Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In the real world Coming Out is a risk

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky. 

So another famous person comes out of the closet and there are many reactions. Some of which are great, some of which are awful for obvious reasons, some of which are awful for less obvious reasons – and there’s one that always annoys me: someone who wants to know what the fuss is about

This comes from two sources. Either the homophobe who finds all this GBLT stuff so very icky and would rather we hide it and not be so open and icky everywhere. Or the oh-so-progressive ally who wants to show just how NORMAL being GBLT is to them that they don’t understand why anyone cannot be so totally blasé about the whole GBLT thing, why they’re surrounded by GBLT people, have a full stable of GBLT friends and barely even notice sexuality or gender identity any more, they’re just so enlightened, precious.

I’m sure we’ve seen the lines:

 “Why is everyone making so much of a fuss?” “Why is it relevant?” “It shouldn’t matter whether people are GBLT or not”

No, it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t be a big fuss. We should live in a world where a full range of sexualities and gender identities are fully accepted and integrated into our daily lives. We should live in a world where straightness and cisness isn’t assumed. We should live in a world where we could go into any industry, any element of the media, every place where human beings live anywhere on Earth and be confident in finding a full range of sexualities and gender identities happily part of society as full and equal participants.

We should also live in a world without people starving to death, people dying from diseases that can easily be cured and one without Tories, Tea Partiers and the alien creature on Donald Trump’s head that’s feeding on his brain. We should also live in a world where I didn’t see a picture yesterday of a gay teen who was starved, beaten, had his arms broken and was forced to eat faeces before he died.

We don’t live in this world, alas. We live in this world. The real world – yes it’s a very unpleasant place but it’s discouraged to take more than brief holidays away from it.