What if Michael Phelps came out? Came out as an American who believes in what is right, just and good? This occurred to me while watching his interview in a morning television show. What a potent spokesperson he would be for bringing back economic stability, shared prosperity, equal opportunity, basic human rights, pride and respect to our country. His story – a son of a single mother, a person who worked day in and day out for a dream, a young man who shares his success and inspires the next generation – would remind us of what is still possible if we were to come together for change.
And what if all gay women and men came out? What if the estimated 18 to 40 million lesbian, gay bisexual & transgender women and men stood up and told their families, friends, neighbors and coworkers that they are the same people they know and love but are now free and proud? How could our reality and human rights be denied any more? If enlisted women and men, military leaders, elected officials, farmers, athletes, Wall Streeters, celebrities, blue collar workers, community leaders, journalists, pastors, priests, rabbis and imams – if all who happen to be gay took the risk and demanded for what is right, then there would be profound change.
Now what if all parents, family members, friends and coworkers of gay people came out? Came out that they are proud of their sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, friends and colleagues? By casting out shame instilled by ignorance and fear, they too would be set free. If hundreds of millions of straight people told their elected officials, religious leaders and communities that they would no longer stand for the bigotry, hatred and injustice their loved ones suffer, there would be rightful change.
What if we all came out for what is right, just and good?