Julián Gustavo Gómez
I came out as an undocumented immigrant in order to bring the issue of immigration reform and the uncomfortable conversation of American identity to new audiences.
I came out to my friends in high school. Then a few years later I came out to my boss. Finally, I decided to make a YouTube video, sharing my story widely in order to educate others about what it meant to be an undocumented immigrant aside from the stereotypes and political sound bites that they've heard. My video received over 15,000 views. I also held an immigration reform press conference at a major convention, and I led my employer's chapters in phonebanking for the Maryland DREAM Act, which passed.
It took courage to tell my story and to prepare myself for some of the hate speech that I eventually received (and still receive). When I came out with the video, I was totally undocumented, so I didn't really know what would happen if someone reported me to the government. But I knew that the video would make a difference for others, so I did it.