What's it like to be closeted and know others aren't, and they are happy?
Let Freedom Ring
A Gay Opinion 07/01/01
by R.A. Melos
Imagines being raised to believe in God and Heaven, being told God knows all, and being taught those like yourself will never be allowed in Heaven because God doesn't love those like yourself, and knowing God knows your secrets, and you will be cast out of Heaven to burn in Hell for being what God made you to be in the first place.
Imagine growing up and being taught by your parents God hates you, and hearing much of the society around you calling those like you an aberration, a mistake, and knowing the people you love and trust would not love and trust you if they knew the secret you harbor deep inside.
Imagine living with the fear of having your secret discovered; living with so much self-denial you eventually begin to believe your own lies, because everyone else believes your lies.
Imagine the school yard fights just to prove you're not what you know, in your heart, you really are, and the emotional stress you feel knowing you are living a fragile web of lies every day of your life just so you can pass as being like you imagine everyone else being.
Now imagine your own hatred and resentment when you meet someone like yourself, who does not lie or hide, or try to "fit in," but lives their life out in the open without feeling ashamed or feeling the need to apologize for being what they are by birth.
Imagine your anger toward someone who is not going through the same emotional torment of self-denial you are going through, because they have no shame for being themselves, and they flaunt it by living openly and honestly in plain view of all those condemning eyes you fear.
Imagine the betrayal you feel when the society you work so hard to fit in with acknowledges those you now hate, leaving them to live their lives as they see fit, leaving you to wonder if they would accept you if you had the nerve to be honest with yourself?
Imagine coping with the mixed signals sent by society in the form of "don't ask don't tell," while seeing those like you, who are open about who and what they are, being Knighted and honored in other ways for their achievements.
Imagine having lived your lies for so long you no longer know what is truth and what is illusion in your own life.
Imagine your personal horror the first time someone sees through your web of lies, and confronts you with the truth.
Imagine your relief when you get away with your lies, even if it's only for a few more days or months or years.
Imagine the feeling of loneliness when you are with a group of people you're lying to, knowing, in your mind, they would reject you if they knew the truth.
Imagine the feeling of losing someone you love, because you can not or will not face your own truth, and knowing that person will pity you and eventually grow to hate you for your weakness.
Imagine laughing at jokes about those like you, in order to fit in with those you want to be like, knowing you could be the object of those same jokes if others knew the truth, but knowing you can not change who you are, no matter how much you try, because you are genetically what you are, and those hidden feelings will always come back to the surface.
Imagine all of these feelings and thoughts going through your mind, throughout your entire life, on a daily basis, and then you can begin to know what it is for a closeted homosexual to face each day.
Now imagine what it would be like to wake up each day, taking for granted your sexuality and God's love, and the love of those who raised you, knowing you are living exactly as God, or whatever existing power, intended for you to live.
Imagine living without the fear of discovery because you have nothing to hide, are happy with who you were genetically born to be, and celebrate your individuality and your personal pride in living your life without the need for the approval of those who would deny you in an attempt to control your natural born instincts.
If you can imagine this, then you will begin to understand what it is like to be honest with yourself, accepting of yourself, and open with the society around you.
If there is any choice concerning homosexuality, it isn't whether or not to be gay, but whether or not to live an open and honest existence.
When you've made your decision to live an honest, out, open and proud life, they you've reached your own Gay Independence Day, and you're personal freedom will ring out to all those still closeted, letting them know it is up to them whether or not they live a life of pride and freedom or fear and self-imagined shame.
Choose pride and freedom.