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Rainbow Flag Wrap-Up: It’s Time To Open Up Your Closet!

July 5, 2011
Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...

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You know, looking back over my Yay for Gay! pride month posts, there seems to be an underlying message that we can all, more or less, relate to. At least to me, anyway. See, it’s not just about being Queer and Here and Proud… it’s really about everyone living their lives Proud.

It’s about the importance of living the life you want, making the choices that make you happy – as opposed accommodating others – no matter what that means.

I think we all have our own closets, our own secret longings and desires and fantasies, whether they are to be with some one of the same sex, or to have bondage sex, or an open marriage, or simply to not be married-with-two-point-five-kids-and-a-minivan at all.  Yet we keep these wants and needs secret, away from public viewing. Because we’re afraid to come out. We’re afraid to be judged. We’re afraid of the consequences, of what others will think.

What do we miss out on, because we keep it in a closet out of fear?

In addition, one thing we often miss, is how much do we add to the collective fear of being different, by continuing to conform? What if, instead of never opening up our closets, never letting our true colors show, we threw open those doors, embraced our longings and desires and fantasies? We lived as our true selves, whatever that means… would we not, in turn, make it easier for others?

Would we not make it less fearful to be different than the status quo? Would we not, by living a life of color, speak more strongly against those that tell us we can’t be gay or trans or bi or poly? Or that we must get married and settle down? Would we not speak out for everyone’s right to a life they want, to be different?

The thing of it is this, in my opinion, we have a responsibility to come out of our closets, for several reasons. Regardless of what it is that defines them.

  1. We have a responsibility to ourselves: To know ourselves well enough that we recognize our wants and needs. That we take those desires out into the light and investigate them, and embrace what it is we want and need to be happy (while also remembering to first do no harm).

  2. We have a responsibility to the people who love/fuck us – i.e. those that we want to engage in intimate relationships with, whatever that means: How many people live in marriages or other relationships they don’t want? How many pursue something else, and lie their pants off about it? Or simply relationships that then they never allow to see the light of day? Talk to someone you know who is gay, and I garauntee they will have stories of closeted affairs with teachers, coaches, frat boys with girlfriends… you name it. Such behavior isn’t fair to your current partner, or the one you keep behind closed doors – and the relationships you keep hidden? Tend to really try the line on what’s appropriate, simply out of necessity (e.g. who can you exploit to get what you need? It sure as fuck ain’t that self-aware and self-assured dude over there…)

  3. We have a responsibility to the greater human community: To show others just how varied we really are in terms of how we express our sexual and intimate desires and relationships. To make diversity something that is celebrated, not something that is feared.

So, with that I encourage us all to take a hint from the gays and take a look in our closets.

“I am what I am
I don’t want praise, I don’t want pity
I – bang my own drum
Some think it’s noise, I think it’s pretty!

And so what! if I love each sparkle and each bangle!
Why not – see things from a different angle
Your life is a shame
Till you can shout out

I am what I am!

I am what I am
And what I am – needs no excuses
I – deal my own deck
Sometimes the aces, sometimes the deuces!

It’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit
One life – so it’s time to open up your closet!
Life’s not worth a damn
Till you can shout out –

I am what I am!”

Certified dance party brought to you by Miss Gloria Gaynor – “I Am What I Am”.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2011 3:04 pm

    Does crazy cat lady count? Ohhh damn…everyone knows that already… 🙂

    On a serious note though, good post. Fear of ridicule, fear of questions being asked, fear of loss are all reasons (and many more) for “staying in the closet” and yet the very action of staying put is making it worse. A scary thought.

  2. July 6, 2011 12:30 pm

    Seriously. We need to get over our own fears – that’s the only way anything changes! The status quo is such for a reason – but that doesn’t make it legit!

  3. July 6, 2011 6:51 pm

    Nice I’m having a dance party for one right this very second.

    I’m very much liking the sentiment about opening up the closet. I feel like this has been a theme for me this year. Getting back into blogging, being open about mental health, and slowly finding out what I want in a relationship.

    Quite frankly I know more about what’s in my sexual closet than I do about what’s in my ‘ideal partner’ closet. I think it’s going to be fun delving in and figuring it out.

    • July 6, 2011 9:06 pm

      Yes! This is what I mean!

      It’s not just our gay vs. straight closet, or even our sexual closet. It can be our mental health closet, or our ideal partner closet. It can be anything we try to hide, and in so doing add to the fear and confusion about it, instead of bringing it to light.

      I commend you bravery and honesty, madam! And look forward to reading more about it! 😀

  4. Esme permalink
    July 6, 2011 11:34 pm

    Thank you for this 🙂

    • July 7, 2011 8:43 am

      You’re welcome. Hope all your conundrums are working themselves out… 😉


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