'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

11 October 2012

Come Out!

You may want to do it with a bang or perhaps with more subtlety, but whatever you do, be true to yourself and you can hold your head high. However, do not underestimate the fun of the outrageous and Come Out. It is important.
This is a speech so worth playing. Academy Award Winner Dustin Lance Black who wrote Milk is quite an orator. To change the world you must tell your story and let people know who you really are.

Well, This Is My Story.
Yes its true that I was a late bloomer. Not that I was in the closet because I did not realise there was one. Perhaps the only thought I had was that I was asexual more than anything. Of course I had the occasional fantasy that began with a photograph in my father's Air Force War Annual of a bunch of guys skinny dipping in the jungles somewhere. I think I did some very bad doodles that had penises in them and my mother found the drawings and casually mentioned her discovery with that air of disappointment. I think I was more embarrassed that they were such poor pieces of art as I have never had any skill for drawing. There was a bit of genital touching and exploration with cousins around that time of puberty, but mostly I recall discussing our intended virginity until marriage with school friends. As expected I eventually gained a girlfriend who was a great friend  to whom I could char to on the phone for hours on end, but little more than that. We went out but I did hate the expected kiss at the end of the evening.  It is funny that when I run into her every ten years or so it is as if we had still not stopped talking. This 5 year relationship continued safely until into my University days where I did later meet another girl who managed to share in my losing my virginity, believe it or not, while watching a Barbra Streisand Concert on TV (how apt). Soon I turned 21 and while celebrating very low key at the movies, a friend  told me I was Gay and  he and his girlfriend had bought along this guy  for me. Unphased I offered said guy a lift home and we went to bed. That was it. No drama, no guilt, no worries. It all fell into place and I knew I was gay. It could not have been more natural or easier. My life now felt real. The following day I told all my friends and that was that. We became boyfriends and remained friends for decades after the affair had faded. In life there was now no looking back. A short time after that initial encounter I phoned my mother and suggested we have a talk. Her first response was "If it is about that Vietnam rubbish I don't want to know.". It was around the moratorium march times.  'No' I replied "It is more important.", to which she responded "Oh the fact that you don't like girls. I have known that for years." We had lunch and I explained it in terms of love and emotion etc. and she was fine except she did suggest she would not mention it to the relatives. Of course as soon as I was out of the house she rang one of her sisters and then a radio talk show and a psychiatrist. This, thankfully I did not know about for many years. I would have been devastated by such lack of belief in me. I am not sure I ever have forgiven that hidden reaction. Things are ok now but she is a Catholic and find it hard to accept the argument that parents were bought up in a different time. To me bigotry is bigotry. It is not a matter of changes in social standards. People with a conscience should be able to think through the difference between right and wrong. It is logic not 'church' teachings. Morality is not what is imposed by a bunch of bitter, old, power hungry, egotistical, patriarchs. Morality stems from love and understanding to our fellow men and women, the desire to do no harm, and a respect for the future of all living things and this planet. I have studied logic and ethics and I know with certainty that the motivation of feeling superior is not an excuse for judgement, finger pointing and its eventual consequence - Hatred and in this case Homophobia. I take love as the first principle, the prime mover and the beginning of a true life.

Of course this whole blog is my story because what I think, what I do and what I appreciate is what I am.

Australia Coming Out
Why Come Out?
I believe that more people need to declare their sexuality, come out, be counted stand up and stand by those who have already done so. As of today there are about 7 billion people on this planet and by some estimates it is one in every ten people who are exclusively gay or lesbian. That by my calculations means that there are 700,000,000 people who are gay or will be when they grow up. i.e. SEVEN HUNDRED MILLION. The overpopulation of Earth will not suffer because there are still a lot left to breed and even now a few gay couples are having children by various means. There are lot of us, but how many are game to be ourselves publicly. In some unfortunate countries it is illegal still. Some countries will imprison you and some will even kill you, many will shun you and most will insult you. Yes it is not easy to come out and you may take risks if you do, but that is because the bigots of this world have the loudest mouths and the biggest reach. They control the churches big and small, the nasty profit churches and they control the media and the media will always pander to the majority to sell its product. Advertisers will back what appeals to the highest number and do not care if it may reinforce the stereotype. The highest number or the majority is an ill conceived concept. Might has never made right, many does not mean all and bullies are not role models, but they behave as if they are. They yell louder, they get red in the face and they are happy to spread hate. Yes it is not easy to come out, but it is right. If you look up anyone on the internet it usually shows that someone has asked before if they are gay or not, so people do want to know. Gay men are accused of assuming that everyone is gay or at least hoping they are. This is fine. We all search for our own tribe, our familiars and our comfort zones. It is ok to ask and it is not an insult to ask, as long as it is just interest. Really, when you examine the question it is a case of "So the fuck what". The only reasons I see for public statements are for the ease of others, the destruction of myths and the revelation of the truth that we are here. The gay youth of the world generally grow up in a straight environment with no role models for their sexuality. They learn nothing from their family and nothing from their school as it is assumed they will be straight. They need to see public figures who are gay. They need to see that there are a lot of us. They need to see that we come in all shapes and sizes, and ages and colours. They need to see that some are effeminate, some are butch, some are brilliant and some are boring. Not every gay boy is as fabulous as we would like. Some may even be not very nice just like some in the rest of the population are not nice. I do however find it unfortunate that some feel it necessary to hide their sexuality because a studio, a company, a political party, a church/synagogue/mosque insists on it. Some are influenced by what it will do to their popularity, their pay, their employment, but should they not be influenced by what it is doing to themselves, their honesty and many of their friends, family, fans, small towns and others who might benefit by finding in them a role model or at least a courageous honest person. Your step can let a boy know he is not alone. Don't let him slip into depression with thoughts of suicide as a way to escape the insults and the loneliness. Let a bully know that some of his heroes might just be gay. Do not let people assume a world that is not true and use it as an excuse for marginalising minorities who are not as small as they think. 
Remember, there are possibly seven hundred million out there somewhere. I still believe that on average, gay people are a kinder group and whether this part is nature or nurture I am not sure, but it has generally led to a gentler approach where we have often been stood over. This is not quite the same any more as many now are standing on the battle line, on the stage, on the soap-box and in the spotlight. Claim your rights and do it justly, with conviction and with love. Free yourself, come out and be a hero for someone else who just might notice. It may be a courageous act but it has to be done so that one day it will not require that we be a hero just to be who we are.
Not everyone is on our side as yet, but they should be and we can help.

Be Fabulous!

Be An Ally To Your Gay Friends
It is Important.

Yes today the 11th of October is 
Coming Out Day
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