Dear friends, family and co-workers,

October 11 is National Coming Out Day, a day for coming out of the closet. So I am coming out: in case you don’t already know, I’m lesbian / queer / gay. I am also a woman who identifies as genderqueer, which means that I am happily not trying to fit into society’s defined gender boxes.

You may have heard that there has recently been a huge wave of young queer kids committing suicide. These kids have typically been bullied at school, experienced violence and harassment, and have had very little support in their lives for accepting their natural selves. Almost every person who grows up queer knows some part of this story from the inside. I have been heartbroken  about this for weeks, and also deeply moved by the response of the adult queer community as we put our energy together into reaching out to the kids who are struggling just to survive. I believe it’s equally important that we reach out to the non-queer community. Ultimately we are one family, after all, and we need each other.

And so, I am asking you ALL to come out. IF YOU ARE NOT QUEER or gay or lesbian or trans, please please please COME OUT AS AN ALLY. If you care about the lives of queer people, if you care about our safety and our well being and our happiness, make it known. Letting people know you care is actually the most important part. That is where the feeling of caring starts to become the act of caring that can actually make a difference in people’s lives.

It is only by coming out that we can make the world a safer, happier place for those kids. Those kids need us, ALL OF US, queer and queer allies. By becoming visible, we reach out and create a world they can feel safe to continue living in.

I am deeply grateful that I have such a vast community of friends and allies who accept me exactly as I am. I want the same for everyone.

Thanks and love,