Instead of some long-dead jerk who didn’t really discover America (he DID land in Cuba though!) and even if he had, was clearly second-best to the vikings, let’s celebrate something real, something American.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

That’s really what this is all about.  I don’t care what your politics or your religion are, everyone deserves to be happy.  They deserve to get promoted or hired based on their skills, to adopt if they’re fit parents and so choose.  To go on dates in public and not feel glares or hear slurs.  To go to school and learn, not hide from bullies.  If you have a problem with that, I think you’ve misunderstood America and what we’re doing here, and I’d kindly direct you to re-read some of our most important documents.  Or might I interest you in a stint in North Korea?  I hear Kim Jong-il isn’t a big fan of tolerance or civil liberties either.

For National Coming Out Day, I encourage you to post on facebook, twitter or your blog encouraging our friends, families and neighbors to be comfortable in their own skin, whatever that may mean to them.  You should also look at the It Gets Better Project over on youtube.  Far too many kids have been bullied and lives have been lost.  Show people you Give a Damn.

And finally, a plea: if you’re cruel to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning, trans, intersex, in transition, or a myriad of other things that simply don’t fit the standard view of normal, you’re only hurting yourself.  Inevitably, there are people in your life who are in those categories.  Do you know what happens to gay teenagers whose families don’t accept them?  They find a new family.  They lead happy, successful lives where they build their own tribe out of friends, coworkers, boyfriends, girlfriends and spouses.  But they won’t feel comfortable with you.  They’ll limit their time with you, because pretending around you and limiting who they are, will suck.

So don’t drive loved ones away, and don’t spread hate.  Learn more, and make sure everybody, no matter how different or special or marginalized or weird they are, feels welcome here.  Because that’s what every good, patriot American should do, right?

Happy coming out day!

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