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Anxieties Inside The Closet


The words “in the closet” may mean nothing to many people but to the hidden crowd it is a very real part of their life. Imagine that a part of you is an island while the rest is out there. There is no question that it is a personal choice to come out and live life in the open. Most people think that there are inherent risk in coming out but there are also substantial risk to staying in.

Living a life that is open and honest is one that brings respect from others and from one's self. How much respect would you gain for staying in than coming out? Is respect based in or out in the closet?If no one ever took a step out of the closet, where would the rest be? Would they remain staring at the back of that door, cowering in the darkness, hoping no one would open their "doors" and shine the light on them?

Does staying "in" means that being gay is something to be ashamed of and something that doesn't deserve recognition? Wouldn’t it also mean that you love others more than yourself that you wouldn’t want to hurt them and put in the dilemma you are in?

The heterosexuals might not even care about the emotional aspect of being in the closet. The open person who wears their gay sexual orientation on his or her sleeve- without much opposition- may not understand.

There are factors that contribute to being in the closet. Some of them are listed below:

Religion
If you talk about same sex relationship with Christians, almost all of them would refer you to scriptures about men who were attracted to men or women attracted to women. Many of those living inside the closet are raised with a religious up bringing. At a very young age, they were taught to cultivate a love for God and live a moral life. It is difficult to have an open same-sex relationship when their religious background as they understood is strictly against any romantic love between two people of the same sex.

Family
It would be a rare find to have parents expecting their child to be gay. The thought of going against the heterosexual expectations set by parents may be too fearful. That is why hiding same-sex attractions seems to be an easier route rather than risk being ousted by the family.

Society
Society taught us to be heterosexual. Girls are told to have dolls and boys are told to be strong and masculine. In the workplace, people often talk about dating situations with the opposite sex. In school, sexual education discussions center the topics on abstinence until marriage, teen pregnancy and safe sex with condoms. All of which address heterosexual sex, the person in the closet may not want to be seen as the deviate.Gender-role Expectations
Recently, gender-roles may not be as rigid; however, they do still exist. To be classified as a "woman," a female most likely feels pressure to display what is largely considered to be feminine traits. To feel "manly," males feel pressure to show little feeling and emotion. There is the view that having a same-sex attraction goes against the traditional roles assigned to men and women. Often those who are in same-sex relationships are asked, "Who is the man, and who is the woman?"

There can be thousands of other personal reasons why the person in the closet feels forced to hide his or her hidden sexual emotions, but really, what does it feel like to live in this way?

There are plenty of gay jokes to go around. Plenty of people say anti-gay remarks without second guessing themselves. Most never think that their bother, sister, son or daughter might be hiding feelings that they feel impossible to express. Most never think that the pain and isolation felt within the closet can lead to suicide, drug abuse and clinical depression. "In the closet," it is a very simple term, with very complex consequences.

Cartoons used in this post are from: The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus
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9 comments:

  1. I am an out Christian same gender loving person. I am intent on sharing with the world it ispossible to be gay, Christian and living a life of victory. I am well versed in the clobber passages and also well veserd in examples of GLBT folks in the Bible,(I bet the God hates gays don't tell you about those verses). People will have better lives when they can be whole. Come out and enjoy the life God has for you!

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  2. I am only anonymous because I don't have an ID my name is Theresa

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  3. Thank you Theresa, i don't think God hates gays but the things that comes along with being one. Sometimes it's not just external issues that hinders one from coming out but self-acceptance. Self resolution is harder than anything.

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  4. As a Christian who has been in the neurotic closet for about 10 years, then finally removing myself from this concealed darkness and desperate lonely place for about another 10, unabashedly declaring my honesty before others, freedom and self-acceptance, as you have said here, and believing wholeheartedly in these claims that a gay Christian life promises, I have come to find out that it sadly didn't deliver, although at first it was quite euphoric. I am now "out from being out", and joyfully in Christ, rather than back in the closet.

    Why didn't being out deliver? Because there is little to no emphasis on personal responsibility, otherwise known as repentance, but rather the reinforcement of victimization and externalization of blame. I believe these latter perspectives leave one almost totally focused on the deceptive trap of first blaming the church, and one's culture, as you have here, and other than taking the personal responsibility of coming out of denial of one's same sex attractions, taking ownership of little else! This leads one to the opposite problem of becoming thin-skinned and an emotional marshmallow in life, and not a healthy man, since it is everyone else who needs to change their perspective, not me! This mentality is exactly the personality profile of most addicts. It is no wonder that sex addiction, STDs, and HIV is rampant with even most gay Christian men, domestic violence with lesbian Christian women, and even a disproportionate substance abuse issues for both in comparison to the general population!

    Please, I beg of you, do not enable us any longer via your denial of what is clear about the differences regarding the sexes from natural revelation, as well as from God's special revelation in the Bible.

    I suggest you find out why you are now in a complimentary, yet just as deceptive, trap of enabling us. Have you been abused by significant male role models in your life? I hope not, but if so, I suggest getting involved with a a Christian women's support group dealing with this, or a Living Waters program at a church in your local area.

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  5. As i stated earlier, self-resolution doesn't come as easy as many people think. From my own belief as a Christian, i cannot find significant differences of a gay in the closet from the one out there because it is always a question of faith. Being out doesn't mean you are free to do the things that you can't do inside the closet. Maybe that is why you said that you are "out from being out" because you thought that the battle is external. Yes, there are external issues to confront but what is inside is a lot harder to fight.

    What is presented in the article is the common thought of many people living in the closet and perhaps the basic dilemma confronting a closeted gay person.

    I believed that some gays were abused when they were young but sadly this is commonly used as a reason by many why they are gay when the truth is not.

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  6. Coming out works - for some people. What irritates me is when other gay people sometimes border on imposing their philosophy of coming out to closets. They begin to sound like multi-level pyramiding scheme sales people or proselyting zealots preaching a new religion of freedom and reaching one's potential by being unabashedly gay. Please, there is the other truth that one can be closeted and still be liberated. I hate the imposition. Just make the gay public aware but please do not make it sound like being closeted will forever deny a person true happiness because that is not true.

    Being gay and engaging in gay activities is akin to secret passions for Krispy Kreme or green mangoes or broadway plays. If you run with a crowd who cannot appreciate Krispy Kreme then by all means choose a crowd that does. We don't hang out with druggies because we do not want to be druggies. So why condemn closet people when they don't come out like the rest of you? Why do other gays go to the point of saying that so and so does not have the guts to come out ergo he will be so unhappy.

    Duh.

    If we can choose the brand of shampoo to use we can damn well choose how to live our lives without this millstone that is condemnation from the very same people who are supposed to understand.

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  7. Agree.. it's really dif situation than any other who's experiencing the same thought.

    Again it's a big issue for some.

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  8. I've read different articles from the experiences of other people.. I've also read the other comments regarding the issue of coming out.. At some point i agree with what elyong2008 said regarding particularly on the issue of religion. But i also would like to agree on some things that have pointed out by Alex.

    To give you a short background, I'm already in my mid 20's but still I'm on denial stage. I can't even accept the idea of me being a gay person, even though most of the time I get attracted with a guy. I also encountered gender discrimination that makes me want to close the closet tighter for others not to know the truth. In fact, I'm starting to notice that my gender crisis is already affecting my job and my relationship with other people. I'm starting to lose hope. I hope someone out there understands.. Thanks...

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  9. There really is nothing wrong being at whatever "stage" we are in. We don't consciously say we are at a certain "stage" of our lives so it shouldn't be so different about "that" aspect of your life.

    Its the label that kills, ergo, most people avoid being in a certain position, like being gay, for fear of being called, well, gay. Because gay connotes so many negative things. Who can blame the closets?

    Go live your life how you please and, yes, run over the fag who calls you a fag. Why can't he just cross the stree without calling other people fags, right?

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