Tuesday, December 16, 2008

comment blog fodder

Recently, in a comment to yet another post about coming out, good friend and blogger Franklin had the following to say.
I would like to post more comments on your blog, its difficult and kinda not needed when they are about self realization and discovery. Let's get some opinionated content in here so your readers can participate.

p.s. I'm surprised you are still having awkward moments coming out to folks, I imagined most posts of this nature would be other people having awkward reactions. You touched on it in this one which was interesting to read about.
The earlier days of this blog contained more opinionated content, and it was likely more easy to comment. I've thought about this myself, as I enjoy several blogs for both the content as well as the discussions likely to happen in the comments.

Over time, as the life changes began ripping up and down the street at all hours, I found myself mostly unable to blog. Now that I'm back I feel different posts forcing their way out, and often I do fall into the self discovery track. It isn't that it's easier, because often it's much more difficult both to open up and to write a post I'm happy to give to the public. As I've mentioned a time or two, I'm not a life-as-open-book sort of guy. At the same time, while I'm not always uncomfortable opening up, I don't want the same whiny rants I'm afraid almost became my m.o. for too long.

So for Franklin and for myself I'll try to think of more things to say. I'll try to get back somewhat to the good ol' days, the days when I could fire off a whole post about my disdain for Robin Williams. See last night's anti Hardee's screed for the newest.

Now to the second part of the comment. Franklin doesn't think that it would still be awkward coming out to people. In a sense it's not. My point in coming out is generally to find a way to get it over with, get it out of the way.

Most people don't really see it coming. I don't scream gay in general either through my speech patterns or my mannerisms, unless of course you see something I don't. I didn't suddenly start acting like a different person when I came out, for the most part.

It's not really awkward to me for people to learn that I'm gay. It makes it easier to interact with people when I'm not having to feel as if I'm hiding something or being less than honest. And once I'm out, though I still don't scream gay in a general way, I am in fact a pretty much out person. I'm not going to hide or pretend things that aren't true. I'm not going to take most heterosexist norms into consideration. Maybe it's just a typical out and proud sort of way to be, or maybe it's the fault of years of hiding and pretending pushing me to over compensate. Hell, maybe I'm just not smart enough to keep my big mouth shut, and I think we've seen some proof of that in the past.

The awkwardness, when there is any, is just in letting people know. Franklin will remember a recent night that he and I went out to a local club. As we stood outside in the cold chatting with the doorman, a club patron left with some friends. I'd seen this particular fellow inside and commented to both Franklin and the doorman that I found this fellow attractive. It was exactly the sort of thing the two of them might have done (and likely did do) when spotting a girl they found attractive enough to mention aloud. It's one way of coming out/being out, but how could I gauge the likely reaction of the doorman? In this instance I decided that I just didn't care, but that didn't make any less sort of weird.

I guess my whole point is that it doesn't have to be awkward to come out. It is something that happens repeatedly. It's something that, as attitudes change, will likely become easier. But it is something I'll probably always have to do. Non gays seldom have to alert people to their sexuality as it's assumed about all of us to some extent, while gay people must constantly decide who and whether and when and where and why to tell people. If nothing else it's always a little awkward because of that.


Franklin said...

As far as the last bit goes

"Non gays seldom have to alert people to their sexuality as it's assumed about all of us to some extent"

I have to tell people I'm not gay more than people probably ask you, that is just plain frustrating. and if there was a way to make this more ridiculous, look at the verification code I had to put in(you dont get to pick these do you?)...

Blogger getting a vibe from your blog

samuel said...

I really am sorry, Franklin, and I only wish I could choose my captchas, but everyone that doesn't suck has to admit that that one fucking rocks! Rocks hard!