Macklemore is pretty awesome – almost as awesome as coming out of the closet.

So you’ve probably heard the song “Thrift Shop” by now.  If you haven’t, click here and fix your life.

But Michaelyn had me listen to another one of Macklemore’s songs this morning that made me realize how great this goofball rapper really is.  The song is “Same Love”:

People are coming around quickly on gay marriage.  There’s still a long way to go, of course.  Consider this touching story of a college student who came out of the closet and thought his father might disown him.  Spoiler on the ending:

On Sunday my parents dropped me off at the train station so that I could return to Milwaukee. They both hugged me and told me that they love me. About three hours later I was back home in Milwaukee, and I got a text from my mom that read, “Your dad has funny ways of showing he loves you. Look in your backpack.” Here’s what was tucked inside, between two Pathfinder rulebooks:


On the back it says, “I will always love you, no matter what.”

It’s a good ending, but it’s not enough.  Russell Glasser of Atheist Experience and Freethoughtblogs fame left a comment on this article when I posted it on facebook which sums it up perfectly:

That is a happy ending… but it will be a REALLY happy ending when the response is “Great to hear that, son. Glad you’re comfortable with your identity.”

“I will love you no matter what” is a good compromise, but it is still treating being gay as basically identical to the son confessing that he’s done something dumb, like flunked out of school or started smoking crack.

But that sentiment will dissipate over time as the father sees his son happy in his own skin.  Eventually it will sink in that his son’s homosexuality was a part of the man this father loved all along, not something that corrupted his son.

Now read it again and imagine that, instead of announcing he was gay, that his son had come out of the closet as an atheist.  When I win a debate, it’s often chalked up to me being a good debater rather than their commitment to an indefensible position.  But when someone a person loves and admires is happy as something that person thought they despised…that can’t be ignored.  That’s when we change minds.

Coming out of the closet can be a nightmare.  However, if you want it to be a nightmare of which future generations are spared, then right here, right now, is very much the time to be brave.  We will catch you.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.