12 October 2011

What Did You Do for National Coming Out Day?

National Coming Out Day is October 11 every year, and even though I’m already out, it’s still a big day that I like to celebrate.

In past years, this has included attending a Kate Clinton comedy show, buying and wearing a t-shirt from the LGBT student group on campus, blogging about my 92-year old friend who only recently came out of the closet, telling my boss that he was lucky I’d come to work that day...that one was pretty ballsy, now that I think about it. As I recall, there was a push for LGBT workers everywhere to stay home for one day, a form of silent protest to show the world how much they would miss our contributions if we weren’t there. Anyway, I went to work because I had a big meeting--this defeated the whole purpose because they should have felt my absence--but consoled myself with that snarky announcement to my boss.

Yesterday, Mia and I celebrated by proposing an exhibit to the Museum of Motherhood in New York, about how mothers respond when their gay children come out to them. We have both come out to our own moms, with varying results, and we know of our friends’ experiences. Some have a delightful moment of bonding, followed by a strengthening of their overall relationship. Some have a terrible experience. Most go through a period of recalibration, as both mother and child (no matter the age) work to fit these new details into how they relate to each other.

(This is a great museum, by the way, very excited to present this view of motherhood, even when it’s not entirely flattering to the tribe. If your mom may be interested in allowing herself to be interviewed for this, let me know).

Happy National Coming Out Day!

-Maura McGurk

Maura makes artwork about issues related to the LGBT/queer/gay experience, especially gay bullying. Take a stand against gay bullying by checking out her work, liking it on Facebook, or commenting on her blog.

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