”Nothing changes people’s minds more than knowing someone who is gay”
I was looking for emblematic videos to reflect about and I found Ellen Page’s coming out video, who back in Valentine’s Day 2014 decided to go public and viral about her sexuality and coming out as a gay woman (a.k.a Lesbian). Page after a long but beautiful speech, addressed a variety of topics regarding LGBT rights, after a while, hesitant (I would say) Page comes out as a gay woman and calls the act of leaving the closet a personal obligation and a social responsibility to make others’ lives better.
Dan Savage, columnist and creator of the It Gets Better / Todo Mejora social media campaign once called the act of “not coming out” or staying in the closet a MORAL FAILURE, that is, if you’re at that point in your life when you can really do so without serious consecuences such as going homeless or getting imprisoned. I have to agree because at the end everything we do brings with it a reaction and many of the things we do are political acts that bring a public reaction.
For LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer) people coming out, is the most powerful political act that we can ever do, to stand against hatred, inequality, discrimination and say here I am has a real impact in our world but the interestingly enough it has an impact in the lives of others.
For me that inspirational moment was exactly four years ago when watching a youtube video of Dan Savage and his husband Terry talking about the moment they’ve met and the life they dreamed together; after a dozen videos that followed that first one, of couples, singles, groups, companies, you name it, I realized that the life people had told me I should live was not the life I really wanted. The decision was one, to continue the lie or stop lying, I opted for the latter.
The decision is not to be gay or not, the decision is to be out or not, to be free or not. Is it a personal decision? Of course it is! it’s a personal decision but the question must always be WHEN, not IF, but WHEN.
Never leaving the closet involves two great tragedies: the first one living a lie either openly or by omission, and the second one the legitimacy we give to hatred, rejection and discrimination, as we become part of the problem, part of the world that says there is something wrong with us.
We can decide to break these walls and be proud of who we are, or we can choose to remodel and adapt to our walk-in closet, make it big and comfortable, invite-in a small group of friends and family members, fool them, fool ourselves out of fear or convenience; but at the end we know that it is still a closet, you can’t change that. The outside world rejects you and you are doing nothing to change it.
The most important decision of your queer life is not just about you, it’s about everyone, it’s about all of us. Alone we are a drop of water, together we are an ocean.