Thursday, August 26, 2010

Come Out, Come Out!

Hiding who you are is a terrible, lonely feeling. Think for a moment if you are a secret hoarder, or binger of food – or you have a rare rash that discolors your skin and you walk around with a turtleneck on during summer. It is a miserable existence to live in secret. Worse yet: to live your life as a lie. This is what many homosexuals do that stay hidden in a closet. They know who they are inside, but society dictates it’s just not right so they’d rather get married, raise a family and try as hard as they can to keep those feelings sequestered deep inside. Sometimes they act out on those feelings by searching out for hidden ways to feed the urge that festers inside of them.  “Tap. Tap. Tap.”  “The down low.” Phrases we’ve heard on television or in the media of some secret 'Davinci-Code-type society' that only men who are living some 'perverted' existence have a membership.

I am very happy when someone can own up to who they are and accept themselves and finally live their own truth. But here is where I have a problem.  How did they lead their life prior to the moment they chose to remove the nails and unlock the bolts that have kept them bound inside the closet?  The media and certain gay organizations would have us believe we're supposed to give them a medal for bravery for making that 'choice' to come out. Now: I know how hard it is to open that door and subject yourself to ridicule and if you’re a politician/famous actor/clergy member – you’re opening yourself up to so many attacks. I get that. But if you made a career out of publicly denouncing homosexuals or actually working against them on any given platform – then the hair on my neck is standing up and I'm sorry - but I don't believe you're entitled to a medal from the Wizard. Ed Gillespie, a former RNC chairman and friend of Ken Mehlman (who just came out of the closet after being Bush’s campaign chief for years and a chairman for the RNC), told The Atlantic Magazine that "it is significant that a former chairman of the Republican National Committee is openly gay and that he is supportive of gay marriage.” Sorry, Mr. Gillespie – I don’t see the significance. You can’t spend your adult career making money by heading an organization that speaks volumes against who you are (and Mr. Mehlman was gay during all those years – it's not as if he just took a pill and decided he was) and expect every gay to jump on a bandwagon now thanking you for finally being courageous and honest about yourself.      

I'm happy that the Mehlman's and the McGreevey's can come out and be who they believe they are. I truly am. But the hypocrisy of what they did leading up to that moment is a lot for me to swallow. I'm not crazy enough to think that if every politician that was in the closet would fling open the door that anything is truly going to change. The fact that a former RNC chairman came out is not going to change that platform in any way shape or form. But while equal rights are such a hot topic in this country and so many people are at odds, standing across the street yelling from both sides (and neither hearing the other), don't expect every gay man to be waiting on the other side of the door with a welcome banner. Not until you show me how you're going to work to undo much of the wrong you helped to propagate for all those years while you hid. Then perhaps this friend of Dorthy's might consider sending a lollipop or some ruby shoes through the mail. 

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