 22. Due to many societal factors (and me wanting to be straight) I, unlike most in the community, did not embrace my orientation in my early or teenage years. I had attended an Assembly of God private Christian school for 5 years (they really hate the LGBTQ+ community and talk about it openly often), I knew some members of my family and a few friends were very anti-gay, and I believed the community where I lived did not accept, not even a little bit. Every time any pro-LGBTQ+ legislation was on the ballot, the legislation (at that time) always failed dramatically (usually with over 80% of voters voting against gay rights and equality) and I heard this message loud and clear - over and over again, for years.
From age 15 - (early) 22, I dated women, exclusively. I didn't live any kind of a secret life - I lived a lie and very strongly wanted the lie to be true. It was cognitive dissonance at 100 miles per hour.
But, as sometimes happens, the winds of opinion began to blow in a slightly different direction years later and proposed LGBTQ+ legislation, though still often defeated, was gaining increasing support by voters and within the community. And, within the past 10 years, monumental legislation for equality have passed through the highest courts. People of the same gender can now marry, are protected against job discrimination in the workplace, and can adopt children. I never thought I'd see this happen in my lifetime. And it is great cause for celebration.
These positive changes would never have happened without our allies. Our allies are loving, are strong, are brave - and they are many. Because of their efforts, equality and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community has flourished.
It is an honor to walk beside you during our continued efforts to increase awareness and acceptance. Thank you for supporting us - whether you are family, are friends, or are other members of the community - we are grateful to have you in our lives.
No one should come out at age 22 (or later or not at all) because he/she/they are afraid of negative backlash, potential violence against them, or because of the fear they will be rejected by loved ones and friends. We must continue to normalize equality and acceptance - for all communities.
To our allies - please know you are always welcome to the party. You are part of our community.
Here is Mama Cass singing "Dream A Little Dream". Video shown is the ending of the film, "Beautiful Thing".