Closet

anyoumous's picture

so recently the univ or richmond ran this letter in their student paper:

http://www.thecollegianur.com/2009/01/29/letter-from-the-closet/

i think it captures some feelings of those who are still in the closet.

Thoughts anyone?

jeff's picture

My thoughts...

I don't really think this person needs to be closeted, and most of the complaints show me how much progress has been made. If you are waiting for utopia before you come out, you're screwed.

Beyond that:
-- If you're in college, stats about what happens in high school aren't relevant. In college, fewer people care what you do on a daily basis, and you can control more of your life and surroundings.
-- "Richmond is not free from prejudice." You know where it is free from prejudice? Nowhere.
-- I think the inner self-hatred here is FAR more damaging than any of the examples for staying in the closet. This guy's afraid of how he walks, talks, dresses, looks, what music he listens to, sits with a guy, etc., but the problem is that cars get keyed and whiteboards are defaced? I'd far rather to be comfortable in my skin and have the paint on my car messed up.
-- If you go to a random college party, more people are straight, so yeah, a guy approaching a girl is more likely to find another heterosexual. This isn't prejudice, it's the law of averages. That's why there are gay student groups, gay clubs and such to flip the equation in your favor. Plus, if you're out, people can approach you.
-- Similarly, if heterosexuals are the vast majority, it is ridiculous to assume they would go around saying they're straight. With numbers in the 90th percentile, there's no winning this argument. You are the different one, so you have to indicate you are not in the majority. Again, not changing in our lifetimes, gotta move on.
-- "I would come out of the closet if I knew I was entering a mildly safe world." There's no example this isn't already the case. Not in this article. 16% of hate crimes, which is vastly smaller number of all crimes, is a small number. Even the teen stat says physically "harassed" not physically assaulted, so who knows what constitutes physical harassment. Plus, that's high school, not college. Does "that's gay" really make the world unsafe? No.
-- Tolerance is all you want? I think you're aiming too low. But, if that is your metric, it's already here.

Come out, come out...

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook.

WantsOut's picture

Oy vey, Jeff, I'm with you,

Oy vey, Jeff, I'm with you, but here's the thing: I was (And still partially am) afraid of how I walk talk dress sit etc. Because I don't want to perpetuate a stereotype which is damaging to those of us who aren't that way.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Internalized homophobia blah, blah, blah, Blugh. You've given me the whole schbang.

Come in here dear boy, have a cigar, you're gonna go far, you're gonna fly, you're never gonna die, you're gonna make it if you try they're gonna love you!

-Have a Cigar, Pink Floyd

WantsOut's picture

HOLY FUCK! I just read that

HOLY FUCK! I just read that and this guy's got more internalized homophobia than... Well, you get the picture.

Nevermind, I was wrong... AS usual. ALL HAIL THE ALL INTELLIGENT JEFF!

Jefahfah...

Come in here dear boy, have a cigar, you're gonna go far, you're gonna fly, you're never gonna die, you're gonna make it if you try they're gonna love you!

-Have a Cigar, Pink Floyd

I bleed audio's picture

???

Ok maybe I'm behind the times, the author puts forth some decent points but at the end he lists an acronym I've never heard before. I've heard LBGT or LBGTQ but the author has an acronym that's like triple the size "LBGQTPOPATQITBA". Can anyone shed some light for me on what this monster of an acronym stands for?

-----------------------------------
Despite all the things you may have learned, if you play with fire then you're bound to get burned

Rest in peace Captain America (1941-2007)

jeff's picture

I think...

That was supposed to be a joke, since that acronym is that long for more inclusive groups, including extra letters for Queer, Questioning, Polyamorous, Two-Spirit, and on and on.

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook.

Lol-taire's picture

Self Defeating

What I think is interesting about being in the closet, is that you experience far more homophobia while you're closested than you do once you're out.

Most people won't express openly anti-gay sentiments if they know a gay person is listening (like the I'm not-racist-but crowd, who look over their shoulder before asking if you've heard the one about the P***s on the moon).

And once you're really properly out your social circle does tend to shift so you socialise mostly with other gays and friendly straight people. You just don't go to the straight parties and the straight clubs- or you do still go but it's not the main focus of your social life. That's why you come out.

Icarus's picture

actually having lived in the

actually having lived in the central/south VA area all my life, i think he's being a little overreactive. yes, there are hate slurs, yes there is homophobia, but hell, it's Richmond. he wants backwater? come to southern VA honey, we'll show you backwater.

anyhoo...to sum up my overall feeling about the letter, i say, "If you're not doing anything to stop it, what gives you the right to complain?"

"She's Trouble with a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for Pussy."