This article is in honor of National Coming Out Day and the millions of LGBT people that are still in the closet both inside and outside of the libertarian movement. No mater who you are or what you believe, you are all beautiful.

I’m an outspoken libertarian. I’m also bisexual.

To my surprise I have had to, on multiple occasions, stand watching people’s faces contort in befuddlement as they try to reconcile these two aspects of my life. Many of my friends and colleagues in the LGBT community have stared at me, completely floored, as they ask me how I can possibly defend a party that hates gays. How can I work with people that want to take away my rights?

This disconnect stems from a basic misunderstanding about libertarianism; it’s not a party, it’s a philosophy. As an anarchist I don’t give the actual Libertarian Party much thought, they don’t represent me (that said, it’s interesting to point out that the LP had support for gay rights in their platform back in the 80’s, decades before the democrats). Libertarian philosophy holds as one of it’s basic pillars that individuals have the same rights regardless of race, religion, gender, or orientation; put simply, it treats people like people. Building up from that, any branch of libertarianism must have at it’s core a respect and defense of the rights of minorities, including the LGBT community. Quite simply, it is impossible to use libertarianism to defend any form of legal discrimination against anyone based on circumstances of birth. Once you understand this, the idea that libertarianism opposes the rights of the LGBT community is laughable and to claim otherwise is intellectually dishonest. That said, there are the unfortunate few among libertarians that “disagree with that lifestyle” or “love the sinner, not the sin” based on a distorted view of reality or their own personal bigotry but if they are truly libertarian they would never defend using the gun of the state to promote their ideas.

The confusion towards LGBT Libertarianism also stems from another basic misunderstanding of reality, the idea that the Democratic Party give a damn about us. While I would never claim that most individuals of that party are disingenuous in their support for LGBT rights, the party itself holds up gay people like my racist uncle holds up his one black friend. The platform for the Democratic Party is one of political expedience not philosophical ideals, and ever since they where forced to support LGBT rights because of public opinion they have tokenized our community. This occurrence makes perfect scene, as a political party what the Dems really care about is votes and as LGBT rights became more popular they had to start supporting them (even though they used to be as against them as modern republicans). Instead of seeing the LGBT community as people with inherent rights, the Dems saw us as a large pill they had to swallow in order to stay in power. And in typical political fashion, instead of trying to find legitimate philosophically based solutions, the Dems have entirely focused on using the State to solve our problems; and in the process built up the straw man of the LGBT community as one that runs to the State at every turn which has only hurt progress. Instead of getting the State out of peoples lives and letting us interact voluntarily, Dems want to get the State involved in our marriages and wants to force bigoted shop owners to take our pictures and make our cakes. Dems expect us to turn to that same institution that has been used for generations to deny us our rights, and I for one say hell no. Get the State out of marriage, let the bigots be open about their hate so  I can be sure to never give them my money, treat me like an adult, and stop inflating the idea that I’m helpless and need the State just because I’m not straight.

I’m proud to be part of a philosophy that holds up the rights of all people, one that is based in ideas instead of politics. A libertarian society is one where everyone is treated the same under the law. It rewards tolerance and benevolence by crushing bigots under the boot of public opinion. It’s a society where people are treated with respect, and where love isn’t defined by a piece of paper. Libertarianism frees the markets and a builds culture where everyone can flourish, free from State coercion. And that is how you help the LGBT community, not by making special rules and different classes of people, but by helping everyone; a freed market would do more to imporove the lives of LGBT’s than every government program and permission combined.

It turns out my friends in the LGBT community have it backwards, libertarianism is the ideal philosophy for us. To a libertarian I’m just another person, and our arguments stem from my anarchism and leftist leanings not my orientation. Libertarianism holds up my rights not because they want votes or because I’m queer, but because I’m a human being. Instead of seeing me as someone that needs to have the State use force to take care of me, libertarianism knows that as a free individual I am able to care for myself and turn to my community for help. Being bisexual is just a part of who I am, libertarianism respects that without making it the only issue and without treating me differently. The real question for people in the LGBT community should be “how can you be part of a party that tokenizes you and is using you to stay in power; how aren’t you libertarian?”