What’s it like in the closet?

This video should be required viewing. In fact, I order you —ORDER YOU— to sit down and watch it. It was made in 1993 (The fashions haven’t aged well, have they?), but it’s still relevant and it’s still powerful. Unfortunately, it’s still true. The speaker is author and educator Brian McNaught, from his video Growing Up Gay and Lesbian.

Straight people, it’s ten minutes long and you need to watch it uninterrupted. Make it happen. (Yes, I’m bossy today.)

LGBTs, I’ll advise you to watch it in a safe environment and alone if possible. I’m not going to lie, I started crying halfway through.

I’d like the straight people who watched this to do as McNaught said at the end. Don’t think on it for long, and don’t censor yourself. Leave it as a comment, if you would.

There’s another clip from the video at McNaught’s site, but I’ll let you go over there to see it. It’s vital that straight people know what we’ve gone through and the differences that have been built into society.

knowing is half the battle

h/t Towleroad

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5 thoughts on “What’s it like in the closet?

  1. Perfect timing. I'm in the middle of a back-and-forth email conversation with an old high school friend, telling here about life in the closet for a gay boy in rural Ohio. I'll direct her to this video. Although in her case it would be a little like preaching to the choir.

  2. Wow. Okay, i'm a little biased already. I am somewhat but not quite 100% open about being bisexual, and am not currently actively bisexual, because i'm in a monogamous long-term relationship with someone of the opposite gender, plus i've never really had a proper experience with someone of my own gender (which makes me a total poseur in some sense, i know). To make things even more complicated, i was a total homophobe up until sometime around the end of high school. I don't remember when exactly i first figured out why i felt the way i did. So something, or a culmination of things, made me turn around and face some truths about myself and the world around me. Anyway, i've seen The Closet from a fair (or is it unfair?) variety of angles, but none of them as clear as the one from which i saw today.So on the one hand, i've had some [narrow!] understanding of The Closet. On the other hand, this perspective, which i've often ranted on about but never really imagined for myself in such depth, blows my mind wide open. It really confirms EXACTLY why i can't be 100% open around certain types of people, and probably also explains why i never really tried very hard to seek out a relationship with someone of my gender too.Also, i know that i'm truly lucky to be able to be genuinely attracted to people of a gender i can still hide behind, even if i don't hide nearly as much as i used to. I know that a whole lot of people aren't lucky like that. I can say “damn, that Prince sure is hottt for an old dude” all i want, but i don't HAVE to constantly squirm around for fear of accidentally saying it, 100% of the time. I'm really kind of spooked that all my relationships and practically all of my experiences have been with women – had i ever allowed myself a single inch of freedom toward any sort of same-sex relationship i would have broken in half from all the pressures of society pounding down on me every second of every minute of every hour of every day. I didn't even realize it could be like that. I mean, i had an idea of course. There's still a reason why i'm inexperienced and not totally open, after all.I don't even know if my viewpoint is at all valid, given all the circumstances. Like i said, i really do feel lucky that i've basically been in such comfortable hiding all my life. Guilty, too, if i must be honest. So being neither gay nor entirely straight, i really don't honestly have the first idea if my kind of lame, bases-covered, half-virgin point of view even matters at all. (Shit, i really feel upside down now!) I feel like a fake! I know who i am and what i'm about but i don't feel like i've walked the walk, let alone the plank, alongside the people who i consider my brothers and sisters – and i never really felt like i was, to them, a true brother.Maybe that's all beside the point, but i do feel strangely differently now, and there's the context in which i feel differently. I'm not any more or less scared of being more open about my wishy-washy sexuality – but i am definitely more aware, more conscious about things. Sorry if it's not exactly an entirely helpful point of view – i hate to say so little with so many damn words.I guess my point is that out gay and lesbian people are seriously fucking heroes to me now HARD CORE, much more so than ever before.Also, this McNaught guy makes the best of all possible ammunition in the battle against misunderstanding and ignorance and intolerance. Such a sleek and beautiful bullet.

  3. What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted everyone for who they are. I am a straight person, but love my gay friends just the same. For the most part I have come to find that people with different sexual orientation has had some deep hurt in their life and although I believe in the Adam and Eve theory.they are just as much people with hearts as anyone else. I had a friend once tell me about her female life partner ” Love is powerful and you don't get to choose who you fall in love with “.

  4. What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted everyone for who they are. I am a straight person, but love my gay friends just the same. For the most part I have come to find that people with different sexual orientation has had some deep hurt in their life and although I believe in the Adam and Eve theory.they are just as much people with hearts as anyone else. I had a friend once tell me about her female life partner ” Love is powerful and you don't get to choose who you fall in love with “.

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