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Coming Out

For most people, coming out seems to be a very straightforward act, where the latent

homosexual, having lived in secrecy and scandal for the latter part of their lives, blurts from the

proverbial closet: "I'm gay." With only the stunned silence of a family, or the queer stares of

friends, suddenly the closet he/she has exited appears much more inviting. However, as they will

soon find, the exit means exactly "shit." Had they entertained the delusion of anonymity, or come

storming out in full-fledged boa, the world would have turned its nose to scratch a passing itch,

then just as quickly resumed its original position, sniffing its own pervasive odor. It is no slight

to the homosexual - it was no slight to me. It was an awakening to the social fabric of not only

the magnitude of the modern ego, but perhaps a conversion as well. The purpose of the act lie not

in the revelation to the world of one's real self, but in the honesty of knowing who one is.

I came out recently, and am still finding that the process is continuous. Were that I could

wear some universal sign of homosexuality, I may be so inclined; though, the thought would

equally have been inspired by some Hitler, wishing to exterminate the homosexuals, and thus

branding them. For the most part, it is a fairly painless process, and I find solace in it when I

break the stereotypical bedrock to hear: "You're gay?" Yes, strangely enough, not all homosexual

men require a fire extinguisher to stand within mere feet of them. Maybe this too is a reason why

coming out does serve some social purpose. Certainly, self-honesty is essential. One who cannot

be honest with oneself, cannot in good conscience be honest with anyone. What they see is

something other than reality; and for those who know them, and can see them clearly, I would

say that they have the responsibility for aiding such a person, via whatever available means are

present. Otherwise, I am skeptical of the perceptions of those around us. The preconceived

notions, the raw bias, and the fuel of malice have made the homosexual a branded entity on

everyone's favorite soap opera, or some flat character in a bestseller or movie. Perhaps the social
stigma is reason enough to come shouting out of the closet, "Hey, that's bull shit." But, if we

cannot be honest with ourselves, or if we must be ashamed of our inclinations, then perhaps we

deserve to be ridiculed and smeared by the populus as "faggots."

I have not, as of this moment, experienced hatred for my person or being. I have seen its

face, I have heard of its terrible deeds, but the darkest shadow at my doorway has only been

minor disagreements with individuals and acquaintances over marital and religious issues.

Religion can be a vile thing, filled with hatred, bigotry, and ignorance; but, these are not

necessary symptoms of religion, they are products of the individual who uses religion as a deftly

wielded mask. Just as any tool, religion can be used to serve dark ends; and this is where I must

ask that people stay strong in their individual morality - what they inherently know to be morally

right - and do not allow sharp-tongued individuals to hold sway over their good sense. We are all

endowed with powers to reason, and we should plainly see when the vendetta - the final solution

- masquerades itself as papal bull, or a cry from the wilderness. We are not savage-minded

people - we are not irrationalists. We have reason, we have morals, but we must choose to

exercise them if we are to preserve our faith. For the most part, I have sacrificed mine. It is not

that I merely choose to not believe. I have given up my faith so that I may offer a greater one, a

hope, to those who walk where I may walk. Faith is a luxury, a consolation, and something

which can only be deserved when there are good men in this world to make this world a good

one. If I am to secure anything lasting for my cause, however, I cannot do it by praying, and I

cannot anguish in turmoil with my God. For me, faith is something which is yet to have a lasting

incarnation, but it is something which I am willing to build.

Thus, coming out serves a good - a principle of humanity worth cultivating and extolling.

It can strengthen our relationships with not only others, but ourselves. Should it break bonds,

however, they are bonds which are best broken. The individual cannot truly love those who do
not know them, and thus the self-ignorant cannot truly love themselves. Regardless of the

possible pain, the trials in facing the truth, it is our responsibility to end the silence and the

charade. We must accept who we are, even in the face of being rejected by those we love. If we

cannot accept ourselves, who will? We have much to lose, but we have our self and our dignity

to gain.