Coming Out At The County

Today is National Coming Out Day, a day celebrated (first) on the anniversary of the March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights. So if you are considering coming out and announcing to the world that you are fierce and fabulous then today is a good day to do so. HRC (the “equal sign” people) has some more info on their site as well.

Anyway, knowing that about today, you might wonder if there is anyone in town doing anything in an “official” capacity. And I found someone! Multnomah County!

They sent an email around to all MultCo employees today advertising for their group called PRISM. From the email:

PRISM stands for Pride, Respect, and Integrity for Sexual Minorities. PRISM is a Multnomah County employee network consisting of a dynamic group of individuals from many different backgrounds and disciplines who encourage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) employees and their allies to gather and celebrate their diversity. Participation with PRISM is open to all employees of Multnomah County and PRISM welcomes everyone to join and participate.

I know we have discussed the county and their pride in the past. However last time around it seems the conversation focus was far more on the author of the post and far less on the fact that the email was sent. Knowing this, here is a disclaimer: I have loads of gay friends, I have gay cow-orkers, and I have gay family members, all of whom I think are lovely. Now then! I want to find out what you think about this email. You can read the whole thing after the jump.

PRISM & National Coming Out Day 2007

What exactly is “PRISM? What exactly is National Coming Out Day?

PRISM stands for Pride, Respect, and Integrity for Sexual Minorities. PRISM is a Multnomah County employee network consisting of a dynamic group of individuals from many different backgrounds and disciplines who encourage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) employees and their allies to gather and celebrate their diversity. Participation with PRISM is open to all employees of Multnomah County and PRISM welcomes everyone to join and participate.

National Coming Out Day was founded by Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary on October 11, 1988 in celebration of the first gay march on Washington D.C. a year earlier. The purpose of the march and of National Coming Out Day is to promote government and public awareness of gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender rights and to celebrate homosexuality. National Coming Out Day is a time to publicly display gay pride. Many choose this day to come out to their parents, friends, co-workers and themselves.

2007 marks an important hallmark, as National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, 2007, falls on the 20th anniversary of the 1987 Gay and Lesbian March on Washington, and the unfurling of the AIDS Quilt on the National Mall. National Coming Out Day was celebrated a year to the day later as a way of continuing the spirit of openness, honesty and visibility that the march and the AIDS Quilt presentation inspired.

“Twenty years ago, as the AIDS crisis was raging, coming out was literally a matter of life and death,” said Mark Shields, director of HRC’s Coming Out Project. “In many ways, we have come a very long way in a relatively short time, and yet that lesson still resonates deeply today. Coming out and living openly is the most important thing that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight-supportive Americans can do to build lasting understanding and equality.”

Today, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans say they personally know or work with someone who identifies as gay or lesbian, according to Peter D. Hart Research Associates Inc. In 1987, only 11 percent claimed that they associated with a “male homosexual” on a regular basis, according to ABC News and The Washington Post.

PRISM is involved in a variety of activities including luncheons, after work socials, educational events, and marching in PRIDE 2008. In honor of National Coming Out Day, PRISM hopes to rally Multnomah County employees to join PRISM. If you want to be added to the PRISM distribution list, please email (edit).

Thank you!

1 Comment so far

  1. T. Trist (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 6:01 pm

    HAPPY NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY!

    Here’s a great contribution from two lesbian women to commemorate the National Coming Out Day :
    Coming Out in an Evangelical Church – Wow!

    You can also go directly to FaithoftheAbomination.com. Their story will be told in a documentary film. I feel this will be groundbreaking for the GLBT community.



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