Many of us know what it’s like to have the conversation — the coming-out conversation. Some may still be in the closet, fearing the conversation. But a phenomenal thing happened on April 15 that may help change that conversation, or perhaps make it slightly easier for some LGBT people going forward.

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., who officially announced his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination last weekend, had a very-public conversation during which he candidly discussed his coming-out journey with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, an out lesbian.

Two high-profile LGBT people having a personal, open and emotional discussion about the decision to come out, the timing, the struggle, and how different and individual it is for everyone is not something often heard on primetime TV.

This space is generally reserved for commentary on far-reaching, sometimes hard-hitting news events or policies that affect the LGBTQ community. Lately, the subjects have been heavy — often touching on various assaults on the community such as the transgender military ban, conversion therapy, countries where being gay is punishable by death

Sometimes it’s worth touting positive LGBTQ news, even if it’s a little light.

That brings us to “American Idol” contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon.

This week, new laws took effect in Brunei making gay sex and adultery not only punishable by death, but death by stoning.

There has been a worldwide outcry over the laws, from celebrities such as Elton John and George Clooney calling for a boycott of Brunei-owned hotels to civil-rights groups and world leaders condemning the practice as brutal, inhumane and downright unfathomable. It’s right to be outraged. But in some ways, isn’t outrage the obvious course?

At a time when the world — including our very own country — continues to take steps backward in the arena of already-secured LGBT rights, perhaps this is a chance to consider going even further back.

Three people associated with mass shootings died of apparent suicides in a little more than a week between March 17-25. Two were survivors of last year’s Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The third was the father of a 6-year-old student killed in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. 

While it hasn’t been confirmed that all three took their own lives because they couldn’t cope with the aftermath of the tragedies in which they were connected, it is believed to have played a significant role.

With all the attacks on LGBTQ rights recently, especially with many coming directly from Trump administration policies, it’s difficult at times to stop and appreciate how far the community has truly come.

Sometimes it’s worth noting not only the most recent wins (many are highlighted in the Mombian column on page 14), but also the not-too-long-ago strides the community has made. Philadelphia is a model city when it comes to changes in the past few decades that embrace the LGBTQ community.

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