Short Answer: More then ever!
Long Answer: On October 11, the LGBT community and its many supporters will celebrate National Coming
Out Day (NCOD), a civil awareness day that celebrates individuals who publically identify as a
gender or sexual minority. The first NCOD back in 1988 was observed only in 18 states, this
year it will be all observed by all 50 states of the United States, plus Australia, Canada, Croatia,
Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In the
United States and around the world, the LGBT community has gained victories and
achievements in the promotion and protection of civil rights and freedoms. With all this progress
at home and abroad, we pose the question, does National Coming Out Day still matter?
And the answer is that it does, and just as much now as it did on its first observance. The LGBT
community has gained much recognition and support, but there are many problems and issues
still faced in the United States and other countries. Yes, the LGBT community has been
victorious in many instances but there is still so much progress to be made in many aspects of
society. There are many individuals in the world who still suffer repercussions for their sexual
and gender identity and until that stops .. supporting young men and women coming to terms with their sexuality matters!
In August of 2014, a 16 year old Colombian gay teen committed suicide after enduring sexual
harassment accusations when his gym teacher found a picture of him kissing his boyfriend on his
phone. He was forced to visit the school psychologist and suspended. The school refused to
release his academic results and blocked his transfer to another school. The teen shortly
thereafter committed suicide by jumping from a shopping center. Jadin Bell, a 15 year old gay
youth from Oregon, committed suicide in 2013 after being bullied in person and over the internet
for his identification as gay. Both of these individuals lived in a country where homosexuality in
not criminalized, yet still were ostracized for their sexual identification.
Much progress has been made in several countries, in 2013 Uruguay and New Zealand granted
same sex marriage. In 2015, Luxembourg will become the 17th country to grant same sex
marriages. But we have seen regression in several places around the world. In 2014, Uganda
passed a law which penalized same sex relations with life in prison, the original draft of the law
asked for the death penalty. The law included extradition for Ugandan nationals who were in
same sex relations abroad so they could face their punishment in the African country. It also
included penalties for those who knew or supported members of the LGBT community. The law
was made invalid by the Constitutional Court of Uganda in August of 2014. 38 African countries
still criminalize homosexuality. In 2013, Russia passed its LGBT Propaganda Law, which made
it a criminal offense to distribute propaganda that supports what it defines as “non-traditional
sexual relationships” to minors. In both of these countries, there was increase in violence against
the LGBT community, as these laws were cited as justifications for the incidents. A
documentary, Hunted, by Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, expressed how young gay men in
Russia were experiencing a “new wave of terror”. Even in countries were progress has been made, there are still subtle and not so subtle indications of discomfort on the identification of gender and sexual minorities.
In September of 2014, Chile’s La Polar clothing store release an advert which showed same sex couples displaying
affection through hand holding and kissing, the video was quickly removed and replaced by a
more toned down version. Francesc Morales created a parody of the video with the help of other
artists; the video’s main message is that being gay is not a fashion. Soon after La Polar placed
the original video online, but not before many discouraging comments were made on Morales’s
video post. Comments included that it is irresponsible to place videos of same sex couples
kissing that children can see. Some of the worst comments incited the death of all homosexuals.
The LGBT community still faces other issues beyond the opposition to identification and
criminalization. In the United States, a lot of progress has been made at the state and city
government level to legalize same sex marriages and prevent discrimination against the LGBT
community. But the LGBT youth is still at risk and prone to more challenges. One problem that
LGBT youth face is homelessness in instances where they are rejected by their family and
community, a case that is very common among religiously conservative homes and communities.
LGBT youth make up 40 percent of the homeless youth population in the United States,
according to research by San Francisco State University’s Family Acceptance Project. While the
Center for American Progress places the number of homeless LGBT youth between 320,000 and
400,000 in the United States. Another problem faced by LBGT youth is the lack of access to
competent and sensitive care for those who identify as transgender. In August of 2014, Riley
Mascatel from Philadelphia committed suicide by jumping in front of an Amtrak train. Riley was
a transgender individual who never was comfortable in his body. The National Gay and Lesbian
Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality state that 41 percent of their
respondents have attempted suicide.
On October 11, the LGBT community will celebrate National Coming Out Day, a day of
observation of the determination by individuals to live out publicly their sexual and gender
identification. The day should observe the decision of individuals to embrace their sexual and
gender identification, but it also should lend attention to the challenges and repercussions that too many
individuals still face for their identification. The LGBT community has made several achievements. But there is much progress to be made, and National Coming Out Day can be a focus on the great work to be done.
Technically Labor Day is supposed to be a Holiday to honor the men and women of the workforce with a much need day off. But given that almost 40% of Americans work in the Retail, Hospitality and / or services industry of some sort, it seems that many of us end up working over time on labor day. For us (and many others I think) Labor Day is more of a time stamp that transitions us out of summer mode and slams us into one of the busiest times of year as we work to help our clients get their business websites ready for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Also, in the weeks following labor day we shoot more product and catalog photography than any other time of year.
No matter what you’re up too this weekend, working, celebrating or other, we hope you find some time to be with people you care about and enjoy some of the last days of summer. Happy Labor Day 2014 form all of us at Ace Male Models / Miami, FL USA
Interested in getting eye catching and engaging advertising photography like this for you product, service, brand or business website? Contact Us at Aces Entertainment Inc. to learn how easy and affordable it can be!