Friday, October 11, marks the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day, an annual observance to raise awareness of the interests and rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Arlington Public Library is honoring this date by displaying Pride flags at all of our locations.
As a gay person, National Coming Out Day holds personal significance.
I take it personally when we discover pages in our Library’s children’s books about gay moms and dads have been deliberately torn or defaced.
I take it personally when a patron writes me and tells me that the Library’s Pride Month book displays promote sexually deviant behavior.
And I take it personally when a patron threatens to trash a branch library because it has displayed the Pride flag.
As an Arlington County leader, my support of National Coming Out Day means that I encourage Library staff to show up at work as they truly are — proudly and without fear of consequence.
As a public library director, National Coming Out Day reminds me that each day in a library is coming out day. Libraries are judgement free zones – safe spaces that welcome all who enter their doors, regardless of beliefs, preferences, country of origin, age, income status or appearance.
And as a gay person, National Coming Out Day affirms a commitment I made to myself: to respect and honor my choices and to be who I am, this day and every day.