Editor’s Note: I am Tim Franco. I am an LGBTQ Activist and the co-host of the weekly LGBTQ podcast – Our View with Tim and Jill. We broadcast every Saturday at 1PM East from www.blogtalkradio.com. Check out my website at www.ourviewtnj.com and check out all the archived shows on iTunes! I hope you enjoy my blog!
Coming Out –
We all are aware of what this simple phrase means. For many, it elicits many different emotions. For some it’s fear. Fear of being rejected by those who are the closest. While for others it stimulates memories of acceptance, kindness and love. Either way, why is “coming out” even necessary? How many of you had a conversation where the individual came to you and told you that he or she was straight? The reason I ask this is because I recently had a conversation with my partner about how society places so much emphasis on sexuality. This made me think. Does society place a lot of emphasis on sexuality in general or just the sexuality of the LGBTQ community? How many magazine articles or tabloid television shows have you seen headlining that an actor or singer is straight? My question is why does anyone in the LGBTQ community need to announce to everyone in their life their sexuality?
I remember vividly telling the closest people to me that I was gay. I was fortunate in that everyone accepted me, and I was met with very little resistance. What I remember very clearly about that experience is that I had an intense notion that I HAD to tell everyone. I felt that if I did not clearly explain to the people in my life that I was gay, that I was not being honest with myself or with others. Now, the question is, why did I even have to make such an effort to tell everyone. What societal influences were placed on me that I felt that I could not be myself or live my life honestly until I told everyone I knew that I was gay?
I came out 10 years ago. Although that was a slightly different time in terms of LGBTQ acceptance, I still don’t understand why I or anyone else has to make such a proclamation? Like I mentioned before, those who are heterosexual don’t come out and announce that they are straight. I know that society inherently accepts the heterosexual lifestyle, trust me, I am completely aware of that being a gay man. I simply don’t understand why LGBTQ individuals can’t grow into adulthood, be who they are without hiding and also without having to make a grand, and sometimes frightening statement.
My thought is this. It is 2012, who cares if someone is gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered? We are all HUMANS. It is an inherent human desire and need to love and be loved. We are not able to choose who we are or who we love. Why can’t we simply just be and accept others for who they are? I saw this skit once where a boy with 2 gay fathers sat his dads down and had a long, drawn out conversation about how he was straight and how he hopes he didn’t disappoint them. I understand the irony the writer was trying to show, but as ridiculous as the thought of a straight person coming out is, I find it equally ridiculous that anyone has to announce something like this. As one of my friends Sly wrote in another blog, our sexuality is simply one part of who we are. To focus on that is like focusing on only my brown eyes, my brown hair, the fact I have tattoos, or that I wear glasses. It sounds absurd to solely focus on those characteristics, so why does society place so much emphasis on sexuality. Honestly, it is no body’s business; we should simply just be who we are. Live and let live as the old adage goes.