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Compassion and the closet


Rick Munroe
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I couldn't have said it better: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/8/31/162411/527

 

"That there are men...still trapped in secrecy, denial, and self-loathing is something to mourn - and work to change...Marriage and other legal rights are important. But we still need to be fighting the battle to be sure people know, really know, that they can lead happy, full lives after coming out. That their friends and family will still love them, that they will have the job opportunities they should, that they have as good a chance of finding love as anyone."

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Guest zipperzone

>I couldn't have said it better:

>http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/8/31/162411/527

>

>"That there are men...still trapped in secrecy, denial, and

>self-loathing is something to mourn - and work to

>change...Marriage and other legal rights are important. But

>we still need to be fighting the battle to be sure people

>know, really know, that they can lead happy, full lives after

>coming out. That their friends and family will still love

>them, that they will have the job opportunities they should,

>that they have as good a chance of finding love as anyone."

 

Rick, it would be a wonderful world if it can ever get to that stage. Unfortunatly I can't see it happening in our lifetime. There are just too many so-called "Christians" out there with their warped interpretation of the bible, too many Jerry Falwells still preaching and too many Phellps' saying what many think but don't have the balls to say.

 

We've made great strides since Stonewall but the road ahead is long and difficult. When the government of the country is still homophobic it's hard to be optimistic.

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I firmly believe in strength in numbers. And until those who are in the closet grow some balls and come out the fight to have full and equal rights will take longer. The more gay people that come out and join the fight the less of a voice the fundies will have. Just mo.

 

Hugs,

Greg

seaboy4hire@yahoo.com

http://seaboy4hire.tripod.com http://www.daddysreviews.com/newest.php?who=greg_seattle

http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/6707/lebec084a9ad147f620acd5ps8.jpg

Indianapolis Sept. 26, Memphis Sept 28-30, 2007

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>Rick, it would be a wonderful world if it can ever get to that

>stage. Unfortunatly I can't see it happening in our lifetime.

>There are just too many so-called "Christians" out there with

>their warped interpretation of the bible, too many Jerry

>Falwells still preaching and too many Phellps' saying what

>many think but don't have the balls to say.

 

There were many racist people in positions of power in the 1960's and that didn't stop Dr. King. If you want equality, you have to fight for equality and never back down.

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>>Rick, it would be a wonderful world if it can ever get to

>that

>>stage. Unfortunatly I can't see it happening in our

>lifetime.

>>There are just too many so-called "Christians" out there

>with

>>their warped interpretation of the bible, too many Jerry

>>Falwells still preaching and too many Phellps' saying what

>>many think but don't have the balls to say.

>

>There were many racist people in positions of power in the

>1960's and that didn't stop Dr. King. If you want equality,

>you have to fight for equality and never back down.

>

 

My thoughts exactly!

 

Hugs,

Greg

seaboy4hire@yahoo.com

http://seaboy4hire.tripod.com http://www.daddysreviews.com/newest.php?who=greg_seattle

http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/6707/lebec084a9ad147f620acd5ps8.jpg

Indianapolis Sept. 26, Memphis Sept 28-30, 2007

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>I firmly believe in strength in numbers. And until those who

>are in the closet grow some balls and come out the fight to

>have full and equal rights will take longer. The more gay

>people that come out and join the fight the less of a voice

>the fundies will have. Just mo.

 

My thoughts exactly, too!

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Guest zipperzone

>>I firmly believe in strength in numbers. And until those

>who

>>are in the closet grow some balls and come out the fight to

>>have full and equal rights will take longer. The more gay

>>people that come out and join the fight the less of a voice

>>the fundies will have. Just mo.

>

>My thoughts exactly, too!

 

You two wanna get married? Poor Derek

 

:)

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Rick & Greg,

 

While I post infrequently here in the MC, I do visit it daily. I find some very insightful discussions (and some not so insightful). This particular topic, naturally, is one the affects me so I've decided to post.

 

For the past 29 years, I've been in the banking industry. All of these years at 1 rather large National financial institution. I've never come out at my job and through the years have risen to an executive position. These efforts, I firmly believe, were a result of a great deal of hard work and dedication. Have I sacrificed to achieve these results? Yes I have but those sacrifices had absolutely nothing to do with my sexual orientation. I chose not to come out. My employer, I feel, compensates me for my skill set and knowledge base, not who I chose to love.

 

Now, am I ashamed to be gay? Nope! I've got a very warm and loving circle of friends. I also, many years ago, pledged to myself that if anyone questioned me at my place of employment, I would always answer the question truthfully. Guess what? I have NEVER been asked.

 

Rest assured my peers are not dumb. A 49 year old male, never married probably raises the question.

 

So Rick & Greg, help me understand. How has being 'in the closet' these 29 years hurt me? I just don't see it. And Greg, your comment about 'growing some balls' really is a little mean spirited. I have them, have always had them, and will continue to use them. I might even get them shaved :)

 

Thanks for the time

 

swallowu (David)

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Guest countryboywny

Amen, swallowu. As a closeted man myself I can certainly identify with your thoughts. I have always found acceptance from gay men I meet when I tell them that I'm closeted and why I remain so. Never any reference to the presence of my balls. I wonder how many escorts have closeted gay men for clients? :-)

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How does being in the closet hurt you? It hurts you and everyone around you. You are holding a part of yourself apart from the the people around you. How can people really get to know you, if you don't share an important part of your life? It may not hurt you in an obvious way, but each conversation you can't join in because of you can't talk about a part of your life.

 

Coming out is personal choice and needs to be done when each person is ready. It is easy for me. I work in a highly liberal field and have liberal catholic parents (who thought I grow up to be a priest, because that's what "artistic" boys did where they grew up). But for each person who shows he is afraid to be open, it means we repeat the cycle of being ashamed of ourselves. If heterosexual don't have to leave their life out, why should we?

 

Do I have compassion for those in closet? Yes, but life would be easier if they came out for everyone.

 

- Damascene

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......

>Do I have compassion for those in closet? Yes, but life would

>be easier if they came out for everyone.

>

>- Damascene

 

Perhaps being in the closet has darkened my point of view but how would coming out make everyone's life easier? Enlighten me here.

 

As an adult, I exercise my privilege to vote. I can state that I have voted against legislation that would damage or hurt gays and on the other side have voted for those provisions that would assist. As an adult, I contribute to those charitable causes that would benefit. I truly believe I am doing my part to make everyone's life easier - and I do those from the point of not being an 'out' gay man.

 

Am I missing something here?

 

swallowu

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I don't think you are missing any thing. A perfect world would be nice but it isn't going to happen.

 

I think we are not able to participate in a lot of varied conversations thoughout life. If you do or do not like sports, you may or may not be interested or participatory in a sports conversation. Same would be true of your job. You work in a bank; many folks would be lost or disinterested in things financial. The list is endless. How much do we guys have in common with nursing mothers? Some, who have infant children, have something in common but, most don't. Is that fair? Am I or you missing something? Yes, but not much and even less of things that hold our interest.

 

Best regards,

 

KMEM

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What makes it easier:

 

Coming out makes less people who say - I don't know any of those people.

 

Awareness builds knowledge, knowledge lessen ignorance, less ignorance means more compassion and empathy.

 

I have a friend who came out 30 years ago and now as their nieces and nephews are coming out, their parents are sending them to talk to Uncle Mark, about being out and exploring the world as gay men and lesbians. I think the nieces and nephews are very lucky, because we are the minority that does not usually share our minorityship with our parents, but they have someone they can trust to talk about issues and problem on a level that their parents cannot always give.

I hope when nephew comes out (and he has some flaming properties that my brother-in-law despairs of - but he may just be an effeminate heterosexual who like to wear pink and his sister's hats) that I can be the same kind of uncle to him.

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>Coming out makes less people who say - I don't know any of

>those people.

 

Maybe it's just geography, or luck of the draw, but I honestly don't know anyone who says that.

 

This is an interesting discussion. Apparently we embrace diversity, as long as you're not different. ;-)

 

I certainly don't hide who I am, but I also don't start every conversation with "I'm the gay one". I meet clients in business all the time, and while nothing is hidden the topic is simply not on the table.

 

I did have one business meeting where the potential client made an off-color homophobic joke and he quickly learned that 1) he'd insulted me, 2) he needed my services more than I needed him as a client and 3) begging doesn't help.

 

I had another situation where a new client told me how happy he was to be working with a "nice Jewish company". I abruptly ended the meeting telling him I'd have the office send him a nice Jewish boy since a Methodist would obviously not be adequate for him. (The office declined further business activity with him.)

 

I don't intend to live my life on a mission to inform every bigot of the error of their ways. That would make me equally as bigoted. But I don't mind rubbing their noses in their stupidity when they (inevitably) put it on parade. ;-)

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Guest Jocoluver

I lived in the closet for decades and it was HELL! - living 2 lives. With help of gay psychotherapist and gay group therapy, I came out fully. The liberation was heavenly (some friends str8 & gay wish I'd go back in closet -- lol, not really). To my knowledge I never suffered any adverse consequenses (in a professional career).

 

I have zero compassion for senator craig. I cannot forgive his hypocrisy in attempting to control the lives of others. He could be helped by professional therapy but he is also smart enough to know his hypocrisy and did nothing about it. A special place in hell for that kind of inhumanity.

 

We don't need him.

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Guest zipperzone

>I have zero compassion for senator craig.

 

Neither do I.

 

But I do feel sorry for his wife. As she stood beside him, wearing sunglasses so you couldn't really see her pain, she looked rather sad and pathetic.

 

Maybe she knew all along, maybe she didn't. Either way I would not want to be in her shoes right now. At her age, the thought of starting over must be daunting.

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Guest zipperzone

>Perhaps being in the closet has darkened my point of view but

>how would coming out make everyone's life easier? Enlighten

>me here.

 

>Am I missing something here?

 

Yes I think you are. Would not having to live your life as a lie not lift a horrible burden off your shoulders?

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Guest zipperzone

>I don't intend to live my life on a mission to inform every

>bigot of the error of their ways. That would make me equally

>as bigoted. But I don't mind rubbing their noses in their

>stupidity when they (inevitably) put it on parade. ;-)

 

Good for you - that is exactly the way I handle it too. Gone are the days when we have to slither off into the twilight for fear of upsetting someone.

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The perception by the general population has always been affected by the models of gay behavior they see in society.

If all that they see are Liberace and Paul Lynde, then all gay men are fey, and have limp wrists.

 

As more athletes come out, young gays who struggle with their identity have roles models to look up to.

 

As more gay men and women in positions of power and influence come out, society gets to see that we are not all that different, that we have values and standards for living, that we can be productive contributors to our neighborhoods and cities. This gradual change in society's perception possibly means less suicides, less discrimination in hiring, housing, and public service. All of this benefits everyone.

 

BUT, each gay person must decide when they feel comfortable about revealing who they really are. And those of us who are out must NEVER lose sight of how personal this decision was for us and we should never pass judgment on how long it takes another to make that choice.

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I myself am closeted. I have been to the gay district or area in Toronto a few times, and really don't feel comfortable when I have been there. I did have a few gay friends in Southern Ontario, but have none in the town where I am presently living, and I am sure there are some in this town, but I'm not going out of my way to try to find who they are. I doubt that I will ever go out of the closet.

Would I like to have some gay friends in this area? Sure, but I doubt it will happen.

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>As more athletes come out, young gays who struggle with their

>identity have roles models to look up to.

 

True, but not all guys are into sports. Maybe some of them want a Liberace to look up to. :p Seriously, I think we all can, in a small way, be role models for today's youth just by being ourselves and proud of who we are.

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Of course Rick, you are right. I was speaking primarily of an earlier era when the only gay men visible to the public were still in the closet, but clearly effeminate types that were non threatening to a male dominated culture. These men became stereotypes for most of what we saw in movies and on TV.

 

Today is very different and each of us can be a model for someone who is wrestling with issues of sexual identity. Our confidence in who we are and how we take life head on can be encouraging to others.

 

But I would also point out at the same time that we shouldn't be coming down on those who for whatever reason have not or will not come out. That's their decision as it was ours. I think we do better encouraging rather than disparaging (and I am not saying you were disparaging).

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>I

>think we do better encouraging rather than disparaging (and I

>am not saying you were disparaging).

 

I hope nobody thought the point of my creating this thread was to disparage anyone, because it's not something I would ever do, and definitely wasn't my intention. I definitely agree about encouraging, btw. I do my share of encouraging (or is it "gentle nagging," as my mother would put it?) some of my closeted clients (the ones with whom I've become close friends) to come out, but I also (as I've said before) totally respect every individual's decision to live their own life however they choose. I never push unless I sense there's already a spark there that could use some lighter fluid. I do agree with the above posters who said there's strength in numbers and that the more people come out, the better it is for all of us. But...I don't blame the ills of society or the problems faced by "out" GLBT people on those who choose to remain in the closet. That's just illogical and unfair. And that wasn't the point of the post to which I linked, which was all about compassion.

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