Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!"

Today, October 11th is National Coming Out Day.
Big deal, right? These gays & their special days & demands for special privileges…ugh! But you know what? It IS a big deal.

I’ve always been grateful that I could, as they say in The South,
“pass” That’s how they would describe light skinned black people who could pass for white. (See the classic LANA TURNER film: “Imitation of Life") In my case it meant that I was just masculine enough, played sports, dated girls, said all the right things, to pass for straight. But the sheet-soaking fear that I felt every day & night of my life that I would be “found out” was a terrible price to pay. Plus the assurance from my church that I was destined to live a pathetic life & the promise of eternal damnation; didn’t really do much to assuage these feelings of self-loathing & in fact encouraged them.

So I did what a lot of young gay people do: I ran away from home! First to New York, then Los Angeles. And began a journey of self discovery that seemed like a second adolescence because that’s what it was. Growing up all over again, but out from under the shadow of repression & dishonesty. Falling in love, dating, co-habitating, making new friends who would know the real me. And that process continues. If you’re gay you just don’t get to come out once & its over & done with. You have to come out almost every day.
To acquaintances, co-workers, new friends, employers. You don’t have to hit people over the head with it but you have to be true to yourself in every situation.

As children we learn that closets are dark & scary places. Full of the shadowy unknown. We fumble in the dark until the door opens or a light comes on & we realize with relief; that what we were frightened of moments ago was really something very familiar & non-threatening.
That’s why EVERY gay person has to come out of the closet. So that our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, our churches can see that they know us, we are familiar to them & we are not a threat. We just want to enjoy the same rights & privileges as they do. To be who we are & love whom we may.

Being TheGayGardener means that I no longer can “pass”. Nor do I wish to. I want people to know that about me upfront. What a different world this would be if everyone were able to do this. No more LARRY CRAIGS, TED HAGGARDS, delusional IRANIAN PRESIDENTS The fact that there is even such a thing as a National Coming Out Day indicates progress & provides a road map to future happiness. The debate that has been raging in this country & around the world regarding the rights of same gender people to marry is something I never dreamed I would see in my lifetime. And, oh, my brothers & sisters, the tide is with us! Believe!

The Gay High Priestess, BARBRA STREISAND sang a beautiful song in the not-so-beloved film, YENTL. The lyrics went like this:

I wanted the shadows, I don’t anymore.
No matter what happens, I won’t anymore.
I ran from the sun light, afraid it saw too much.
The moon had the one light, I bathed in, I walked in.
I held in my feelings & closed every door.
No matter what happens, I won’t anymore….
For too many mornings the curtains were drawn,
It’s time they were opened to welcome the dawn.
A voice deep inside is getting stronger,
I can’t keep it quiet any longer,
No matter what happens I can’t be the same anymore.
I promise I won’t be the same anymore.


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