Out And Never Going Back

October 11, 2012 By Shaun Osburn
Chris Riley, EQCA Field Director, on National Coming Out Week

Chris Riley, EQCA Field Director, on National Coming Out Week

In honor of National Coming Out Day this Thursday, we’ve decided to run a series of blog posts from staff and volunteers about coming out.

I have been out for 20 years and I continue to come out; To my neighbors, the straight woman who cuts my hair, the barista at my local coffee shop who knows me by my drink of choice.

I grew up in Michigan where I could be fired because I am gay and I could be denied housing if I ever decided to move back. When I came out, I made the decision then and there not to go back in the closet. That even though my life would be challenging not having legal rights to employment or housing, let alone marriage, I would live my life authentically.

And now 20 years later, I’m in California where the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community enjoys so many rights and the nation is on the precipice of the freedom to marry. And yet there is so much more work to be done – for youth, our elders, the transgender community.

So I will continue to come out, even when it’s hard – to my neighbors, my landlady, and my new found friend on CalTrain.

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