Coming Out?

by Anonymous

When scanning a gay support web site, such as Oasis, it is inevitable that the web surfer will come across some kind of article urging him/her to come out of the closet. These articles offer numerous bits of advice to gay youths that aid in the "leaving the closet" process. While this may be helpful for some, oftentimes these tips place unnecessary pressure on the youth to openly express homosexuality far too early.

In the high school setting, a gay student could be the victim of theft, hate crimes, "keyings," or worse yet harmed. In these kinds of situations, the homosexual student cannot leave the school as opposed to leaving a store's parking lot.

Also, family members attribute to the appropriate "announcement" time. For example, if a family member were very ill, a gay youth should obviously choose a more opportune time. Since ignorance is often the source of bigotry, a still closeted youth may be able to "educate" his/her old-fashioned parents.

Lastly, young homosexuals or bisexuals, are often not ready for the changes that such an announcement makes in their lives. This simply means that "Person X" is not prepared to face such a life and needs more time to maul it over in his/her head.

Some critics might say that keeping oneself in the closet for a long time inhibits a person's true nature. This is true; however, true nature does nothing for a teenager who has lost all of his/her friends. Extra time in this situation would have allowed for this person to create a new circle of tolerant friends so his/her social situation is not decimated.

Others say that the filtering and constant monitoring of speech, actions, and gestures "burns out" a person and is unhealthy. This is simply false. If gay youths have identified beneficial reasons for staying in the closet, monitoring becomes almost second nature.

Although at some point in a gay/bi person's life, he/she should "come out of the closet." Perhaps everyone needs to pay careful attention to what might be an appropriate time to announce sexual preference. Do not ignore personal inhibitions simply because of a text file that helps in announcing homosexuality.

The author is an "in the closet" male teen, and can be reached at an640451@anon.penet.fi.
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