By David Miller, Director, Tarrant County (Ft. Worth, TX) AFA
October 1996 – “It’s National Coming Out Day,” announced Oprah Winfrey, politically correct as ever. “People’s lives today will be changed….” Audience members popped up throughout the show, announcing their homosexuality on national television to friends and family back home. The date was October 11, 1988 and Greg Brock, columnist for The Charlotte Observer, was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show. So went the media coverage of this very first National Coming Out Day – sentimental, warm and fuzzy, yet decidedly controversial – the stuff that boosted Winfrey to the number one slot in talk-show television.
Since that first year, National Coming Out Day (NCOD), held each October 11, has gained recognition on syndicated sitcoms, PBS, and in newspapers across the nation. Founded to commemorate the 1987 march on Washington, NCOD has had to rely mainly on the willingness of famous homosexuals to either “come out” or speak out about their homosexuality. People like Amanda Bearse (Married...With Children), Greg Louganis (Olympic diving champion), Chastity Bono (daughter of Congressman Sonny Bono), and Candace Gingrich (sister of U. S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich) have made coming out a newsworthy event.
Exactly what does it mean to “come out of the closet?” Some would identify it as a process with various stages, but according to homosexual author Quentin Crisp (in Queer Quotes), coming out is really a simple thing: “Admitting to oneself that one is gay is not coming out nor... is the frequenting of gay bars, restaurants, or even gay parties. Coming out is allowing one’s sin to be known beyond all shadow of a doubt by people with whom one is associated in the real world.” (Emphasis added.)
Why they do it
Homosexuals claim that “coming out of the closet” is not an easy thing to do, but that it does have its rewards. On a personal level, those who come out are no longer forced to live a lie (pass as straight) and are much happier once they present themselves as who and what they really are to their family and friends. But coming out has much deeper ramifications than mere personal happiness. In their book, After the Ball, homosexual politicos Kirk and Madsen outline four areas where coming out benefits all homosexuals.
1. Desensitization of the public
The more “straight” society sees gays, the more likely it is that homosexuals will be accepted into the mainstream of society, and the more often we see and hear about gays who are “just like us,” they begin to seem a normal part of our cultural life.
The most powerful tool in achieving this goal has been the media. Homosexual issues show up countless times per month on television talk shows, and several sitcoms and dramas (including daytime soaps) have incorporated gay themes and/or characters into their story lines.
On a fairly regular basis, the print media, mostly daily newspapers, carry articles by “gay-beat” reporters involving homosexual issues. A recent article in our local paper clearly stated that “[Ms.] Hollace Weiner covers gay and lesbian issues for the Star-Telegram.”
Todd Camp, former graphics editor for the newspaper’s student insert “Class Acts,” was quoted as saying at a recent Gay Pride Picnic:
“I’m proud to work for one of the most liberal newspapers in the state of Texas. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is the only newspaper in North Texas to extend domestic partner benefits to its employees and consistently almost manages to cover the gay community on a semi-periodical basis...occasionally.”
Kirk and Madsen realize, however, that most heterosexuals are not likely to affirm homosexuality. What the desensitization technique lacks in offering affirmation, it more than makes up for in creating apathy: “Ho-hum, there go the gays again!” Kirk and Madsen reason that this is better than outright opposition.
2. Silencing bigots
Coming out provides the homosexual movement with the leverage they need to discredit their critics. For example, if a concerned parent shows The Gay Agenda video in an effort to prevent pro-gay programs from being introduced into local schools, there will always be a sympathetic heterosexual who responds: “But I have a gay cousin and he doesn’t dress or act like the people on that video!”
It’s no coincidence that members of ACT-UP, Lesbian Avengers, or NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) are seldom guests on the talk show circuit. Instead, gay guests tend to be neat, well-dressed, mildly confrontational and, over-all, very “vanilla.” Those in the fringes of gay society are effectively replaced by the gay man in a three-piece suit or an attractive, lipstick-wearing lesbian.
It is interesting to note, however, that the gays weren’t at all averse to including the more exotic types in their parade when they needed a million homosexuals marching on Washington!
3. Conversion of straights
Coming out also serves to “convert” the cautious heterosexual into accepting the homosexual agenda. Kirk and Madsen put it this way: “[Liking homosexuals] becomes possible when a heterosexual learns that someone he likes and admires...is homosexual.”
Because people tend to develop their images of sub-groups on the basis of knowing a person who belongs to the group, an individual’s “coming out” plays an important role in reshaping the straight person’s perception of homosexuals, and subsequently their acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.
4. Sociopolitical power
In the 1970s, gay activists began promoting the idea that homosexuals are “everywhere.” In order to support this claim, they appealed to the work of Alfred Kinsey, asserting that his studies showed that some 10% of the population was homosexual. Of course, this was a false representation of Kinsey’s data, but that didn’t matter to the homosexuals who were attempting to create a numerical illusion.
Coming out serves to reinforce this illusion: “The more gay individuals who stand up to be counted, the more voting power and spending power the gay community will be recognized to have.”
Is this ploy working? In spite of their small numbers, homosexuals were elected to over 100 political offices nationwide in November. The Clinton administration, believing in the power of the gay vote to determine one’s political career, boasts some 24-plus open homosexuals appointed to office.
As to spending power, businesses are aggressively vying for “gay bucks.” AT&T, American Airlines, Miller Brewing, and other companies, have courted the “gay market” in some form or another.
In spite of these gains, the homosexual movement is facing a numbers crisis. Not only has the alleged 10% not grown since Kinsey’s time, the number of homosexuals may actually be shrinking due, in part, to the high number of AIDS-related deaths among gay men. To remedy this, homosexual activists are now encouraging “gay youth” to come out.
Coming out: the next generation
Coming out is the most powerful recruiting tool used by homosexuals to provide their movement a next generation.
When homosexual activists have called for the protection of “their children,” they have assumed that 10% of America’s youth are homosexual or bisexual. In an attempt to prevent gay teens from committing suicide or otherwise having to deal with the negative effects of “homophobia” in later life, homosexual adults are encouraging young people to come out as soon as possible and accept their own homosexuality.
To this end, programs like Project 10, written by a lesbian school teacher, have been instituted in some school districts. If not Project 10 specifically, then it is programs with “multi-cultural” or “diversity” themes which include discussions about homosexuality.
Though these programs may assist a child in coming out and provide him with personal affirmation, they do little good unless a climate of tolerance has been created. Programs like Project 10 also provide this climate of tolerance by restructuring the way heterosexuals MUST think about and act toward homosexuals. The Project 10 handbook begins by evoking sympathy for homosexual teens with a series of short vignettes used to illustrate how badly these children are treated by their peers, teachers and parents. After creating sympathy for homosexual teens, Project 10 then goes on to tell students and teachers what they cannot say to those who declare their homosexuality. Nothing shy of total acceptance and affirmation is the totalitarian demand placed on the reader.
Coming out of the Christian closet: What you can do!
As National Coming Out Day approaches on October 11, Christians will have to decide whether or not to take a stand BEFORE the media blitz begins. As Christians, we can only do this if we come out of our own closets and assert our beliefs.
What can you do? You can begin by writing or calling local television stations and asking them not to air shows promoting NCOD, or coming out themes in general, especially at times when young people may be watching.
Secondly, you can respond to articles in the newspaper that highlight NCOD. Try pointing out that homosexuals, by virtue of the fact that they must come out, cannot be a bonafide minority. Their chosen lifestyle, in fact, has no parallel whatsoever to racial or gender identities. Have you ever heard of an African-American child announcing to his parents: “Mom, Dad, I know you’ll be upset, but I can’t live a lie any more. I have to come out of the closet and confess – I’m African-American.”
Finally, parents must begin looking into school curricula, particularly those which promote “diversity” or guise themselves as “suicide prevention” counseling. Often, the suicide prevention counseling calls on teachers or counselors to provide “information” to students questioning their sexuality, including giving the student a “counseling” number to call. These numbers, are often connected with homosexual service organizations.
Standing up for what is right isn’t popular and it certainly isn’t easy. For the sake of our children, however, we cannot allow some people’s “...sin to be known...” and affirmed.
It’s time for Christians to “come out” for Christ!