This week we celebrate National Coming Out Day. Started in 1988, it is a day on which you take another step in coming out. After eighteen years of Coming Out Days, I’m almost out of come outs. Every year I come out to my older brother. It doesn’t help my totals but it is good practice. Since I moved to New York City from Provincetown, there is a wider pool of random people to come out to. This year I’ve got my sights set on the unflappable guy at my tiny dry cleaners. Starch? No starch? I’m gay. But after witnessing last week’s Mark Foley flame-out and the vertiginous spinning from both parties, the crisp, clean honesty of unambiguous coming out is more important than ever. We have seen the corrosive, confusing effects of the closet on those in and out of it. When we come out, we are no longer willing conspirators in talibanic, puritanical sexual repression. The good news is that sometimes messy coming outs can change the House of Representatives! But does anyone thank us gay people? Nooooooooooooooo. See you OUT there!