No, Everyone Isn’t In The Closet

8 Nov

 

Nice sentiment, but wrong.

Coming out of the closet isn’t a “hard conversation,” it’s giving up on passing. Coming out of the closet means you peek your head out of the hole you were put in like a meerkat, check to see if everything is safe, and finally start accepting yourself and carving a place out in the world surrounded by people who love and support you above the ground.

Coming out as an atheist isn’t coming out of the closet, cheating on your spouse and “having a hard conversation” isn’t coming out of the closet. The general population will never know what it’s like to fear for their lives on account of things that they are, but approximations can be made by well meaning folks who have put themselves into hard situations due to choices that they made…

But when said person confesses, this isn’t coming out of the closet. This is the difference between doing and being. It is the difference between being gay and having hard conversations.

We can attach pithy sentiments to heady subjects like ornaments on a corpse, but the idea that everyone is in the exact same closet only serves to muddle the pain of queer folk who give it their all every day to pass. And as generous as Ash Beckham’s talk sounds it is remarkably deaf to the closets of people living in really bad situations.

Those closets are more like forts.

If you liked the TED talk, that’s fine. It’s very easy to accept generalizations over specifics. I get it. But know that for many people a closet isn’t just an inconvenience, and those voices are too muffled to be heard over a sleek well-meaning presenter.

 

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