The trappings of normality in the straight world come with a cost.
Fitting in requires an investment of false energy (you not expressing who you are). Do you have the things everyone else does, like a house, a car, 3–4 weeks of vacation per year, marriage, children, etc.?
It’s easy to get lost in your career, pursing one achievement after the other. You neglect your health and your partner, unaware you’re still trying to silence the pain of being gay.
There is nothing wrong with having any of those things, like possessions or a successful career. But they can be distractions showing up as external validation. Fitting in, being seen as a success, helps you deal with your gay shame. Your outward achievements help you feel good enough in the eyes of others, but they doesn’t make you feel proud.
Being out and unapologetically fucking PROUD is a huge act of defiance.
Often as a gay man we feel there’s got to be more to life, that something is missing. How do you see your way out of the box if you don’t even realize you’re in one?
You know that pride isn’t the only day to celebrate your queerness. You know you have so much more to offer the world but you don’t know what that things is.
The truth is you’re afraid to let the real you out of the closet. And why should you? You’ve concealed your truth, your shame, and your fears for so long that it now seems normal to live that way.
Even one of the most successful, powerful, and rich men are afraid of their gayness. Case in point: fashion designer, Stefano Gabbana not wanting to be labelled as gay.
How Do You See Your Way OUT of the Status Quo?
How can you live out and fucking proud of who you are, without guilt or shame?
It takes courage. It takes risk. It takes a group of people working together and supporting each other, so more of us can step all the way out of our fabulous closet!
Many a gay man owns a wonderful closet filled with the latest fashion, tailored to show off your pecs and still-firm-ass at 50. But putting on that new Prada jacket and those shinny black Boss dress shoes are just another form of drag.
Many gay men take exceptional care of their bodies (this too is another way to suppress gay shame). They want to show “pride” in their physiques with clothes (or lack thereof) that show off their “assets”.
But this is still a form of drag that helps you fit in. People will see you as a sharp dresser, clean and neat, and successful because you appear to have money.
Yet another piece of the perfectly heteronormative puzzle! Yay, you fit in! BORING!
Take a Look at Yourself in the Mirror.
Is this the reflection who you really are? Is this what you want?
Whatever form of drag you choose it’s only a persona. You are showing to the world, or your tribe, a part of who you are. But there is also a struggle, a potential conflict with your self-acceptance, when you limit yourself by fitting in.
What does that look like for you?
- You might be older, mature, and settled down. You don’t feel like you fit in with the gay community anymore. You feel like the odd man out at gay bars, parties, pride, and on grinder or scruff.
- Are you confused by the fluidity of sexuality and politics? You grew up in an era when we were all “gay”, or “gays and lesbians.” You’d like to understand how you fit in to the community, if at all.
- You want to make a difference in gay world but you don’t know how. Should it be something to do with LGBTQ rights? What can you offer?
- You’re not sure where you fit in with the rest of society. Are you for or against marriage? Should you wear your sexuality on your sleeve? Who will take care of you as you age? What about your sex life? It used to be all you cared about but now that’s not as important as it once was.
What Are You Searching For?
You might appear to have it all: career, finances, travel, good friends, and possessions. But if you’re not happy, you’re still searching.
The only thing you’re searching for is the best parts of you that you left in the closet when you tried to fit in.
We, as gay men, are still not part of the status quo. There are people in power who withhold your inalienable humane rights. There are people who believe you’re a sinner and should fixed, silenced, or killed.
You’re searching for security, a sense of belonging, and freedom from shame and persecution.
But hiding in the closet, or withholding any part of who are you are, only stokes the fire of heteronormativity.
When you conform and fit in, they win. Just another well behaved faggot!
More importably, holding back ANY part of who you are will limit your happiness and joy, not only as a gay or queer man, but as a human being.