For all of the incredible diversity within the LGBT community, we are brought together by the common experience of “coming out.” But we prefer to think about our freedom to disclose as the process of “inviting in.” These sometimes difficult—or surprisingly easy—conversations allow us to stand up and be counted. They also encourage others to open their hearts and minds to acceptance.
Often, these conversations are made easier by the countless straight allies who fight for LGBT people and speak up to support our right to live our lives freely. Allies are paramount in the ongoing efforts to educate others on the importance of embracing difference.
It is worth mentioning that one straight ally in particular has stood up for LGBT Americans and spoken out against policies that intend to reverse our march forward. That straight ally is our president, Barack Obama.
President Obama has not only spoken out against bullying and discrimination, but has actively supported legislation that tangibly improves the everyday lives of LGBT Americans. For example, President Obama supports the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), supported the repeal of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT) policy, and signed into the law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009. He is also the first sitting president to publicly voice support for same-sex marriage. His support reinforces the idea that a great country is defined by its commitment to inclusion of all and not the exclusion of some.
We are proud to be citizens of a country whose president recognizes that America’s incredible diversity is a source of strength, not weakness; that we are, in his words, “a nation that says, out of many, we are one.”
This is just one of the many reasons why we must “come out” and vote for President Obama. The President is counting on all of us, and it’s time to show him that we’ve got his back. This is not an election to watch from the sidelines: we need to come out and vote for President Obama because we simply can’t afford to go back.