One of the most impossible questions to answer is why? I attempted to answer one of my "why" questions.

A Gay Opinion 7/03/01
by R.A. Melos

We are, at any given moment in time, the total sum of all our combined life experiences. In order to reach our full potential as human beings, we must not deny any one life experience. This is the only way for each of us, as individuals, to achieve our highest potential. Denial, in any form, robs us of a part of ourselves, and keeps us from reaching our more enlightened selves.

As a gay man who spent the greater portion of my life in closeted denial, waiting for others to set me free to achieve my potential, I know the pain of realizing how much can be lost through denial. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons I am such an advocate of coming out to acceptance of self, and individual natural desires, because I didn't come out without a push and now I am trying to make up for my own mistakes of self-denial by urging those in whom I see myself, and my mistakes, to correct them on their own.

I am, by no means, an authority on the subject of coming out. I know, from my own beliefs, no one does anything until they are ready, even when confronted by undeniable truths. However, it is the holding on to the lies which does the most harm personally and on the greater scale of society.

Living lies to cover or closet yourself causes each individual different levels of psychological stress. The fear and anxiety of potential discovery sends the message there is something to be ashamed of in the honesty of being yourself, and that is a most destructive message to send, because those very fears give power to all bigoted right-wingers who oppose homosexuality as something perverse and dirty.

Until many homosexuals stop thinking of themselves as perverse and dirty, and start defining themselves as more than a sexual act, but as a joyous and loving expression of who they are, things won't change. Until society, as a whole, accepts sexuality as a natural born instinct, instead of something which can be changed or modified to suit a majority, homosexuals will continue to be treated as second class citizens.

I used to think it was okay to lie to protect others from facing my truths, but now I see I was only delaying and denying them the opportunity to reach for their higher potential and grow as individuals. By not challenging them to learn to first tolerate and then accept me for who I am on every level, I was holding them back as I was holding myself back from reaching greater personal achievement.

No amount of urging on my part, or from anyone else, will get some closeted individuals to open up, even a little, to the possibilities of self acceptance, but that won't stop me from speaking my mind; because if one person, gay or straight, is moved to open their mind to a new way of looking as themselves and the world around them, I have been a success.


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