Thursday, August 30, 2007

Out of the Closet?

My friend Steve Kindle -- at Open Hearts, Affirming Pages -- has posted an important statement on the Larry Craig situation. He speaks of the closet, which heterosexuals have created to essentially ghettoize gays. The result of this are risky, even self-destructive behaviors essentially imposed on them.

Some effects of the closet on GLBTs include:
Clandestine sexual practices
Anonymous sexual practices
Inappropriate marriages
Self-loathing (internalized homophobia)
Magnet for disease (STD and otherwise)
Truncated sense of wholeness (disempowerment)
Superficial relationships with straights and gays
Imposed hypocrisy
Sheer pain of not being oneself
Intense loneliness of not being wholly possessed by or possessing a life companion

What should we do?

Senator Craig and Ted Haggard are the victims, not of hypocrisy, but of the closet—a closet of our making. This is a true case of blaming the victim when the finger should be pointing at us.

A corollary is at work here. Just as the closet makes this behavior inevitable, the elimination of the closet makes it go away. So, if you find the behavior of certain people reprehensible, instead of punishing them in the closet, allow them to live their lives in the full light of day. They and you will be all the better for it.

Do you find this compelling? Why? Why not?
For the whole article, click here:

1 comment:

Danny said...

Listening to the news about Larry Craig this week on NPR has made me laugh. Not so much at Craig, but at the many Republicans who are freaking out over this. But what I don't understand is what, exactly, did he do that was against the law? Secret foot-tapping in a bathroom stall, or something like that?

In his own self-defense, he insists that "I'm not gay," rather than "I didn't do anything illegal." Or is that just what the media are choosing to emphasize? And how can it be that our society still cares more about whether or not he's gay than whether or not he did anything illegal?