Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Digging a Hole.....again

Here I am, up late at night again on my computer. I should know better because when I stay up late like this, reading my blog rolls and making comments, I know I will have a hard time getting to sleep tonight.

After some of the comments I made tonight, I think I dug myself into a hole. Hey, I have a tendency to do that. My longtime friend (over fifty years) told me many years ago "Ron, you are the most naive person I know." I didn't know to take that as a compliment or an insult. I took it as neither but as a fact of my personality.

I think of myself as being totally honest. In fact, I not only "think" of myself as totally honest, I am totally honest. Of course sometimes I just can't come out and say what I think for fear of offending or losing friends. However, sometimes I just get tired of the BS and I let it all out.

All this discussion about whether or not marriage between same sex couples will ever be recognized and legitimized almost always avoids the real way to end this discrimination. The only way this discrimination will end is for every gay man and woman to come out. And that means EVERYONE. Not just people in safe jobs like entertainment or self-employed or employed by gay friendly companies. It means especially those people who lack the courage to come out to their families and friends for fear of losing their respect and relationship. My question is: how can you have respect for yourself if your life is a lie?

I know, I know. Everyone has their own Journey. But all too often it is about fear of disrupting a cozy life by losing a job and/or having friends, neighbors and family looking at you as "One of THEM."

I don't consider myself any more or any less courageous than the next schlub on the street but I came out in March of 1963 and have never looked back. Oh sure, I had the dramatic confrontation with my Mother ("What did I do wrong? I tried to raise you the right way") and he ensuing confrontation with my father and brothers who literally tried to drag me to the hospital for the "cure."  I've lost two jobs because my boss knew I was gay because I didn't practice the business world's version of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."  I've been physically attacked because I was gay by a self-described "good Christian man" who tried to strangle me at a town hall meeting (Representative Robert Walker, R-PA.)  I'm still here and in one piece and I can sleep at night knowing that I'm not living a lie.  So if I can do it why can't all you other gays who are "struggling" with your identity.  I don't get it.  I just don't.  So I guess I've dug myself into another hole but so be it.  It's something I had to get off of my chest tonight after reading several blogs about a wish for same sex marriages to become legal. 

Friends, understand this.  Same sex marriage will become legal overnight when everyone who is gay COMES OUT.  EVERYONE.  Until then we're just dancing around the mulberry bush.


  1. BTW, same sex marriage is for the law, not the church.
    If a priest will confirm your bond afterwards, that's okay.

    Here in the Netherlands, one of the first nations were a same sex marriage is legal, you first wed for the law. In most European countries that's the way to do it, gay or straight.

    But as long as the religious right pulls the strings in the US, it's not going to happen.

    When it's the love between two people that connects them, let them get married. [Okay, the same rules as for cousins, does not apply in a same-sex-marriage].

    Have I dug a hole here too? ;)

  2. Peter,
    You hit upon the key reason why same sex marriages will never be legal here in the United States, the Religious Right. As long as our politicians depend on the Religious Right voters of the midwest, south and west, same sex marriage will never happen in the United States. The United States is still dragged down by the Puritan influence of our original settlers. Sexual hypocrisy reigns supreme still. Even so, this country has come a long way towards its attitude and "acceptance" (I hate that word in this context) towards same sex couples. I myself want the same legal protections and financial benefits that opposite sex couples take for granted. Until that happens, same sex couples will always be viewed and treated as less than equal. To be quite frank, I don't see that changing in my lifetime.

  3. I think the difficulties after coming out might be greater than what one can imagine. It's better to keep it undercover. My question is whether I should take that risk, whether it's worth.

  4. Tai,
    In your country, where it is literally against the law to be openly gay I understand why a gay person would not come out. When I was growing up in this country it was also against the law and, of course, I would never consider coming out simply because I did not want to go to jail. However, now that identifying oneself as openly homosexual no longer results in being incarcerated I see no reason other than fear of being rejected by friends, family and co-workers or loss of a job (which still happens in this country if you are gay - I know - I've lost two good jobs because I didn't deny I was gay). Still, if everyone in every country, including those in power in the government came out as gay (and there are many of them), the homophobia would end tomorrow. This is gradually happening now but we have a long way to go before all God's children (and I'm not religious I'm just using a term for lack of a better one) will be treated as equal as they should be.

  5. I am a fierce advocate for coming out as well and agree with you 100%: so long as gay men ans women hide who they are, for whatever reason, they add fuel to the fire of our enemies and the machines that keep us oppressed. If gay people all came out and our numbers were truly visible and our united voice truly heard, we would have our equality. When we stay closted, we empower others to abuse us and treat us unequally. So long as we refuse to respect ourselves as we are and live our lives openly and honestly, we will never be free in any way.

    And, I too, try to live my life 100% openly and honestly. I have lost friends and made enemies because of it, but I will not pretend the emperor has clothes or turn a blind eye to ignorance.

    Good for you.

  6. If only all the Gay and Lesbian persons, out or not, would go on strike for a week the nation would come to a standstill.

    We're everywhere not just hairdressers and make-up artists but also hospital staff, construction workers, police and fire brigade, just all walks of life.

  7. Ron, I am so grateful for you and all of my older gay brothers and sisters that made it easier for me to come out when I did. And these days, it's almost a cool thing to be gay. I'm also very lucky because I had( passed away ) an uncle who came out way before I did and made the family more tolerant.
    So, Thanks! m.

  8. Breenlantern,
    You expressed exactly my same thoughts in your comment to my blog posting about coming out. As long as "regular" gays stay in the closet they give permission for the oppression of gays to continue. Full equality will never become a reality until every gay man and woman comes out of the closet.

  9. Thank you Mark for your comment. Back when I came out it definitely was not cool to be out. In fact it was downright dangerous. Believe me, there were many times I had butterflies in my stomach. You could get killed just for saying you were "queer", which was the term used back then. I lost a lot of friends (who really weren't my friends after all) when I came out. I have no regrets. They're the ones who lost out. Ironically more than a few of them were closet cases. Is there anything more pitiful than a self hating homosexual? They're still with us.And they are dangerous.

  10. Peter,
    If every gay and lesbian person went on stirke for just one day, now that would be a wake up call to those smug, self-assured straights who think they are morally superior to the GBLT community.

  11. Perhaps it is a matter of time - we will slowly 'evolve' to a more open society as more gay people are open/give role models. So the changes will not happen overnight but so slowly no one can say when it really changed.

  12. Spo,

    You will probably see same sex marriage legalized federally in your lifetime. I doubt that Bill and I will see it though. We're too old (69 and 82.) There is always hope. It won't be the first time I've been surprised. I never thought I would see homosexuality decriminalized in my lifetime.


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