Last week, I had to make one of the most difficult announcements of my life: I told my family that I like women—er, love women. Not knowing how my mother would react, I was relieved when she looked at me and said, “Boy, I knew that all along.”
My brothers and sisters all said that my coming out of the shadows and announcing that I am heterosexual would not change how they felt about me and that they would stand with me when all the media requests began to come in for me to be interviewed.
I knew I was heterosexual and liked women ever since I was a small child, but I have always been afraid to come out publicly because I was taught that some things are to be kept private and discussed on a need-to-know basis.
Now that I have come out of the closet, I hope I can get special laws passed that will allow me to walk up to women in the workplace, as well as total strangers, and let them know that I am heterosexual.
Now that I no longer have to keep my sexual preference to myself, I feel so relieved of the burden I have been carrying throughout my life.
Now that I have come out of the shadows and can be who I really am, I hope that I can become a member of the homosexual church choir that my friend belongs to, despite the stipulation that open heterosexuals are not allowed to join. If I keep my heterosexuality hidden and no one finds out, I could possibly join the choir.
But why should I have to hide who I am? That is not fair, and it’s discriminatory. My homosexual friends want to force the Boys Scouts of America to change its policy of not admitting homosexuals, atheists or agnostics into the Scouts; but not one of my homosexual friends are willing to join with me to fight my being excluded from their choir simply because I have publicly come out as heterosexual. Anyone who doesn’t accept me for being heterosexual must be heterophobic, a bigot and hateful.
As a businessman, I am involved with several chambers of commerce. So now that I am out of the closet, I wanted to join and have my business certified by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) so I can become more marketable to corporate America.
According to their website, “The NGLCC certifies lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-owned businesses as Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) and works to provide opportunities for LGBTBEs to build relationships and gain exposure within corporate procurement processes. Certification through the NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative (SDI) offers the opportunity for LGBT-owned businesses to make connections with America’s top corporations and each other.
“By becoming certified, LGBTBEs enhance their business visibility with corporations seeking to do business with LGBT suppliers. Corporate partners can search for certified LGBTBEs through our exclusive LGBT supplier database as well as meet face-to-face with potential suppliers at NGLCC SDI matchmaking and networking events, which are held across the country throughout the year.”
I was told that I had to be homosexual in order to join. Again, per their website, the criteria for membership is: “Is your business at least 51 percent owned, operated, managed and controlled by an LGBT person, or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, exercise independence from any non-LGBT business enterprise, have its principal place of business (headquarters) in the United States, have been formed as a legal entity in the United States?”
What I find interesting is they wouldn’t tell me on the phone, nor is it indicated on their website, how they prove that you are homosexual, bisexual or transgendered.
So, let me make sure I understand: They want the Boy Scouts of America to be forced to accept homosexual kids and adults, but yet, because I have come out as openly heterosexual, I can’t be certified by them as an LGBT business.
This is discrimination to the highest heavens. I am considering a lawsuit against them because I think the federal courts should force them to accept me and my lifestyle choices (despite them being a private organization). I have a right to join their organization. America should stand with me in my pursuit of chamber equality.
My God, this is the 21st century and yet a heterosexual still can’t join a homosexual group. I am hoping that I, too, like Jason Collins (the homosexual NBA player), will get a call from President Obama. I, too, hope that I can get saturated news coverage for a whole two days. I, too, hope Kobe Bryant, Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama give me a shout-out on Twitter.
I am brave and courageous for admitting that I like women, and I think that all Americans who believe in equality should join with me for my civil rights. Where is the NAACP, the National Urban League, and the Congressional Black Caucus?
Do I not deserve dignity as much as homosexuals? I have lived my life in the shadows for far too long. Can you imagine living your whole life privately as a heterosexual? Just think of the trauma I have faced walking down the street and people not knowing if I am heterosexual or homosexual? No one should have to live their life like that. We are Americans, and we are better than that.
So, I am asking Congress to launch an investigation to find out why no one is paying any attention to my coming out of the closet, why no media outlets are covering my declaration of my heterosexuality, and why homosexual groups refuse to allow me to join their organizations. How can we be the leader of the free world yet not give rights to heterosexuals? Our Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves.
Raynard Jackson is president and CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his website, raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.