To me, each of those statements tell me nothing about the person, ergo, they are not important attributes. Their ideals and principles, their character, their actions, all are much more important and worth discussing. Legends and folklore discuss actions and great deeds. It is not an action or a great deed to have or not have a vagina or a skin pigment.
Yet for some people, a person’s skin pigment or gender or sexual preference tells them EVERYTHING they need to know about a person: “he’s black so he’s <insert perjorative stereotype here>, she’s a woman, what does she know, he’s gay so he’s a sinner, etc.” I think being out, loud and proud is an attempt to undermine those stereotypes that people ascribe to others.
And why not be “out” about it? On the one hand. I get annoyed—I couldn’t care less if someone’s gay or not. On the other hand—I’ve never had the experience of being looked at askance when I bring my partner to the company Christmas party. My old boss was gay and never felt like he could bring his partner to the Company Xmas party; he kept his partner’s picture in his desk drawer because of his bible thumper boss. Why should he have to do that when everyone else has their “appropriate” gender partner’s picture on their desk? Is he flaunting being gay by putting it out there? Or maybe doing what everyone else does? Or maybe telling other gay people in the office it’s okay if they display their partners’ pictures?
My friends’ kid is trans. The kid started to transition at a really young age (middle school). My friends are not flaky crunchy granola types—they are Conservative Jews and this was a big, big, big deal. Their kid is doing great, and the family handled it really well. For the kid, being trans is a huge part of his identity because it’s colored his whole life, including what college he went to, how things were handled there, how things were handled with his religion (bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah?), and what bathroom he uses. They came to visit me when the whole “bathroom bill” stuff was going on. We were in a restaurant and the kid had to use the restroom. I’ll never forget the look of angst on his mom’s face when he went to the toilet—will he be hassled? Will he get beat up? Will it be ok?
I think when you’re outside the “mainstream” all those identity things make a difference. Not because they actually make a difference—because they don’t—my boss was a great boss, my friend’s kid is a great kid—but because a lot of people THINK they make a difference.