Monday, May 11, 2009

Thinly veiled.

Above: a pic of me at the faerie sanctuary in Vermont earlier this month. The black flies were thick, necessitating the elaborate chapeau, which I think is rather fetching.

And speaking of hiding behind a thin veil, D and I saw the movie Outrage last week. It's a documentary about closeted gay politicians who vote contrary to their orientation and community.

There's a lot to be said about this movie, both positive and negative. I won't go into it deeply here, because if you're all that interested you can find thorough reviews elsewhere.

What interests me most was a concept explained by one of the interviewees of the film. He said that closeted people often have an "I'm strong, you're weak" attitude. The assertion is that coming out of the closet is taking the easy route, and conversely, the person who refuses to discuss his or her sexuality is actually walking a more difficult, more noble path.

Of course, this is bunk. Out people are not following the path of least resistance--on the contrary, we face all kinds of discrimination and loss of opportunities because of being out.

The discernment that I make her is that yes, in a way, closeted people do have to work harder. They must compartmentalize their lives and work every hour of the day to keep those compartments separate. They must expend incredible amounts of energy lying to almost everyone in their lives. In that sense, yes, the out person has an easier life, because we don't have to play those elaborate games.

However, there is nothing noble about the lies that closeted people tell. The challenge of living a dual life is not greater than the challenge of living an open, out life. Even if it was, no credit for that work is earned by the dishonest person. Credit goes to those people who have the courage to be honest.

This concept especially struck me, because I think I have encountered it many times in my life, though I have never been able to articulate it. Now that the idea is crystallized in my mind, I am better prepared for the closeted person who tries to look down their nose a me.

A final note: I am sick of Jim McGreevy. He is generally portrayed in this movie as a noble, enlightened sort of guy who realized the error of his dual life and corrected it. Maybe I have it all wrong, but as I read the story, he only came out when he was caught in his indiscretions. I'm sorry, but coming out because your lies are found out is not noble. McGreevy is not a shining example of anything other than a sad coward trying to capitalize on the fact that he couldn't play the game as well as some. Dude, just shut up and go away.

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