Tuesday, March 6, 2007

We're Gay, But Different

I want to stay on the thoughts I started as far as the intersection of sexual orientation and race, because it’s very central to why I am not interested in coming out. One reason why I feel uncomfortable around gay people is that these gay environments and gay people in them tend to be non-black. I know there are gay minorities who feel that their sexuality transcends race. I’m not one of them. My being gay, a white person being gay, an Asian being gay and a Latino being gay doesn’t suddenly make the four of us come together and sing "We Are The World." Race is always a dividing line, in my opinion. So when I was in that group for those of us who are not out, I absolutely felt that. Most of the group was white, and I noticed the white people in the group got close. Whenever one of the leaders mentioned race or anything related to race, she would look at me as if to see how I’d react to her bringing up race. I participated in the group, but I also felt left out. Being gay just didn’t bring us together, even though a lot of us had the same thoughts and experiences, i.e. not knowing exactly what our sexual orientation is.

So when I think about coming out, I imagine coming out into nothing. I don’t feel like there’s any community there for me, especially considering that I don’t fit labels and stereotypes, and am not as consumed with my gay identity as I perceive a lot of non-black gays to be. I see myself still not really having gay friends, not having gay experiences. In other words, I feel like I’d be coming out for no reason. I think why, maybe even if, you come out depends on what matters to you. I don’t care about the political implications of being visible, being heard as a gay person—nor do I care about how it could personally help other gays in the closet. I don’t care about getting married, having/adopting kids or joining the military. And think about if I end up in the kind of situation where I come out, don’t have this supportive community to fall back on and I lose some family and/or friends…not that I see the latter really happening, but I recognize that I don’t have the kind of family that would just say "That’s okay" or "I already knew that" and move along. It would be a bit difficult, and there’d be no one there to talk to about it.