Coming Out is something that is done over and over for some of us, isn't it? I'm one of those people who is OUT, but with qualifications. My family knows I'm gay. Most of my friends know. I'm sure the people I work with have some pretty strong suspicions, but we have never discussed it. But if all the fix-ups I'm getting are any indication, most of my clients at work have no idea. What's worse, though, is this is a very small and conservative town. Claustrophobic even. I know everyone here, and thanks to my business, practically every third person I see in a 25 mile radius. No, really. And with all of them, I pretend, with varying degrees of success.
For a long time I've realized that a closeted existence is toxic for me, but it's only been recently that I've really considered the implications of this life/lie for the whole tribe and society in general. As with gay American Jim McGreevey and now Mark Foley, very public outing only serves to make something seem shameful when it's not. And add fuel to the fire of those who would keep us marginalized.
One thing that has never been a secret is my ardor for the dual-monikered composer/pianist/house flipper/actor/former porn star Gus Mattox/Tom Judson.Now THAT list qualifies him as a true Renaissance man in my book. All you other bitches are just pretenders. Did you know he also writes his ass off? Really good stuff and he has some interesting things to say about the Foley scandal. And he's pointin' fingers, guys. Tom is laying blame squarely on the shoulders of those not OUT, or those OUT TO SOME. Those like me, and brotha makes a strong argument. Here's a snippet:
Look, if every gay person in America came out tomorrow gay-bashing and homopobia would virtually disappear. I'm going to come right out and say it: closeted gays are directly responsible for homophobia and anti-gay sentiments in this country. Yeah, I know it's a hard thing to come out. So is advanced calculus. So is raising a family on a Wal-Mart salary. So is losing one's husband to AIDS. But you know what? People do it every day.I'm workin' on it. I sent two forthcoming emails today. More in the pipeline. Baby steps, darlings.