A great deal of what inspired me to start writing this blog was not simply my mission statement, but the fact that I'm enjoying activism, both the active, out-there, and intellectual aspects. It has occurred to me more than once that I might like to seek out a career in such activism and awareness campaigns. In the meantime, however, I am seeking alternative routes to do more than the bare minimum (e.g. HRC stickers on my car, and donations).
The year I came out, I missed National Coming Out Day by about three days when I first came out to someone. I had not even been aware of it as an event, to be honest. The following year, I sent a letter to some people whom I hadn't come out to, and learned about Spirit Day without being prepared for it, unfortunately.
I still have family members remaining whom I could come out to, but I haven't. Some are more relevant than others, simply by virtue of how often I see them, or how close I am to them. This year, I did not send any letters, though I could have, and probably should have, especially since the most basic level of activism and awareness starts with the people you know.
I spent Spirit Day at my office, which has a rather casual dress policy (most people come dressed in jeans and t-shirts), wearing a purple dress shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes. The purpose was not just to wear purple, but to draw attention to my more formal appearance, and get people to ask why I was dressed up. A simple mechanism for raising awareness about the cause of Spirit Day, and it worked.
The idea occurred to me to make an It Gets Better video between National Coming Out Day and Spirit Day. Since I have a friend who has some expertise in Russian, I enlisted his help to translate the subtitles for my video into Russian. LGBT Russian citizens are being oppressed more now than they have been in recent years. Their rights are being violated not only by their government, but by other Russians taking it upon themselves to ridicule, abuse, and torture LGBT members of their society. I do not use the word "torture" lightly, or inaccurately. If a Russian can watch my video and draw even some small hope from it, it has served its purpose.
Making forays into new forms of activism is something that I continue to do, and it's probably the most important aspect to growing understanding, both for the LGBT and Atheist causes. There's a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding, and plain old ignorance out there. The simplest cure is getting to know others, and them getting to know you.
Beyond this preamble, I will let my video speak for itself on the subject of, "It Gets Better."