Tuesday, October 12, 2010

come out wherever you are!

You're most likely familiar enough with Facebook, but what you may not be aware of is Fabulis.  It's sort of a Fb for gay men.  So far it's not a hook up site, and that's nice.  It's still in it's early stages, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it or how I feel I fit in there, but over all it seems like a potentially delightful resource.

All of that is to explain the fabulis questions which are questions you can post to other members and that other members might post to you.  They're sometimes interesting and thought provoking, and sometimes they're just nonsense which is as it should be.  One I got today, and I imagine all members got today, from one of the founders, was this, followed by my answer:

Q: Today, October 11, 2010 is National Coming Out Day in the U.S. (It's also celebrated on the 12th in the UK). We'd like to know, what does OUT mean to you?
When I think of being out I can't help but think of it in levels of outness based on the situation you are in at the moment.

My family knows, but we don't talk a lot, and they're very Baptist for the most part, but it's a really big southern family, and there's a lot we don't talk about.  Plus they live in a different state, though close enough to visit sometimes.

At work and in my social life I'm completely out.  I see no reason not to be.  I don't have a problem being gay, and I don't have a problem if some people with opposite sex attractions choose to live that lifestyle.  It's not for me, and I want to make sure that straight people know that I'm gay so that if they have a problem we assert from the beginning that it's going to have to remain their problem.  I don't really have room in my life for it.

Each spring and fall for the past few years I've coached my oldest son's soccer team.  I coached both of my boys till we realized soccer wasn't for the youngest.  I'm not out even a little bit there.  When we started this whole soccer thing my oldest was five, and for all intents and purposes we were a fairly normal family, mom and dad with two young sons.  I was even a stay at home dad at that point while my wife followed her career.

I'd love to feel like I could be out at soccer, but I'm not sure how they'd take it.  While our social life involves that part of our town that's the hipper and closer to town part, soccer takes us north to the more socially conservative part of our town.

Also, it doesn't come up.  I kind of want to say it doesn't matter, but I lied for so long in the closet that I just feel dishonest sometimes.  And it kind of feels like the closet all over again.

Really, coming out is a never ending process.  People tend to assume you're not gay and don't really even think about the fact that they've already made a judgment about you.  It isn't necessarily a big deal except that you are consciously making judgments because you are gay.  And I know in my case that I'm always looking for an ally or, better yet, a fellow homo. 

I want to think that there will be a day when being out isn't a big deal, that we'll one day be accepted as normal people,  that it won't even be a curiosity that we are also gay.  But I can't help but think there will always be some sort of coming out process.