Old post, though just as relevant today for discussion.
My life experience and observations are - coming out to everyone is not always in the best interest of the individual. I understand the premise of the article for its social significance impacting political protections for glbt people, however, the damage done to some individuals for coming out to the wrong people or at the wrong time cannot be revoked. I've sat in chat rooms with young adults who felt the pressure to come out to their parents or pastors or family only to end up without a home or college fund and even without family after that. It is sad that they even felt the pressure to label themselves this way or that at a younger age, many straight kids may have a same sex attraction but will not identify or feel that way later. Same may happen with gay kids with the opposite sex. Coming out may socially solidify that sense of identity rather than allow a young adult (or someone that does not have the support network or tools to cope) to explore his or her authentic self and feelings in a safe atmosphere. This even goes for adults, many of them in fact.
I've consoled women who lost their job for just living their own life and someone finding out. Still not shocking even in today's world where companies have creative ways of letting people go. You know, there are still many men and women today who worry about doing this job or that because of the religious right's propaganda equating gay/lesbian/bi people with pedophilia for years and years. How incredibly, amazingly stigmatizing that has been for decent people whose only social crime was to actually fall in love with someone of the same gender. Yet even today, in the back of peoples minds some of that is still there. You don't think people get 'let go' of jobs because of this ugly propaganda? They do.
Others simply cannot be prepared to live another persons life with what can happen and still does.
I understand the psychological repression and what that causes, even the good that does come out of 'coming out' as authentic people letting others have the freedom to define or not define a persons worth and identity by sexuality alone. Certainly for me, sexuality is only a part of my life, not the half or the whole of it. And I am not inclined to box anyone else in that way either whether heterosexual or homosexual. But at least I know that, it is surprising how many people don't have a clue.
It is not up to someone else to determine what is best for the individual.
When is it time to come out? When people are ready and when they feel like they are doing it for themselves most of all.
Edited by GoodMorningSunshine (06/29/11 10:00 AM)