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Coming Out Day: Robert Gant looks back at his coming out on cover of The Advocate 15 years ago

Today is National Coming Out Day. This past August marked the fifteenth anniversary of my coming out on the cover of The Advocate. So I thought I'd find and share it. I'm grateful to @theadvocatemag and Bruce Steele for that experience and for the magazine's longstanding commitment to chronicling our collective rights journey, including so many of our early coming out stories. . (And thank you to my friend @britreece for your invaluable help navigating the path over the years. I can't thank you enough.) . Coming out is a broad term. It's common to ask someone when they "came out," though there's rarely one moment in which that happens. Coming out almost invariably occurs in stages, a trajectory that might include telling a friend, then a family member, then one's parents, one's broader personal community, and ultimately one's work community and community at large. . That there are many people in the world still seeking to find their truth, whether to take that first step out or to come out more deeply than before, makes sense. We never know the level of difficulty with being gay that someone experienced, or is experiencing, in her or his family of origin. What is an easier transition for some can be an excruciating one for others who have deeper negative messaging to process. It's an understandable challenge, even today, when we remember that being gay (in practice) wasn't fully legalized in the United States until 2003 when the sodomy laws fell. As a result, while vital outer freedoms, legal and otherwise, continue to be won, the ultimate battleground, from my vantage, is the one for freedom and equality within, the recognition inside each of us that, despite any outer seeming facts to the contrary, our equality and our wholeness are inherent and unarguable. . There is an eastern expression that says that one word of truth resonates for thousands of miles. So also does one decision by one person to speak her or his truth resonate and reverberate beyond what we'll ever know. One by one, and together, we're getting there. . #nationalcomingoutday #theadvocate #freedom

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