Friday, October 29, 2010

Breaking Free

The closet is such a sad place. You won't really know how cramped it can be until you experience yourself how it is to truly be out of it. I was once in the closet and my coming out story was not truly difficult. It was having my first partner meet my parents that put me through a lot. That however deserves a different post.

I am one of those who does not see the "abnormality" of loving someone despite the fact that two people have the same gender. When I was younger, falling in love with a man felt like the most natural thing in the world, but so did falling in love with a woman. For me, love is love. No apologies. No justifications.

Though I have also learned that being openly gay does not necessarily mean total freedom. It happens when you enter a relationship where your partner is still hiding in that deep dark corner of the closet. That no matter how proud you are of yourself, your preference, your relationship and your partner, you tend to take a step back.

I experienced having wonderful dates and at the end of the day when all I wanted was to be able to hold her hand, I couldn't because the chance that people might see us was highly probable. It does not feel right when you are to hide everything that you are for fear of someone seeing the two of you together. Was it really that scary to be seen happy?

I never thought that I would somehow see the four walls of the closet once again...

For years I had to re-learn how to become the mistress of pronouns where "we" is the only pronoun to use rather than dealing with the intricacies of "he" or the formidable "she." When somebody asks: "What did you do last (insert holiday here)?" rather than saying "My girlfriend and I..." I choose to answer with "We..." Oh such glorified obfuscations were not a stranger to me. Leading people into believing whatever they wanted to believe and never having the right to correct them. Words can truly imprison you. Silence is not a safe and neutral ground, it is a prison cell.

On some occasions, I have experienced being with my partner only to be asked by an acquaintance why on earth they haven't met our boyfriends. Worse, being set-up with a man right in front of your beloved. I had to keep my mouth shut as I tried to swallow the many biting remarks I could not afford to spew. I felt trapped and unwanted.

Imagine loving someone and being loved in return in a madly, deeply, breathlessly, passionately - but secretly kind of way...

For awhile it is bearable that is true but in the long run it gnaws at you, and on certain low points in your life you ask yourself if you are not worthy of something more.

What kind of coward doesn't shout about the person they love?

A lot of homosexual relationships live on the "Oh they probably know about us, it's quite obvious right?" and so they choose to live by that. Waiting for a moment that might never come. Deluding themselves that their idea of obvious is enough. You know what, the notion that others probably know about your relationship just doesn't cut it.

I am not saying that you do it now. A grand coming-out moment with confetti and glitters as you blast out of the closet is not even required no matter how fabulous that may sound. If you think that coming out wouldn't make a difference, then you are wrong. It is true that people will choose to believe whatever they want to believe, but at least you are able to liberate yourself.

Fear compels you in that dark place.
Break free from its confines.
Take baby steps if you want.
Come out, piece by piece if you have to.

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