It’s hard out there for a queer. Sure, some of us come out as gay straight — no pun intended — from the womb, while others come out in high school or college; or even later in life. But no matter when you do it, your life feels better because you aren’t hiding any more.
Just ask Pete Cahall, principal of Washington DC’s Wilson High School who chose the school’s annual Pride Day even to finally tell his students that he is gay:
“I want to say publicly for the first time because of your leadership, care and support that I am a proud gay man who just happens to be the principal of Wilson High School.”
And the students greeted his Coming Out with cheers and applause.
“I feel really proud of him, even though obviously he’s an adult. I teared up … if it inspires other people to come out, that’s great.”— Marla Solow, event organizer and junior at the school
Also in attendance at the event were DC Mayor Vincent Gray, and David Catania, the DC Council’s first openly gay member. Gray congratulated Cahall for “going public with who he is” and hoped his example would encourage LGBTQ students to feel comfortable doing the same:
“There is nothing worse than walking around having to hide who you are. I think this is the most important lesson that these students will learn this year.”
And as several students came up to congratulate Cahall for his announcement, he finally breathed that sigh of relief that every LGBTQ person feels when they finally say those words out loud and in public.
“I’ve hid all my life. In this community, with these kids, I’d be a big hypocrite if I didn’t speak my truth.”
Now, of course, with all this good news, comes the bad, er, ridiculous. The Westboro Baptist Church had announced that they would picket Wilson’s Pride Day, though they didn’t do it on the actual day, but planned it for a week later because, well, I guess they don’t have a calendar? Yet when they do show up, late, they will come face-to-face with nearly 1,000 Wilson students who have signed up for a peaceful counter protest.
But that’s neither here nor there, because the WBC will always protest and always look foolish and yet every day, in every city, in every field, men and women are coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender; that’s the good news, that sigh of relief.
The rest of this, the WBC of this, is just stuff and nonsense.
Welcome out, Principal Cahall, welcome out. And please, accept as our gift a copy of The Gay Agenda as well as the Obligatory Coming Out Toaster Oven.
Welcome out, and thanks for setting that example to your students.