October 11th is National Coming Out Day, and this year’s event is the 25th anniversary of Coming Out Day. On National Coming Out Day we celebrate the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender communities and the strength it takes to be open about your sexual identity with family and friends. In that spirit, Barry’s Bootcamp co-founder Barry Jay shares his personal coming out story here.
National Coming Out Day is not only for the GLBT community, but also for its allies. So even if you’re not gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, celebrate the day by coming out strong as a friend and supporter of equality for all.
I was working in entertainment public relations at the time and one of our clients was Roseanne Barr. Rosanne had used a derogatory word for “gay” with regards to a USA Today writer. And of course there was backlash. Well, I knew Roseanne loved the gays – most everybody knew that. So when the Associated Press interviewed me and I said she was on our side, they asked if I was gay and I said yes. They asked if they could print that and I said yes. Then I remembered my mother loved to find my name in little articles wherever she could, cut them out and tell me about them. I hadn’t yet told my mother I was gay, so I figured I’d better call her before she read it in Monday morning’s Las Vegas Journal. When I asked my mother if she was surprised she said, and I quote, “eeeeh- nothing surprises me at my age.” I’m happy to report it’s never been an issue. My mother still considers my ex her other son.
– Barry Jay