With the announcement of the world population reaching 7 billion, this article from Lisa Hyams seems more relevant than ever:
As I've talked to and read about people coming to terms with their decisions not to have kids, the comparison has come up over and over.
"I felt like a gay person must feel, coming out of the closet and having these people validating me."
— Jason Gill, quoted in a New York Times Magazine article on the childfree
"My friends and I have occasionally likened coming out as childfree to coming out as a gay person 40 or 50 years ago. There's the same sense of shock — perhaps that's too strong a word. But it's a lifestyle people don't expect and it may challenge their world view."
— Rhona Sweeting, quoted in a BBC News article on the childfree
"I'm coming out of the closet. I'm sick of apologizing for my lifestyle which feels totally organic and right to me."
— Jane, commenter on Childfree Life forum
At first the comparison struck me as ridiculous. Prejudice against the childfree is wholly different in kind and degree from prejudice against the LGBT population. Childfree people aren't ejected from the military or denied housing or barred from marriage. The biggest threat of violence we might face is a peeved parent tempted to bonk us on the head with a diaper bag when we ramble on too long about a relaxing weekend getaway.