First off, apologies for the tardiness of this post, but eh, what’re you going to do?
OK, now the real start:
I really do support this project. I think it’s a great idea, and unlike my humanoid meat-based house-mate, I don’t get offended every time the pagan & polytheist community “steals language from us GBLTs1” (if I’d been taking video whilst telling him about encountering people who used the question “are you Family?” to ask if I was pagan rather than Fag-tabulous, his fit would have a techno remix by now) —after all, there are clearly some parallels to the institutionalised discrimination, and there really isn’t any better way to put it.
That said, I don’t need to “come out” on 2 May, since everybody who needs to know, knows, and it’s not like I’m writing under a pen name, so even if you don’t need to know, it’s not like you’d need to hire Sam Spade to find out. That said, I don’t fault the closeted, I fault the society that created the need for closeting —as I’ve said before. On the other hand, I will blame whiners for whining.
Like, take this perfectly lovely post on The Wild Hunt. It’s a great article, and makes a lot of wonderful points about everything (yes, dears, everything), and something like half the comments (as of right now) are just whining.
Let’s take the first guy, who can be summed up with “ZOMGZ, this is a nice idea… but… but… like… nobody knows about it? and how does the community want to address this? and like…? well, I ask how to and will imply heavily that no-one ever answers me in a way I like?”
Guess what? This is only IPCOD’s second official year. You know how many years that [GBLT] National Coming-Out Day was going before I’d heard of it? I dunno, at least twenty —and I was twenty-five at the time. Sure, NCOD has a great PR team, which helps immensely, but the biggest force spreading the word has pretty much always been those in the community who inform others by word-of-mouth. If you don’t think enough of your friends are talking about it, try telling them, offer to join a street team for it, do anything but whine to The Wild Hunt blog comments about how “people aren’t talking about it, and this needs to change”. Take some initiative and become the change you want to see.
Also: Guess what? We all know the economy sucks at least as much as you know it. Some of us who are “out” may even know it just a little bit more (cos if we were unemployable before… hoo, nelly!). As much as I understand that there is significant peace-of-mind earned from just venting on the personally-weighted impracticality you’ve assessed against coming out, and as much as I care that with every person who does come out, you are one person closer to potentially having a better situation in the future, I can’t help but feel like this is just raining on the parade, you know? I mean, people all over the world are willingly taking on a risk to potential employability, housing, child custody, family ties, and personal safety —and yeah, maybe some of those people are in a situation “more practical” than yours to take that risk with, but that, in no way, means that everybody is “safely” or “from a position of privilege” taking on that risk. And those who are taking on that risk, are taking it willingly and for the potential betterment of all. You have 364 days a year to whinge about how bad you’ve got it, while a basic search of TWH will show that this last twelve months alone has procured no shortage of relatively high-profile pagan child custody battles and not to mention employment discrimination and personal safety cases —again, this is only the cases that come across the desk at The Wild Hunt— who knows how many people are fighting for religious equality while remaining unmentioned by news media? These are all cases of clearly “out” pagans. Why do you need one more day of the year to tell me and other bloggers and all these lovely people fighting legal battles that we have it so great and you can tell because we’re “out”? Why can’t you just light a candle in solidarity and congratulate those who HAVE made the decision to out themselves, and return to your regularly scheduled program on the Third? Nobody is trying to make you do anything you’re uncomfortable with —and by this point, I think that mantra has literally been said a million times, when combining everybody who’s said it more than once— but I guess that’s not good enough. I guess now everyday has to be about whining about how “good” every “out” person has it —and you can tell they’ve got it made-in-the-shade, cos they’re “out”— which concurrently tends to imply that every mother fighting to retain custody just because she’s pagan is somehow a “bad parent”, every case of religiously-motivated employment discrimination is a case of “slacking off”, and every instance of religously-motivated violence and bullying against pagan adults and youth is somebody who “brought it on themselves”: Thanks for reminding people that being out is “TOTES a privilege”.
This day was not intended to do anything more than a community effort to encourage those who want to, to come out, and to celebrate that as a community —whether we’re “out” ourselves, or simply celebrating those who’ve volunteered that potential risk in silent solidarity.
BE SURE TO TUNE IN NEXT YEAR FOR THREE MEN AND AN IPCOD!
1: pronounced like “giblets”