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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

New Series: The Harmful Effects of the Closet

There is no doubt that "the closet" is the most harmful result of continuing to deny LGBTs a legitimate and equal place in society. By not acknowledging them, heterosexuals force them into hiding. The results are often catastrophic. What is also not in doubt is that the closet is of heterosexual making. Rather than wag our fingers and preach our condemning sermons, we should be doing all we can to eliminate this despicable situation. For a simple fact remains: if we eliminate the closet, we eliminate all those things that we negatively associate with gayness.

Here are just a few of the negative results:
     Clandestine and anonymous sexual practices
     Inappropriate marriages
     Self-loathing (internalized homophobia)
     Magnet for disease (STD and otherwise)
     Truncated sense of wholeness (disempowerment)
     Superficial relationships with straights and gays
     Imposed hypocrisy
     Sheer pain of not being oneself
     Intense loneliness of not having a life companion openly at one's side
Let me be perfectly clear: the closet is created, welcomed, and maintained by straight people solely for our benefit. Because we make life miserable for nonheterosexuals, we drive them into secrecy, into the closet. We make them live lives that hide their true identity from us. There, they are forced to live lives of such bewildering complications that it's amazing that any can pass as straight.  This "out of sight, out of mind" mentality doesn't make it go away, it exacerbates our problems and theirs.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be taking a look at the devastating consequences of closeted living. My hope is that I will be able to convince people of good will that whatever problems we may have with the so-called "gay lifestyle," we are the cause and we must assist in the cure.  

It is true that the population of the closet is getting smaller and smaller, due in large part to LGBTs coming out in large numbers. As strides are made in all aspects of society that bring the unsubstantiated charges against LGBTs to light, and  the misinformation peddled by ignorant people is replaced by solid research, the pressure to hide is lessened. Yet the closet is by no means a thing of the past. Therefore, much work still needs to be done to make it possible for our closeted citizens to feel that they can live as free to be themselves as anyone else can. That's why I do this blog, and why I hope you read it.

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