During my first National Coming Out Day, I was simply asked to walk through a giant rainbow balloon archway in front of a handful of the nation’s most liberal student body. Coming out in Nashville, where secrecy is expected of the gay community, is much scarier. Belmont University, for example, still refuses to officially recognize GLBTQ student groups. Our mainstream music community is allegedly teeming with closeted artists, all of whom believe their careers will end if their secret is discovered. Finally, jobs hang in the balance, as most local employers will not include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination policies. National Coming Out Day encourages taking life-altering risks. Maybe this means finally acknowledging your partner in public, telling your conservative parents, or validating your own existence in front of thousands of skeptical fans. Any small step can only lead to a more open and accepting Nashville, and here is your chance to take action.