Wednesday, October 11 is National Coming Out Day – for those who celebrate the victories of our work fighting for equal rights in the LGBTQ community, and for all those who know we can’t turn back now, I wanted to share part of my own coming out story with you. And I pledge to do everything I can to continue to build a Boston where everyone has the safe space to come out and speak their own truth.
My Coming Out Story
I marched in the first Boston Pride Parade almost 30 years ago.
I was with my brother and a group of friends. I was so excited to see so many people dancing, singing and marching openly, with so much joy, that I could barely contain myself – I had to be a part of it. My friend agreed to jump in the parade with me, and we marched and danced the entire route behind a float with music. People cheered us on the whole way.
I saw LGBTQ people like me out and proud, and it changed me forever. I knew at this point that life was going to get better. I was 19, and for the first time in my life I believed it was possible. I wasn’t ready to come out fully just yet, but I knew I had to be a part of my community.
I began to volunteer as often as I could at the Boston Living Center, Speak Out and the Women’s Event. I came out slowly over time, and maintained only those trusted friendships.
The Moment of Truth
Then I met my future husband, Ricardo. And I knew I could not lie even a little anymore.
I came out to the world. I joined the Human Rights Campaign’s first ever Youth College for Campaign Training, fought for HIV & AIDS resources, and a short time later, I began working for Boston Mayor Menino, an early champion of the LGBTQ community.
I fought for safe schools, health benefits for same sex couples, health care and safe sex education, and more. Life did get better – a lot better.
Then one day, I found a picture of me when I was young. I wished I could go back and tell that terrified kid – me – that everything was going to be ok.
Proud to Fight for You
I can’t go back in time, but I can live my life as proud and open as I can. I’m running for the Boston City Council. I hope that through me, every LGBTQ person young or old, who are struggling to come out, will see that it’s going to be ok.
On October 12, we’re gathering LGBTQ friends and allies at Club Cafe to celebrate our community, and talk about why it’s important to elect the first openly LGBTQ Boston City Councilor in more than 25 years. I’m honored to be joined by supporters including hosts Attorney General Maura Healey, State Senator Julian Cyr, State Representatives Liz Malia and Sarah Peake, and special guest Corey Dinopoulos.