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UK "Coming Out Day"  [message #67096] Thu, 11 October 2012 11:50 Go to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1560



Today is Coming Out day in the UK.

Well, I've been fully out for thirty-three years, and some odd months, so I'm not going to be making any sudden revelations! Nor do I think that everyone is in a position where it's possible, sensible or prudent to come out - having homophobic close relatives (especially parents, whatever one's age), or living in places where homosexuality is illegal, seem pretty good reasons for not doing so, to me.

But what I am making a special effort to do today is to have a serious think about how my own actions can help work towards an atmosphere where others find it easier to come out. To make sure that I I try and exemplify acceptance and support of diversity, and encouraging people not to be afraid to be themselves.

NW



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: UK "Coming Out Day"  [message #67097 is a reply to message #67096] Thu, 11 October 2012 15:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13759



I'm with you. I am out to those I view as important to know. The others are not that close to me.

The past couple of years I have done something definite for the day. This year I am learning to be more relaxed in myself. I am also making sure that my actions that embrace human rights are not in any way aggressive, but are educative instead.

I refuse "acceptance' and most assuredly 'tolerance'. I exist. I am gay. It is important to me, but not to 'you' so it should be unimportant in all things.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: UK "Coming Out Day"  [message #67098 is a reply to message #67096] Fri, 12 October 2012 04:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr

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Messages: 399



It's a nice sentiment and a celebration for those who care - those out.
Those of us not out, don't really care much. Those that do, go out.
Myself, meh, like the infamous day over here in the west. Meh.
For those that wanna show.
To me, it's not anyone's business and shouldn't be. I don't lie if asked. I don't mind checking out a hot chick and throwing a cliche among others if they do, mine just won't be something along what I'd like to do, more an appreciative remark for an anatomical region or another or her face.
I don't judge others men for sleeping with women, someone has to.
Thanks for all the hard work, straight guys. Where would we be without you?
I'm just not one of 'em.



raysstories.com
Re: UK "Coming Out Day"  [message #67100 is a reply to message #67098] Fri, 12 October 2012 08:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1560



We each contribute in the ways we feel best able to. That can be by writing stories, making an "It gets Better" video, going on public marches or demonstrations, writing to the press/media, writing to one's MP / other elected representative, taking part in government consultations, helping staff gay switchboards or anti-bullying lines or websites, contributing financially to any of the above, living visibly as an out gay man, whatever ....

The important thing is that we DO do what we feel able to.

It's legal for me to have sex with another man. That happened here in the UK a while ago, and I owe those who pushed for it a great debt. It still isn't legal for me to marry whoever I want, and in many places it isn't even legal for two guys to have sex. I *do* think that the great progress some  of us have seen in our lifetimes is partly due to the increasing number of self-confident out gay men and women: those of my generation who have benefited often feel some obligation to pay back this benefit in some way.

It is, of course, very different for those fortunate-but-increasing few in the UK and elsewhere who have never experienced repression or homophobia. That's how it should be (but rarely is), and they're not going to be driven in the same kind of way, but just take it for granted as natural and right - and that's what I've worked for, and just how it should be.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: UK "Coming Out Day"  [message #67101 is a reply to message #67100] Fri, 12 October 2012 09:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Registered: March 2012
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I agree with what others have posted so far in this thread, and have just a couple of things to add.

Because of the campaigning and work of others in the past, I'm one of the fortunate ones who's never experienced repression or anything more than the mildest homophobia. I'm grateful to them for what they helped to achieve here in the UK. The worst that happened to me were a few snide remarks as I was coming out of a gay club, and I've never felt physically threatened because of my sexuality.

I wasn't affected by homophobia as a teenager, but perhaps I was fortunate in that no one assumed I was gay and I wasn't sure enough about it myself to tell anyone else. To be fair to my school, which had a strict anti-bullying policy, I rarely saw any bullying at all, and as far as I know, none of that was related to sexuality.

There was a TV series recently called 'God Save The Queens', about gay people on TV over the last few decades, and it was interesting to see how things have changed. Whether the portrayal on TV just reflected public attitudes or help mould them, I'm not sure. Possibly, it was a combination of both.

Maybe there's a difference between 'coming out' and 'being out'.  I've announced my sexuality (come out) to only a very few people whom I cared about. On the other hand, I don't make a point of hiding it; people can assume what they like, and if they specifically ask then I won't lie, though I may tell them it's none of their business.

Finally, as a teenager, it meant a lot to me to see that there were openly-gay, well-known people. I realised that if I respected them (or not) it was unrelated to their sexuality.  So I also realised that whether I could respect myself, or not, it would be unrelated to my sexuality.

Kit
Re: UK "Coming Out Day"  [message #67102 is a reply to message #67101] Fri, 12 October 2012 16:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

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Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1560



Quote:
Kitzyma wrote on Fri, 12 October 2012 10:55Maybe there's a difference between 'coming out' and 'being out'.

--
I'm sure you're right about that.

There's a cliche that "one never stops coming out".  In a sense, I suppose it's true: one constantly meets new people and groups. 

However, that doesn't mean one has to think about "coming out" - I haven't, for at least the last 20 years. I just carry on as usual, assuming everyone knows I'm gay, not monitoring what I say (about my partner, or events I go to like Pride, or films I watch, or whatever), and being vaguely surprised if anyone seems taken aback by it.

I think the first sign of it is possibly when one has absolutely not the slightest idea of or interest in who knows or guesses one is gay and who doesn't.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: UK "Coming Out Day"  [message #67103 is a reply to message #67102] Fri, 12 October 2012 17:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13759



"NW wrote on Fri, 12 October 2012 17:02"


I differ sightly from that view. I may be in a different position being apparently heterosexual since I am married to a lady. In the same way that I do not actively police what I say about heterosexuality I do not police what I say about homosexuality. But, and this is important, there are friends and neighbours to whom I believe my sexuality is so unimportant that I neither refer to it not am careful not to refer to it. This class of person includes our 90+ year old neighbours with whom I would not dream of having a conversation that came close to matters relating to sexual life at all.

I am not interested in whether they know or guess, I have no idea whether they know or guess, but I do not have discussions in that area with them. I see this as part of normal social nicety. I am working with a therapist currently who thinks that I am wrong in doing this, but they are not his neighbours Smile

[Updated on: Fri, 12 October 2012 17:35]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: UK "Coming Out Day"  [message #67104 is a reply to message #67103] Fri, 12 October 2012 18:00 Go to previous message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1560



Quote:
timmy wrote on Fri, 12 October 2012
Quote:



I am not interested in whether they know or guess, I have no idea whether they know or guess, but I do not have discussions in that area with them. I see this as part of normal social nicety.

--
Seems perfectly  reasonable to me: I've no real idea what some of my neighbors know or guess, either.

The downhill neighbours are a hetero couple, plus his 18-year-old son and her ten-year-old daughter ... the son did apparently ask Maurice one night they'd been drinking together what his relationship with me was, and I suppose the others may have seen Maurice and me embracing in the garden or whatever, though we don't do anything especially rampant there!
Our neighbour the other side is an attractive apparently-single guy with cats, who we assume is gay, and who clearly assumes we're a couple rather than father/son, though we've never actually seen any need to talk about it.

Being relaxed about being gay doesn't mean hiding it, nor shoving down anyone's throat - it's just another "thing" (like being left-handed) that people may or may not notice, and may or may not be crop up at any given time in conversation with anyone.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
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