Last week, the National Coming Out Day came and went — too quietly.  

Some people say it is not that important anymore.  They are wrong.  

Some people say there are no more closets to break down, only curtains to push aside. Don’t fall for it. They are wrong, too.  

SFGN salutes those who have taken the steps towards transparency. The more people know who we are, the better the world will appreciate us as we are.  

Stepping outside the box always involves risks. But without taking a risk, you will never find any rewards. If you don’t leave first base, you won’t ever get to second.   

The National Coming Out Day made headlines last Sunday when the National Football League ran an ad with professional football players saluting the LGBT community. That is no small achievement.   

Even today, homosexuality in professional sports is hardly widespread. Not a single professional baseball player, for example, openly admits that he is a centerfielder in the daytime partnering with his shortstop in the nighttime. Too bad.   

Pro sports live still with its macho boundaries. Most players understand why. You are less likely to have a 100 mile per hour fastball thrown at your head if you keep your personal matters personal. Keep the team in mind first, your needs second.   

However, it was always my thought that if you are the guy or girl who can get a base hit with two outs against you, and two strikes on you, in the bottom of the ninth, to win a game and championship, no teammate will care who you drink or sleep with that evening.  

Nevertheless, in a gay-centric South Florida, we can take being gay and coming out for granted. Don’t be fooled. Equality Florida is still in a repressive Tallahassee statehouse fighting for your rights in the workplace, battling a neanderthal Republican legislature.  

No matter what happens legislatively, we still have reason to be proud personally and professionally. We have gay softball leagues in our parks, swimming teams in our pools, and gay bowling nights in our cities.  A wealth of charities, social groups, and political organizations enhance LGBT lives in South Florida. 

Still, let’s not forget there are places in America where homosexuals are not exactly celebrated. Let’s not all blindly celebrate on the shore when we have friends elsewhere drowning in the ocean.   

We have come a long way since “The Boys in the Band” first made its way to Broadway. It is resurrected this month on Netflix, timed for National Gay History Month. The historical play about early gay life in the 1970s is still worth watching — or enduring — because it is a reminder of what was once. For some, it still is “now.” Everyone’s journey takes its own path. 

You don’t have to be a star quarterback or the game-winning pitcher. Just be in the game and play hard.  

You don’t have to be a mayor or executive director.  Just be yourself, and let others see you for who you are. It’s the greatest award you can give yourself.  

Coming out today liberates you tomorrow. And you will find many more partners on your journey than you have thought there were.   

The hottest places in hell are left for those who are neutral in the face of a moral crisis. The only thing you will find in the middle of the road is dead skunks and yellow lines. 

In these pandemically compromised days, we need all the friends we can get. Help open a door today. It will make your world so much better.