By Blake Mackie, former Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan Peer Educator and current Community Outreach Educator in Detroit
As a kid, I was always told I acted and talked too much like a girl. I learned to be quiet so no one would notice. By junior high, not only did I seem “like a girl” but also “gay.” I had very few guy friends, I had dodgeballs thrown at me on the playground, and I listened to a lot of Evanescence. It took me years to find my voice again. Being a Planned Parenthood Peer Educator gave me the support and confidence I needed to come out as a young gay man. Planned Parenthood’s sexual health education programs create safe spaces for important conversations around sexual orientation and gender identity.
National Coming Out Day is about feeling safe and loved as your true self, and Planned Parenthood works every day to give us all that basic human right. My job now is an incredible opportunity to empower youth in all their identities and create a safe space for dialogue and growth.