I may tell people I'm out, but I'm really not. Yes, I've told pretty much everyone I know that I'm gay, and have told a few people I don't know, just for the shock value and also to see how people respond to the fact. But still, I am not all the way out of the closet.
Why? I still hide it. Not by the way I act, though. I don't believe in the straight-acting or gay-acting thing -- that's ridiculous. I will act like Davy acts. And if Davy occasionally grabs his crotch and spits, who cares? If Davy occasionally swishes across a room, who cares? I am what I am. (But believe me, I'm more likely to swish than grab -- ouch!)
What I hide is the hard evidence. In my room, I have a two-drawer white file cabinet. In the top drawer I have important stuff - bank records, tax forms, school stuff. But in the bottom drawer I have my "gay stuff." I have my copies of Gay Times (I don't know why, but I love British magazines). I have Advocate issues, because one day I truly will become a gay activist --- if I ever have spare time, that is. I have my Out issues. I have my copies of XY (just a couple recent ones that I bought at Borders when I had money -- how I wish I could afford a subscription, or even better, the box set!). I have (looking around furtively) a few picture books. Hey, I'm eighteen, it's legal.
Some of the stuff, like a few PG-rated pullout posters, I'd love to display. But you know, I won't do it. My mom would be profoundly disturbed by the presence of Joel West on my wall, and my sister stops talking to me for a day if I mention casually that one of my coworkers is all that and a bag of chips. So I hide it all in the drawer.
Also, I have a post office box (henceforth referred to as post orifice, because many people have sent me things, only to be lost in the great evil black hole that the postal service is). My reasoning for getting the post orifice box was to be able to get mail from all my online buddies without A) letting them know exactly where I live, cause they might be psycho and B) not having to deal with my parents' questions of "Who do you know that lives in Virginia???" But my real reason for getting it is so I could have my gay magazines delivered to me without no one ever knowing about it (except the postmaster, I guess... and the government... and mailing lists... and disgruntled postal workers...). No piece of mail with gay content will EVER end up in the mailbox in front of our house. No way, no how.
I figure that one day when I don't have to deal with family and stuff I will start getting my magazines delivered to the front door like the out and proud homosexual I aspire to be. One day I will cover the walls of my bedroom with masturbation fantasy men. One day the only reason I will enter a post orifice is to buy stamps.
One day I will be truly out. But please, do not take that to mean you can send me mail in envelopes with big penises drawn all over them. I'll never be THAT out.
David can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org