Guest Post: Three Recommendations to Celebrate National Coming Out Day

This guest post was written by Isaiah Vianese. Isaiah is a poet and writing instructor in New York. You can read his blog and selected poems here.

When I came out of the closet, I was terrified. My initial salvation came in three forms: a wonderful boyfriend, good friends, and books. More specifically, love from good people saved me, as well as one charming book of poetry, Mules of Love by Ellen Bass. In Mules of Love, Bass talks about ordinary domestic events—helping her son with his homework, making love to her partner, remodeling her bathroom—with kindness and affection. Reading about a lesbian who was happy and living a full life let me know that such happiness could be in my future as a gay man.

Today, on National Coming Out Day, I want to share three life-affirming pieces of pop culture that celebrate being gay and happy. I hope they help you commemorate what is such an important day in a gay person’s life.

  • Movie: The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy: This is one of the most-watched DVDs in my collection because it is one of the only well-made light-hearted movies about gay men. Like the title so clearly illustrates, the film focuses on the romantic trials of a group of friends living in LA. They argue. They date. They make fun of each other. They play baseball. They are, in every way, neurotic but happy. A notable character is Kevin, the youngest in the group who is coming out and finds support in his new group of friends.
  • Music: Lupercalia by Patrick Wolf: I have recommended Patrick Wolf on this site before. However, his latest album is in a league of its own in celebrating gay life and love. Wolf is a master of pop craft; his explosive choruses and hooks are unparalleled. Notable tracks are “The City,” a celebration of being in love, “House,” an ode to domestic life with his fiancé, “Bermondsey Street,” a song about couples proposing, and “Together,” a dance-house masterpiece about partnership and strength. Though it’s a bit early to make such a claim, this is likely to be my favorite album of 2011.
  • Book: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan: The gold standard for YA novels that celebrate being out and in love. I would even go as far as to say that Levithan has never surpassed this wonderful gem of a book. What I like best about this novel is its message of hope about how good life can be when you accept yourself.
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