Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Coming Out" and "Closets": Historic Phrases with a Modern Punch

Coming out started with debutante balls from the 19th century, and "closets" was bantered about LGBTQ community since the 60's:

The terms “coming out” and “closet” are bandied about in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) circles and among straight allies, without thought as to where these terms come from. I know that I use the metaphor of “the gay closet” in my writing when I explain the process that I went through in claiming the person I am. What’s funny is I don’t remember where I got the language for talking about it. Yet, I knew full well the process of slowly coming out, keeping one foot in the gay closet, and the other foot outside of the gay closet. And as I “came out” of the “gay closet,” I was not only re-orientating my life as an out gay man, but the lives of those around me. At first, I took it for granted that I would understand myself differently as a man who is a dad, pastor, and writer who is gay. I had not taken into account the rest of my family and friends, who would also experience a change in how they viewed me and how they, in turn, viewed themselves.
In the process of coming out of the closet, I first had to experience the re-orientation of myself with myself. I actually would look at my face some mornings and quietly say “I’m Brett, and I’m gay,” hoping no one else, especially my then-wife, heard me say those words. In dialogue with a good therapist, and growing more comfortable and resolute that this was a necessary step in my life as I tried to live truthfully, I then focused on coming out to my then-wife. This was necessary because she was my first and most significant relationship. Next, along with my then-wife, we both sat down with our children who were very young at the time. (My daughter was 7 and my son was 4 years old.)

More here: http://www.parentsociety.com/todays-family/same-sex-parents/coming-out-of-the-gay-closet/

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