In his op-ed piece for the Post-Dispatch, the 22-year-old Katz reflects on his personal experiences growing up inside of an outwardly homophobic family. He writes, "when I was perhaps 10 years old, my brother called me a faggot ... My dad was angry not because my brother used a curse word — but because, simply and literally, he said that I was gay."
In 1999, when Katz was eleven, his father published an essay entitled "In Defense of Homophobia," which argues, among other things, that gay men should be ostracized because they are responsible for the AIDS epidemic. Several years later, the tenured physics professor responded to protests over the exclusion of sexually active gay men from university blood drives with additional vitriol. He wrote, “In order to satisfy their demand for full acceptance by society, the homosexual movement demands to kill some transfusion recipients by infecting them with AIDS, or to kill patients who need transfusions by making it impossible for blood banks to collect blood.”
Just recently, the elder Katz made headlines again after GLBT advocates pressured the Obama administration to remove him from a panel of scientists assembled to stop the BP oil spill.
Although the younger Katz defends his father's scientific merit in his op-ed piece, stating "I don't believe that anyone's personal opinions have any impact on whether they can help fight oil spills," he writes that after he came out to his parents this summer, his father asked him "to deny who I am rather than to engage in an act so abhorrent as to love another man."
Still, Katz says his decision to come out has greatly empowered his life. "I am happier than I have been in many years," he says. He dedicates his op-ed piece to "struggling gay and lesbian teens in St. Louis and beyond" and assures them, "as a young gay man I gladly repeat Dan Savage's words: It does get better."
not exactly huge political news, i know, but still a heartening addition to national coming out day imo