I have a Republican friend with whom I've argued about every issue under the sun, including gay marriage, something I feel quite passionately about. He g-chatted me today to let me know that he's changed his mind, and I had to send the chat along to you because it so perfectly showcased a point you've made about the importance of coming out. (Sadly I'm straight, so I was no help there.) For years I argued with this guy until I was blue in the face, but it was finding out that he was actually friends with a gay person that finally did the trick.


Thanks for sharing, N.B., and once again, queeros: coming out to friends, families, and coworkers is the single most important political act that a gay, lesbian, bi, or trans person can possibly take. Finally knowing a gay person—or finally knowing that they know a gay person—does more to change hearts and minds than anything else.

The text of N.B.'s chat with her Republican friend—with permission—is after the jump.

Republican Friend: You'll be REALLY happy to know something about me—a certain topic that we used to argue about. I've changed my mind. Take a wild guess.

NB: uh oh
it's hard to choose
we've argued about so much

Republican Friend: no you know which one it is
one very particular issue that we are almost coming to blows on in your apartment one day

NB: gay marriage?

Republican Friend: yes

NB: oh i didn't know you were really against it
i kind of thought you were just effin' with me

Republican Friend: i was against judges mandating it
imposing things without people voting on it
or legislatures voting on it
as an actual act i was probably so so on it, but i never really knew any gay people, like not closely
and lo and behold
my friend from college who i never suspected comes out a few months ago
i started thinking more about it
i think it should become legalized no matter how its done now

NB: Oh, I'm so very very glad to hear that!

Republican Friend: although on most issues i prefer legislatures voting on shit, for the most part, like economic/fiscal issues, whether we go to war, crap like that.
but gay marriage, why the fuck should we care either way, what a waste of time to argue about it

NB: well i think you might agree more now that your friend has come out, it really is a civil rights issue, and by definition those can't really be left up to a vote.
otherwise we might still have segregated schools

Republican Friend: who said i didn't want segregated schools?
i keed
i think knowing this guy made me think more about it
but DON'T tell anyone
i'm still Mr. Republican to those up there in Boston

Mr. Republican's friend came out to Mr. Republican and it's only a matter of time before for Mr. Republican—like a certain Bush twin I could name—comes out to his friends about being for marriage equality.

And here's hoping that all straight people everywhere will one day assume that they must know and like at least one gay person—or have at least one gay family member—even if they don't yet know which one of their friends or family members are gay, and that they'll back equality and fairness in anticipation of a friend, family member, or coworker coming out, not in the wake of it.