[oasis] [columns]


November 1996

Is it Selfish to Come Out?

I've been out at school for the last year, but it was just recently that I told my mom I was out at school. I can be very naive sometimes and this is just proof of that. When I told her, I was expecting all this support and encouragement. But I got just the opposite. My mother said it was one of the most selfish things I've ever done.

That really knocked me off guard and made me angry. I understood some of my mom's points. Such as the fact that I have a younger sister that will be coming up through my school and the fact that both mom and dad are popular in town and mom was worried about what other adults would think. Although I agree and sympathize with her, I think she's being the selfish one.

She's not against gay people or anything and she supports me but she's totally against my coming out. It doesn't seem very fair to me that she says that because I'm proud of who I am, even if that means that some people will disagree with my opinions and my lifestyle.

It's my opinion that the more people that are out the more acceptance there will be. But mom said that she didn't want me to put myself and my family in physical and emotional danger. I probably should have told her about the gay/ straight alliance I'm trying to start at school but I decided that this might be bad timing.

Now I don't know what to do. It's too late to take back coming out but I could drop everything I'm doing with the alliance. It would be the first gay support group in town so it would be sure to cause some static. But I feel as if it's my duty to help people. Of course I don't want to hurt my family either. What's everyone think? Please don't think I'm trying to discourage you to come out, just remember your family and friends, like I should have.

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