Since 1988, individuals and organizations alike have been celebrating National Coming Out Day on October 11. The day is meant to serve as an opportunity and means of support for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities who are struggling to be open about their gender and sexual orientation. The day also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness of the LGBT community in the United States and throughout the world.
UrbanCincy is a proud ally of Cincinnati’s LGBT community and believes that all people should be treated fairly and equally. In September 2009, Greg Meckstroth wrote a guest editorial for UrbanCincy (partially reprinted below) about why strong gay communities are an important part of a healthy urban core. But beyond that, a strong LGBT community is important to a healthy society. Please support Cincinnati’s LGBT community and support National Coming Out Day today.
Having a strong gay community is a key part of having a strong urban core. When you look at cities in North America with vibrant cores, they tend to have successful, happy LGBT communities as well. This occurs because we gays are an urban bunch, often pioneering urban development, forming a niche in the city, and claiming a space of our own.
These ‘gayborhoods’ become identifiable with the LGBT community and a sense of pride is taken to ensure they are maintained. Chicago has their Boystown, San Francisco has The Castro, and New York has…well…Manhattan. These places are thriving urban neighborhoods, act as ethnic enclaves for their respective cities, and are a key part of a diverse, vibrant urban core.
If Cincinnati and other Ohio cities want to have diverse, active, and interesting urban cores, Ohioans must embrace the LGBT community and allow them to maintain or establish a successful niche.