Coming out! Why is it important?

caines | 5/16/2013, 5:30 a.m.

As the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender program manager at my job, I was asked the above question today after I sent out an email about Jason Collins coming out. Surprised my co-workers question, I assumed that everyone understood why it is important to come out, even at work. My co-worker, who I consider a friend, felt that you should only come out to close family and friends. She also felt it was a personal/private issue about someones sexuality. I told her, I definitely disagree. Its important to be true to yourself and your feelings. This happens only when you truly become comfortable in your own skin. Being out increases the visibility of LGBT people and in turn gives struggling LGBT kids role models. You cant imagine the lives you affect and inspire adults and kids alike, just be living your life out and positive. Being out also shows that we are regular people: police officers, doctors, teachers, coaches and even NBA players. Being out shows young people that being gay and successful is not only possible, but common. LGBT people come out because we need more role models for our children. We need more education for society as a whole. This can only occur in your own way and in your own time. Gor Jason Collins and many others, it was time! Adrienne Lamb Miami