It was National Coming out Day this week and as an out and proud homosexual I have very mixed feelings about people who are in the closet. The first thing that springs to my mind is that closets are for clothes not people, however Society has made it difficult for some people to be open about their sexuality. I cannot fathom why famous people or people with money would ever not be open about who they are because why would you care and there is the school of thought that these folks should be front runners in the race for openness and equality.
I read that comedian Guy Branum was suggesting that if Anderson Cooper wants to show kids that life gets better regarding being gay that he should come out of the closet and stop hiding from it. This is where my conflict begins. On the one hand I agree with Guy that we really have to back up what we say in life because otherwise it can seem like hypocrisy and you know how much of a bugbear that is for me. On the other hand we have to acknowledge the right for privacy if people do not want to be open about their sexuality should they have to come out for the cause?
In certain situations where coming out would cost you your job, your freedom or you life, I would say that hands down you should say nothing. In some places it is illegal to be gay and in certain very religious countries where people are put to death for being gay it’s surely the best policy to remain closeted. In America we have freedom and it is only the haters that try to rob us of that. Not every state protects you in your employment as a gay person. EDNA is making its way through but only 13 states currently protect against discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Some people feel that the more we fight for our rights and highlight the inequality we face daily the more we deserve the response homophobes and haters give to us. Surely that’s like saying know your place which is kinda funny when you think that our country is based upon the constitutional values of democracy, liberty, freedom and justice for all. We cannot have equality without being totally equal, not partially equal or equal in some things, but in everything. This is not an allowance after all it is a right.
Assaults in the Bronx and in The Stonewall Inn have once again brought fear to the gay community and I am convinced that we need look no further than the top to identify where the rot and the dross comes from. While Senators and Leader are still promoting inequality and homophobia from their platforms it will continue to lead people to believe this is acceptable. In my last column I touched upon the trickle effect of how these things trickle down and unfortunately we are seeing the results of this. Why do we still support those who hide their hatred behind political policies because this is what keeps people in the closet?
Carl Paladeno said that Andrew Cuomo marching with the gays in the gay pride parade was not the example we should be showing our children (even though one of his staff marched) and that we should not be brainwashed into thinking that a homosexual lifestyle is an equally valid or a successful option. I think this is the perfect example to be showing to our children. Andrew Cuomo is heterosexual and believes in equality and marched in the parade to highlight this fact. As for homosexuality not being valid or successful option it is only devalued by the minority of haters who have a problem with it and our success should not hampered or determined by those who choose discriminate against us.
I am disappointed that the Jewish community leaders Paladeno was talking too subscribed to his idiocy. The best thing to come out of the hate speech is that even the GOP is embarrassed by this Tea Party Tosspot. Surely this has hampered his already flagging campaign. Hot on the heels of his prior faux pas of forwarding inappropriate racist e-mails including ones commenting on the President he said “I just forwarded them”. Apologies do not erase or change bad decisions Clearly Paladeno and Palin are of the same charm offensive and an America with either in leadership roles is a scary one! Send them both along with O’Donnell (Christine not Rosie) & O’Reilly to a Chilean mine!
As someone came running out of the closet when I was 18 and by the time I was comfortable with who I was I didn’t care what people thought. The freedom that this gives to an individual is indescribable but still some work to prevent that freedom or to take it away. I thank God that I live in a country that allows me to be who I am but the reason I write my columns and stand up to hypocrisy and injustice is that I want my America to be the best it possibly can be and that will be ongoing process. The people who have objections to gay people being equal in society are clearly the ones with the problem. Let’s face it John McCain cannot even begin to articulate why he stands by #DADT and just resorts to rhetoric and robotic policy quotations.
What I find alarming is the complete 360 some Repuglicans have done recently regarding gay rights issues. Clearly there are seats to be gained and elections afoot. Some would say any change is good change but I vehemently disagree. If change is verbalized by way of lip service in order to gain votes and clearly no change is ever going to occur then it is pointless. Yes I know before I get a gazillion e-mails Obama has done little to date to effect change in the Gay community but he has done nothing to deliberately block it. Some would say these are one and the same and I echo the sentiments of the woman who recently said she was tired of defending the President. To quote myself “You cannot change 8 yrs of mismanagement in 2”
It is another extreme to be publicly anti-gay and then be sleeping with same sex partners because that is hypocrisy in its highest form. When people engage in this kind of behavior they leave themselves wide open to being outed and clearly deservedly so. For me this is the only excusable reason for anyone ever being outed as they hold themselves up to a different standard and risk their own right to privacy by saying one thing but doing another. Having said that I would never personally want to out an individual. When I was a child outing was an activity we did as a family and usually involved a trip or excursion to the beach or an amusement park, not to destroy someone’s life.
Even if we lived in a utopian society I am sure some people would still wish to remain in the closet in the name of privacy and a big part of me says all power to them. Just as I reserve the right to be an all singing all dancing ’mo, surely that means that my closeted brothers and sisters deserve that same right and choice too?
I have to conclude that this is really down to individual choice and circumstance but the circumstance part should always be your choice too, but sadly for some in reality it isn’t. When you are openly anti-gay and are engaging in homosexuality the sword of Damocles is forever swinging above your head. This must be the very essence fear and I for one am grateful that there is no closet big enough to contain me or my outrageous life! Are you coming out? I’m here for you sister.
Peace and Luv, Xan x
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Xander Gibb has written for many publications and writes with an unapologetic response to the world around.