Out Of The Closet & Into The Drawer

This is not a post on the trauma of being a closeted homosexual. Nor am I going to examine the reasons why one should or shouldn't come out either. Those topics will undoubtedly be discussed in future posts and hopefully from any reader that needs advice on these issues.

This post addresses a peculiar thing that rarely gets much mention but it is one that I believe can be equally as devastating. That thing is the sometimes forcible, sometimes subtle coercion of openly proud Gays back into the closet by the person that one would least expect – the boyfriend (or girlfriend). As I have done in the previous posts, I will draw heavily from my own experience while at the same time attempting to depersonalize the issue.

Now there are times when we find that the person that we are with has reservations about whom and what situations are appropriate to reveal not only their homosexuality, but also their relationship status and their relationship with you. From my own experience this has rarely happened, but the times when it has, I have noticed a definite pattern.

Those of us that accept and embrace our sexuality have overcome much of the trauma of stepping into the real word and giving birth to our real selves. Yet we still remember the pain and trauma associated with coming out of the closet. It was by no means an easy feat. There were fears and uncertainties that had to be considered. The ultimate peace of mind of being who and what we are eventually conquered any of those. However, sometimes we end up dating someone who still hasn't conquered those fears.These people are quite content to explain and rationalize their decision to maintain one foot out and another one in the closet because their world is still ruled by the opinions of others. Their happiness, to a large degree, hangs on those opinions. The common reason that they use is that everyone does not need to know everything about their personal life. This reason is both false and self-serving (and ultimately self-defeating).

This is because:
  • No one is required to divulge their personal lives to the entire world, only to the people that you interact with on any basis.
  • Introducing your partner as such is a sign of not only respect, but genuine pride in your relationship and love and admiration for your partner.
  • If the people that know you can not accept your homosexuality, then they are not really worth knowing.
  • Hiding your homosexuality means having to hide the person you claim to love, and if you have to hide the one you love, you don't really love them.
This is a fairly short, but fairly obvious list of reasons. And this is what I call coming out of the closet only to be put into the drawer because if you are out and open, you will find yourself confronted once again by the same traumatizing feelings that you thought you had conquered when you came out. But more emotionally damaging to you and your relationship, you will soon see your self being paraded as "the boyfriend" only in front of certain people and during certain situations. In effect, you are pulled out when it is safe to play, and put back in when it is not, much like a child does with a toy.Skeleton In The Closet There are only two solutions that I know to this emotional push and pull. You either stand your ground and let your partner know that under no circumstances will you accept him pushing you BACK into the closet or stuffing you in the drawer and that he should do the decent and socially appropriate thing and introduce you as who and what you are, or, you move on and hopefully find another boyfriend that is out of puberty. The drawer can actually be much more painful than the closet because when we are in the closet we are hiding from ourselves and from the people we know and love. When we are put in the drawer, we are being hidden from people we do not know and don't even care about. [Image credit: Uncredited/Google Images]