My wish list for National Coming Out Week, 2003.

1. I would like the gay community to focus on promoting our own agenda. Our agenda must include an end to job and housing discrimination, the abolition of all remaining sodomy laws, and the right to marry. We need to stick to our guns, rather than compromising with the Democrats, voting the way they want and then being told that our issues have to take second place.

2. I would like the politicians who say they’ll support us to actually do it. Too often, politicians are only fair-weather friends. When their friendship is put to the test, they turn around and say that maybe now isn’t the time, or that they support us but on a separate-but-equal basis, or that don’t ask, don’t tell is okay, or whatever today’s lie to tell us we don’t matter is.

3. I would like everyone who says they support same-sex marriage to write a letter in support of that policy, by hand, to one of their representatives.

4. Furthermore, I would like everyone who watches girl on girl porn to write a letter to one of their representatives in support of same-sex marriage. If this happened, it would be legalized within a year.

5. I would like schools to teach about coming out as part of sex education. I had Sex Ed 6 times, in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grades. I didn’t learn anything about being gay except that it makes men more likely to get HIV. I faced coming out alone, without any information about it at all. I was never even told that it was a possibility. I had very few resources and no one to talk to. Gay youth should be respected and their existence acknowledged.

6. I would like schools to crack down on people using the word “gay” as a derogatory adjective. It’s a measure of how institutionalized homophobia is that teachers almost never do this; the most I ever heard any of them do was say something along the lines of “that’s not very nice.” None of my teachers ever freaked out the way they would have if kids used the words “black” or “Jew” in the same way.

7. I would like to never, ever again hear anyone say that Chasing Amy is a great film. The movie’s overriding message is that real love happens only between men and women. It treats lesbians as yet another class of women available for male pleasure, and the lesbian characters not involved with men or being watched by men are treated as marginal, unpleasant, and unimportant.

8. I would like to see more efforts within the gay community to expand beyond the bar scene. As a community, we have a problem with alcohol. In order to treat this problem effectively, we need alternatives to the bar scene.

9. I would like not to be hit on by any men who think that having sex with a lesbian would be exciting. In fact, I would like not to be hit on by any men at all, I would like not to be treated as either an object of fascination or a freak, and I would like not to have to educate anyone.

10. I would like the media to stop associating us with child molesters, and I would also like some real queer images in the media, rather than the demeaning and erasing images we have now.

11. While I am wishing, I would like a million dollars, for the Green Party to win all major elections, and to meet someone I could reasonably date.