February 23, 2014
All I can say is this: I am as gay as you are straight, which is to say that I shouldn’t have to talk about it or announce it to the world in order to make that fact any more true or any less real. It is irrelevant; I live and breathe and hurt and love like anyone else: from the heart.
In this day and age, however and unfortunate as it is, I must talk about it. Regardless of my adverse stance against the idea of having to defend myself, or “come out of the closet” as you will, I understand that we still live in a society where silence is deadly, where freedom is only real when heard, and where many gay youths are still dying literal deaths in and around that figurative closet. As such and more importantly so, many have thrived from escaping that tiny hell-hole, and have used the opportunity to make a beautiful and glorious scene in doing so.
I don’t want to make a scene.
I do not want to be a spectacle for your amusement, to sympathize or apathize or marginalize. That is not my intention. The intention is to simply and publicly recognize myself, to pay respects to myself and the 26 years I have spent on this good, green earth, and to the future years I fully intend on living.
I don’t want to be in the closet.
I hadn’t any inclination that I was in one until the world told me so. They tell you to “come out” and you say “come out of what?” You find yourself in a game of Hide n’ Seek that you don’t remember starting and can’t imagine finishing. That’s when you realize there is a wall between you and the rest of the world.
When did it suddenly become such a struggle? (“It” being the mere act of living)
Maybe one day, you see a kid in the schoolyard push another kid down to the ground while he calls him a “fag” which instills that initial fear. Maybe you went to church for some clarity and guidance and the minister spends an entire hour preaching on how you’re going to hell for your sinful ways, and your only hope for salvation is to do the impossible, to change what you cannot, so you bury yourself into your shame.
Then your friend kills himself, not because he was gay—never ever because he was gay—but because some punk kids with shitty, absent parents bullied him to death for it.
Suddenly, you’re in the closet.
That’s how it happens. The world puts up four small walls around you with the tiniest amount of square-footage, and you let this happen because you are now fearing for your life. There’s not quite enough space for you to move your arms and legs about but just enough for lung-expansion, allowing for the shallowest of breaths. People call this “breathing room.” I call it torture.
One day, however, you decide to unlock that door. You realize that none of what has transpired has to matter anymore. You are not made of the past; you are the present and the future, and you have enough shit on your plate to deal with without also having to deal with those archaic forms of hate and homophobia.
That’s what I’ve decided.
I want to enjoy the freedom to live in the present, unabridged. I want to live as though it is now the future, where global acceptance for gay people (and everyone for that matter) is a standard of living, where living true to one’s self will not require an inordinate and unnecessary amount of courage and bravery.
As with any marginalized group fighting for civil rights, the future is unfortunately always that place where peace and acceptance resides. We know that the movement is heading in that direction; our future incarnations will taste the freedom that we fought for. For now, we stand together against hatred and bigotry. Against the likes of Arizona legislature and Russian anti-gay laws, we stand together. As for me, I stand alone at the dawn of a new horizon and the precipice of a new day, and all I can say is this:
I am as gay as you are straight. I shouldn’t have had to talk about it or announce it to the world in order to make that fact any more true or any less real, but in a show of respect for myself, as well as the many young boys and girls who were never allotted the opportunity to do so, I am doing so, now.
and hurt and love
like anyone else in this world:
from the heart.