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True LGBT Story

Jamie’s ‘Personal Gay Holiday,’ I’m from Highland Park, Ill.

NATHAN MANSKE
Founder and Executive Director, "I’m From Driftwood"
Saturday, October 20, 2012

“I’m from Driftwood,” a collection of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories from all over the world,” appears weekends on LGBTQ Nation. For more true LGBT stories, or to share your own, visit “I’m from Driftwood.”

When Jamie Citron came out at 15, his boyfriend at the time wanted him to celebrate that day every year.

Jamie Citron

Jamie Citron

He said, “Today is your personal coming out day. It’s your second birthday, it’s an important day you remember, and it’s something I want you to keep in mind and celebrate in some small way every year because it’s something you should be very proud of.”

Jamie did indeed mark the day every year. But for the 10th anniversary of his “Gay Day” he wanted to go big.

Within an hour of the party starting, 115 people were crammed into my house. It was crazy. People were really, really into it. … Everyone brought a bottle of champagne to celebrate, everyone was dressed to the nines, everyone was coming up and giving me big hugs and wishing me congratulations. And the highlight of the evening, as promised, I descended the staircase from the 3rd floor down to the living room.

While the event was to mark a personal day for Jamie, he made sure it wasn’t all about him.

We had a champagne toast. Not to me, but to all the folks in the room who are gay and living out and proud lives and what an important example that was because celebrating your coming out day as a second birthday, as the day you really start living who you are, is even more important, not only as a self-affirmation but as a statement to your community.

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