The Persuasive Pundit: Come Out Come Out
'Why doesn’t she just come out of the closet? I mean everybody already knows that she’s gay. Right, I mean give me a break!' My very straight friend, with her very hetero privilege...'Wanda Sykes came out didn't she?'
We made our way over to a table at Starbucks in mid-town, which was recently decorated with holiday cheer. We sat down and she continued, “I mean I really don’t get it. I can’t stand it when gay people just don’t come out of the closet! It’s not like anybody cares if they’re gay.” She huffed.
She took a sip of her latte and settled her newly downloaded child into the stroller. “I mean Wanda Sykes came out, didn’t she? I haven’t seen it, but I heard about it. If she can do it, why can’t… Insert name of black woman celebrity whom everyone has been speculating about for years and who has been seen at many of the lezzy clubs in L.A.-- with her downright beautiful girlfriend -- but who will go unmentioned by name in this here blog.
"...Come out of the closet?”
I took a sip of my tall soy caramel macchiato -- trying to be patient with my straight friend -- who by all intents and purposes is one of the most incredible, progressive, sensible people that I know -- so I took a deep breath and trying to hide the look of horror and shock on my face I tried to quiet the time bomb in my head that was sarcastically responding with
“Hmmm. I don’t know -- let’s see why wouldn’t someone in the entertainment industry or many other industries come out of the closet -- seeing as though the world is just so fair and just and all. Hmmm, I don’t know. It’s not like people ever get discriminated against for their sexuality and all that jazz, do they? Hmmm, shucks. I mean really and truly. You would think that people weren’t protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or something, the way these gays just stay all up in their closets decorating and putting down hardwood floors and all.
And by golly wow -- since Hollywood is so chock full of gays and all -- you wouldn’t find anyone there who may be self-hating or who may have bought into the idea that a gay person can’t play straight in a movie. And geeze Louise we are all treated fair and equal under the laws that protect and serve us we are all one under that great big united flag of red white and blue -- woooh!”
Instead I looked at her, tilted my head to the left and responded, “I don’t know honey, why she won’t come out of the closet. Why do you think she won’t come out?” I looked at my friend who was lactating through her shirt, she tilted her mop of wildly curly hair to the side -- her face began to contort and construe itself as if she was again trying to squeeze something out of her vagina that was just too damn big.
“Maybe she stands to lose too much.”
Ding Ding Ding and the award for answering her own question goes to my friend with the two mommy stains on the front of her shirt.
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Coming out of the closet often puts us at a disadvantage and can be outright deadly in some places. When we come out we are often downgraded as citizens, many of our rights go down the drain and we are subject to all kinds of discrimination, some of which we are facing even without knowing.
Now, having said all that -- It’s true-- I think that just about everyone and their gay aunt oughta come out of the closet -- and preferably around the holidays to maximize the drama of the event.
“I’d like some dark meat, and cranberry sauce and Karen is not my roommate. She’s my lover, girlfriend, scissor-sister, partner or person that I lay out when we aren’t arguing about cat litter.” It would be great and fantastical if we everyday gay, and those fancy gays with make-up contracts and movie careers could come screaming out of their million dollar closets and announce at a rally or parade “I’m a dyke. This is the best Thanksgiving day parade ever!”
But… until the discrimination stops, until the heteros understand the privilege that comes with their, “lifestyle” the fear of losing it all overwhelms so many and they remain in their beautifully decorated closet.
The next time a hetero whines about a homo not coming out of the closet saying, “Why won’t (insert name of closeted celeb here) just come out of the closet.” Quietly whisper, “Cause you need to do some more work to make the world a more just -- a more fair – a more safe place for them to come out into. You gotta lot of work to do!”
Then take a sip of your coffee and gently pat their hands.
Miss the last "Persuasive Pundit"? Read it here.