Hello, Friends. Sorry it has been a few months since my last post. Please do not mistake my absence for lack of interest in this blog’s purpose. Life has been time consuming and… interesting, to say the least. I’m sure I will be explaining recent events in upcoming posts. But first I want to pick up where I left off and continue down this road towards self-acceptance and eventually ‘Coming Out’.
In my last post, I listed reasons why I am still closeted at age 28. I’m sure many of you could relate to my list. Today I want to talk about how, presently, the act of being closeted makes me feel on a day-to-day basis. In other words, these are some personal ‘side effects’ or ‘results’ of my closet. It’s important to note that as I write this I am having a good day. I’m relaxed and in a positive mood typing on my laptop in a sun bathed coffee café. But, even while I am in this pleasant mood, here is a list of how being closeted makes me feel.
Being closeted makes me feel like…
- A liar. How can I really feel close to my friends and family when I lie to them almost every day? It’s a difficult reality to live in sometimes. It’s hard.
- My hands are tied. I notice this the most when I meet new people. I love meeting new people. I enjoy the process of getting to know someone, even if it is just a co-worker. But now a days, because I’m past the stage of being able to lie and not feel guilty, I feel like I only have so much to contribute in conversation. I have hardly any stories to share. In the past I would just switch pronouns and peoples names (“I hung out with Erica –instead of Eric- on Friday night.”). Now all I can report is that I sleep, go to work and eat. Anymore, if I lie, it feels like I am pushing my chair further away from the table with each mistruth and thus further away from any satisfying and honest discussions.
- I am isolated. Sometimes it feels like I am alone on an island separated from everyone else. But I can see everyone across a large body of water on another larger island living their lives. But from where I am at, I don’t have the resources to live my life. It’s a boring, dull and unsatisfactory island.
- I’m an old man. It’s like my youth was stolen from me. I spent most of my 20’s not dating or feeling love. I didn’t go out much to clubs or bars, at least not in the way I would have liked to. When do I get to be young and free?
- Everyone else is Straight. Part of the reason I feel everyone around me is straight is due to the area of the country I live in. To an extent some of this is unavoidable. However, because I have remained closeted I have denied myself potential gay friends. I’m not going out and actively trying to meet other gay people to help me through this because that could get too tricky. For instance, I’ve had friends that were gay and co-workers, but I was not out to them. So, if I try to meet other local, gay friends I run the chance that they may know these co-workers. Suddenly I could be ‘outed’ before it is my choice (I’ve had something like this almost happen to me before).
- I am being smothered. I am finding in these later years that I am exerting so much effort to remain closeted that I am stifling some of my talents. I could be wrong, but it feels like I am retracting energy from some of my creative talents. This is one of the reasons that this blog is becoming so important to me, it is a creative outlet and that helps me to feel like I can breathe. I worry that I don’t have a more direct and fulfilling career path because I haven’t dealt with my sexuality. It somehow feels all connected. Have I held myself back from accomplishments?
- I’m Angry A lot. In some places, for instance in my current job, I’m angry for feeling that I have to be closeted. I feel that some people around me and in higher positions would not be supportive if they knew I was gay. This, perhaps unfairly, makes me resentful towards them and annoyed. I’m so sick of being surrounded by the same breed of narrow-minded (pardon my words) hicks. I’ve met so many people who are just carbon copies of the narrow-minded idiots I met at my last job. It makes me wonder how being so unoriginal satisfies these dolts.
If you are currently struggling with the frustration of being closeted and the desire of wanting to come out as LGBT you may find some helpful resources at The Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out section of their website. Please remember, there is help out there if you need it. You are not alone.