Coming Out

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have decided that it’s time for me to come out of the closet. I have been living in denial, dissimulation, and doubt for far too long, and I’m done. It’s time to be honest, with myself and with you. It’s time to embrace who I am and where I’m going, instead of letting others define me for me. It’s time I stood up and stated openly my real identity, without shame, without compromise, without guilt, without fear. It’s time for me to lay my cards on the table and be myself.

I am straight. Mom, Dad, I’m sorry, but I just can’t fight it any longer. I’m straight. All those years in the theater notwithstanding, I am straight. I apologize sincerely to all those I may shock with this revelation, but I have to stand up for who I am. I am a heterosexual. I love women. Well, woman, anyway. My wife. I tried to overcome this attraction, I tried to swallow the urge to marry a person of the opposite sex, but in the end, I had to be who I am. I am a straight, straight man.

There! I said it! It’s done.

And it’s ridiculous.

The idea that anyone should have to “confess” their sexual orientation to the world, as if asking permission to be who they are, is always ridiculous, no matter who the person, no matter what that orientation. If you found my version even slightly superfluous, possibly a bit redundant even, then the same should apply across the board, to all people, everywhere. We are who we are, and the only way that becomes perverted is when we’re forced (or force others) to pretend that we’re not. As Gay Activists Alliance leader Marty Robinson wrote in 1971, “the closet is built in fear, not shame.” And we shove people into it every day.

But (for those of you who panicked when you read the first paragraph of this post), here’s my real “confession”: I love gay men. I also love lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. I am both amused and horrified by those who suggest that I have a choice in the matter. (Or, for that matter, that they do.) I love the fact that I have never met a homosexual who has tried to persuade me that I won’t be truly happy until I become one, too. I have a dear friend who, with his partner (his husband, actually, although they’re not legally entitled to use the term where they live), is preparing to adopt a child, and I love the fact that a man faced with such social revulsion is still capable of giving that much love. I love that they love, and I love that they love in spite of all the people trying to tell them that love is good…except for theirs.

So I’m out, I’m proud, and I refuse to be forced back in.

“Love the sinner, hate the sin,” you tell me. Don’t worry. I do. It’s just not the “sin” you’re thinking of…