Waymon Hudson writes a moving text in The Bilerico Project, under the heading The Everyday "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Recommended reading for the weekend: we can all learn a lot from it. If only we could start putting his suggestion to work, at least those of us who are out... Some excerpts.
People often ask, “How can I make a difference?” At times when you feel like you are just one small person in a society that seems to be committed to denying LGBT citizens their full rights and equality, it often seems easier to sit back, live your life, and not get involved. It is easy to feel like you have no role to play in the LGBT rights movement, to feel like your life isn’t making an impact. But you are wrong. You can make a huge impact on society and the fight for equality by simply living your life, openly and honestly. You can do this by making sure you aren’t living what I have come to think of as the everyday “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
So what is this “everyday” policy, you may ask? It’s how so many of us live our lives. We go quietly about our business, many times facing struggles and roadblocks because of who we are as LGBT people. We do this everyday and never tell anyone about it. We don’t let our friends or families who are straight know about the discrimination or legal barriers we face just for being who we are. They don’t ask and we don’t tell.
By telling those that love us that we need them, by including them in our successes and our struggles, we can start to change how society views the LGBT community. Start telling those around you about your life. Tell them what you are going through and dealing with. Soon they will be asking what they can do to help. You can start to change society, one person at a time. You can have a huge impact on LGBT rights just by being honest with those around you. By ending this “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in our own personal lives, we can truly make a change that will improve the world. They will ask if we will only tell.