Why I feel we need to stop “coming out”

By @rhyskhart

Now of course I don’t mean stay “in the closet” for ever because that is firstly, extremely unhealthy and secondly, you’d live a very unhappy, unfulfilling life.  But this is one of my fundamental views that “coming out” or even the “closet” is oppressive. Although, it is completely up to you if you do or don’t follow this article, it is a personal thing, and also if you do have homophobic family then in truth it is better to “come out” as they will need the preparation, however, if your family isn’t homophobic (e.g. you have an “out“ older sibling) you could be leading the way with this. But this is what we should do as a community to progress over time into no longer be excluded by heteronormativity, this is a goal, a check point of achievement, a step towards equality when we are finally freed from “coming out”.

So why is it oppressive? Well let’s begin, we all know of the “coming out” scenario, family (usually parents only) sat down in front of an individual “in the closet” (usually but not always a quite uncomfortable teenager) to confess to their parents that they are a part of the LGBTQIA family too. This is usually now days (though not always) followed by acceptance which is then followed by “your cousins gay” “I had a gay work college, Daniel, you remember him?” or “I always knew”. The moment your mother becomes the biggest fag hag you never knew and your dad attempts revive your masculinity (even though its either gone no where or never existed) by giving you a pat on the back and going to discuss it in the pub over a pint. Not that any of this is bad and it is not the reason why not to “come out” and in fact its quite nice, a form of relief, god knows it was for me and I loved having a pint of Guinness with my dad while he reaffirms that he “doesn’t care who I fuck”, although there was still the un spoken rule that I’d be turned away at the door if I ever came home with a West Bromwich fan.

But here comes the oppressive part, if I was heterosexual would I have to do any of that? The answer doesn’t even need to be said. So why then must I if I am not heterosexual? It’s the sad reality that anything that isn’t heterosexual is the “other” it is different and must be identified. 

You are expected to be heterosexual until you say otherwise, “literally until you “come out”. The very act of “coming out” it a transition of being normal to being the “other”. Many of you will experience the on running joke of being asked “are you gay?” over and over or people opening doors and asking “if your ready to come out yet?”, do me a favor, be better then me, don’t let the audience get their show and “come out”. Now that doesn’t mean I’m saying don’t “come out” to spite others, what I am saying is, until we lose “coming out” and the “closet” as “terms of identity our sexuality or gender”, we reaffirm ourselves the notion of being “the other”.

This may seem difficult and it is, but we need to start as a community normalizing the fact that we shouldn’t be “coming out” and that you must “come out the closet”, because it prevents the idea that homosexuality should be expected, it reinforces heteronormativity, that unless you’ve come out and showed yourself, you’re in the dark, “it prevents the idea that everyone could be and is queer”, that everyone has the ability to be more then their assigned sexuality. By “coming out” you are from then on expected to be “gay” in every sense of the word, and by not you are expected to be “straight” and anything “gay” you do was a “drunken kiss” or “experimenting”, by abolishing “coming out” we increase the ability of sexual fluidity and reduce the influence of sexual binaries and sexual categories (which to eventually should be abolished). But you can be gay without “coming out”, for those who are already gay think of all your friends who know, without you ever really needing to “come out”.

So in short by “coming out” we are actually putting ourselves in “the closet”. So don’t come out, just be who you are. 

*I use gay for myself but please replace it with what ever term is appropriate to you

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