Thursday, August 28, 2003

remain in the closet -- it is safer and life is much more easy

Date: 8/28/03 10:49:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: xxxxxx
To: Bjland7820

I read your blog from time to time and was struck by today's memory of your high school days. I am not a supporter of the Harvey Milk school but then I am unalterably opposed to the situations you described. My girlfriend in high school had a twin brother who closely resembled the "John" you described. Jerry was blonde, willowy, very effiminate, and was taunted every day. There was no doubt he was gay (I slept over one night and can attest to that) but his life in high school had to have been horrible. Because of his sister I was thrown into contact with him and consequently I got my share of taunts as well. To this day I am ashamed that I avoided him and never stood up for him. I guess i was too intimidated and cowardly. I have spent the last several years trying to locate him but to no avail. I track all of the high school alumni stuff hoping he will register (and why would he want to do that?) but no luck.

Your journal reminds me of the price gay guys pay for being who they are and announcing it to the world. There is no wonder so many guys remain in the closet -- it is safer and life is much more easy. I can tell from you description that the pain is still there -- my is less but I certainly understand yours. I wish you well."

Hmmmm. I have about a zillion reactions to this email, but not really about the unexplained oppostition to the Harvey Milk School (i am very very cynical about straight people 'getting it'). Of course, there's nothing in his email to indicate that 'jerry' was out of the closet (we only know he's gay by the overnight incident), but his high school life doesn't seem to have been 'safe and easy'. Of course, there is no clear indication that this writer recommends staying in the closet, just his seemingly unexamined conclusion that it is safer and easier. I wish I had the energy to enlighten him. But it merely reminds me why I am resigned to just not giving a damn what most straight people think - I've been dealing with this every day for most of my 42 years, and I'm fucking tired of trying to explain it to them. Let them do some of the work, use their brains, read some books, have conversation with real live gay people (not me) who are interested in explaining the 'closet' - - maybe read some other gay bloggers who tackle these issues better than I can or care to - one of my current favorites who seems to be on an amazing streak of good, thoughtful writing is John Kusch.