If you’ve ever questioned whether or not increased LGBTQ visibility has made a difference in our struggle for respect and civil liberties, look no further than a landmark Supreme Court case of which the verdict was announced this week. The suit was at the center of a decade’s long battle for equality in which LGBTQ citizens and civil rights groups argued that employers should not be able to terminate someone’s employment because of their sexuality, gender, or gender identity. In yesterday’s 6-3 Supreme Court ruling, that pro-gay position became federal law.
This is a historic victory for LGBTQ rights for sure and a cause for celebration at the moment. With marriage equality, the right to adopt, and workplace protections in place, we have undeniably come along way. However, the struggle for LGBTQ equality continues
That’s what makes visibility so crucial to the cause, especially when it comes to high-profile names. I applaud today’s young people for being one of the most open and progressive generations in history when it comes to sexuality. Young artists such as Lil Nas X, Janelle Monae’ Julianne Hough, and Kim Petras are examples of today’s new LGBTQ role models leading society to more understanding and respect. They continue carrying the torch, albeit somewhat easier than past generations when being gay or even supportive of the LGBTQ community could end your career.
During the episode, we took a fun look back and did a count down of the top 8 most shocking coming out stories of the past, and reflected on LGBTQ visibility – then and now. Here are a few I’m sure you already figured made the cut:
Melissa Etheridge, Came Out in 1993, at the Bill Clinton, Triangle Ball
George Michael, Came Out in 1998. We know that story, no need to rehash it here.
Jonathan Knight of New Kids on the Block fame, was outed in 2011 by a former pop princess but he is happy now, living in his truth and he forgives her. Who was it that outed him? Mmmmmmm?
So, let’s celebrate Pride and salute everyone who openly lived and lives in their truth as we also give time and understanding to all those still working it out, and slowly tiptoeing out of their closets.
Check out the full Top 8 and their coming out stories on the special Pride episode of Naughty But Nice With Rob!