Skip to main content

I was reading the comments in a contentious diary last Friday, when I encountered the following.  It took my breath away.

Just stop it. You aren't convincing anyone or winning anybody over. I believe sexuality is an immutable characteristic like skin color, but if you can hide in a closet to keep from suffering it's consequences, than the discrimination you suffer is nowhere near Jim Crow if for no other reason than you can't hide from it.  


Hide in the closet?  Really?  For a transsexual person, hiding in the closet is tantamount to dying, because what you are counseling is to not transition.  If that were possible, there wouldn't have been the crisis point which leads to the transitioning.

Also posted at WGLB and Docudharma.

It's not like people can't tell when someone starts changing sex...or that we can keep it a secret if we want to keep our family, friends and/or our job/career.  Or maybe you think it would be better for us to abandon those family members, those friends and that career.  What kind of a life do you expect that would be?

It's hard enough to encounter the fact that our families most often abandon do those friends we may have had...and that we often lose that job...which, since we are unlikely to be hired during transition, means we will probably lose that career as well.  Gone.  Kaput.

Our only real choice is to stay put and try to tough it out.  That means no closet most of the time.  It means having people say things like

If only you were gay...

like they would treat us any better if that were the case.

And for gays and lesbians, the closet also means death...the slow rotting of the soul death of a million cuts.  In order to get people to treat us better requires people out there telling our stories, so that the public can learn that we are people, too, not with some horrid, civilization destroying agenda, but the simple "agenda" of trying to ensure that people like us have the opportunity to develop the ability to live a free and open life...without fear of reprisal physically, economically, or socially.

To read the sentiment that was voiced in that comment made me quake down in my bones.  It's the same sentiment that sometimes comes out of the right wing:  it's okay to be gay as long as you don't BE gay.  That is, it's okay to be gay as long as they aren't aware of it.  Gay people shouldn't be out.  We should be ashamed of who we are.  And transpeople damn sure shouldn't be able to transition...especially in public view.

Telling GLBT people that they can hide being GLBT is insulting.  It's telling us we should be content to lie and hide, which robs us of a social life and a political voice.  Clearly the sentiment does not come from someone who has ever had to live a life where the boundaries of one's world shrink until it feels like one can reach out in two opposite directions and touch those boundaries.  That's what my home felt like until I began transition.

The only "good" aspect of the closet is that it's an excellent perspective from which to watch your soul wither and die.

Is that really what people want?  Because we're dying over case you hadn't noticed.

Originally posted to Robyn's Perch on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:50 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site