Writing

Closeted & Appreciative

Hi, my name is Candice and in order to live a peaceable life, I remain closeted.

First, what is closeting—or “to be closeted”?

“Closeted and in the closet are adjectives for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people who have not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity and aspects thereof, including sexual identity and sexual behavior.”

I agree with this, except I would also say that it applies on any level—you can be out to everyone you know except your great aunt Bessie twice removed. You’re still closeted.

This is my problem. If you’re reading this, you probably know I’m queer. If you’re reading this and didn’t know I’m queer, SURPRISE!!!!?

The only parties I’m not “out” to are my family and the people I work with. I swear to god it’s not actually that many people. It just sounds like a lot.

Hi, my name is Candice and in order to live a peaceable life, I remain closeted.

Is my life really peaceable? How much of your life can be lived “in peace” when you’re lying about who you are? And when does that one R. Kelly song come on?

No, my life isn’t 100% peaceable. I worry that I’ll make my roommates uncomfortable, I worry that I’ll offend my co-workers, I worry that any guy I date is going to call me a slut or think I’m “wild” just because of my orientation.

And no, goddammit, we’re not playing any R. Kelly piss-on-you remixes up in here. Take that shit elsewhere.

lol ew

I’ve been trying to write this post since the end of June, but before I could really do that, I had to figure out what I wanted to say about it with regard to literature and, I guess, overall. I’ve never felt “weird” about the fact that there are few books written about characters like me. I’m not a normal bitch, so it’s not surprising.

In the matter of being closeted, however, I really feel like I could sure as fuck have benefited from being able to read about characters who struggle with being closeted. But that’s really only the face of the closeting issue—lying to people you love is hard. It makes you feel shitty and it’s worrisome and blah blah blah.

On the other side of this fucked up coin is that I, personally, have found a sort of safety in being closeted. Yeah, it sucks to lie. It sucks to not feel 100% comfortable with my sexuality, but there’s the weirdest sense of safety about being in the dark. So, more than reading writing about a character who is closeted and struggling with coming out, I’ve been drafting a character who is in the closet and appreciates the hell out of it.

I would argue that the closet offers a strange sort of protection. A lot of people would say that it’s only temporary, but I say it’s as permanent as I want it to be. I also had the last girl I seriously dated call me a “coward” when I brought it up. I even went as far as citing popular queer characters in fiction who are, in some way or another, closeted and appreciative. Suffice it to say, she laughed her cute blonde head off and had some choice opinions to share with me. (We won’t mention them because I’m not that petty and I’M SO NOT BITTER AT ALL ANYWAY).

BITCH!

Hi my name is Candice and in order to live a peaceable life, I remain closeted and appreciative.

Here are 3 reasons why:

1. Identity construction.

I’m 25 and Pansexual. I’m still figuring out who I am. What kind of guys I like. What kind of girls I like. What kind of in-betweens/neithers/outsides I like, etc.

2. Patience.

It’s the best lesson on patience I’ve ever learned. I always try to imagine sitting down and telling my mom I’m queer. And every time I picture it, it just feels like orgasming too early.

YEAH I SAID IT! And that’s as good a metaphor as any, I’d say. It’s supposed to be a huge release of tension and it’s supposed to feel good and instead you’re just like, damn this sucks, that’s it? Can I get a do-over???

3. Expectation.

I get to avoid the fuck out of it. Instead of being Gay Candice Who Cut Her Hair in a Boy-Style, I’m just Regular Candice with a Badass Haircut. I hate being expected to do or be or say anything, and in most cases I purposely DO NOT do the thing that is expected of me. (This is also why I can’t bring myself to write black main characters—see that piss & moan fest here).

Lastly, I’ll just say that the closet doesn’t always lead to some magic realm full of orgies and acceptance and hydrangea. Sometimes it just leads to a place where your parents look at you like you’ve wronged them or they’ve wronged you, and your co-workers think every kind remark about their jeans is an attempt to fuck them into oblivion.

It leads to reality. Four walls and that stained carpet in the living room and the television with its muted volume. The closet’s just a better strike position for me for now.

Thoughts on closeting? Care to share your coming out experience?

I originally linked to articles about “how to come out to your loved ones, etc.” But I don’t think there’s really a good way to do it that suits everyone so instead you can just tumblr_llmza45ZAq1qafrh6

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2 thoughts on “Closeted & Appreciative

  1. I love this. I’ve always felt vastly in the minority in that I don’t think everyone needs to know every single thing about you for you to be living a life “true to yourself”.

    I’ve never had to deal with anything like coming out, but I do have to keep my non-religiousness to myself around certain family members (to an extent). It usually doesn’t come up, but when it does, I don’t say anything. My reason being that it literally doesn’t affect me at all to have these people not know my true beliefs. It’s just not relevant.

    In certain relationships, like romantic, I feel like the big stuff all needs to be laid out on the table, but family? Co-workers? Eh…

    And this is just how I am–I recognize that. I know and fully respect that some people CAN’T. They HAVE to be open to everyone or else it feels like they’re living a lie.

    Me? I just feel like I’m a private person who doesn’t want everyone knowing every little thing about me, even if it’s totally harmless. Hell, half the people I know don’t know where I live and there was a time most of my friends LITERALLY DIDN’T KNOW A SINGLE PART OF MY REAL NAME. XD

    I think, wherever we’re comfortable, wherever we want to be, and whatever we want to be…that’s what/where/who we should be. And if you want to remain closeted with certain people, I really don’t see that (as some do) like an act of cowardice or weakness–it’s just picking your battles. Assessing the situation. Deciding what you want to share. As long as it makes YOU feel good, then it is a perfectly valid choice for you 😀 (that’s my philosophy, at least.)

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