(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement regarding the anniversary of National Coming Out Day:
“Today is the 34th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, when we celebrate the bravery of our LGBTQ+ friends, family, and neighbors as they share their sexual orientation or gender identity publicly or privately with those whom they love and hold dear. Celebrating this choice by our LGBTQ+ friends shows them our support and love is unconditional.
“Celebrations like National Coming Out Day help those who have been waiting to share this part of themselves with others see support in our communities, and help build on that support. When people know someone who is LGBTQ+, they are much more likely to support equality under the law, and to better understand the harms of harassment and violence that still target LGBTQ+ people in our society.
“However, coming out is a personal choice, that should be reserved for the individual to make. It is never acceptable to ‘out’ anyone without their permission. Many member of our community are still not able to safely come out, because of the threat of rejection or harm should they choose to live openly.
“I hope that today, in addition to LGBTQ+ people who are making the choice to share their sexual orientation or gender identity, we will also see our friends in the state legislature and U.S. Congress come out in favor of policies that protect equal rights, like Senator Baldwin’s bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, or our bills to restore marriage equality in Wisconsin, and end conversion therapy, among other important initiatives.”