With Jodie Foster's quasi-coming out at the Golden Globe awards, I've been thinking about what it means to come out of the closet. I've been out for over half my life so I sometimes take for granted what it means to live as an out gay man. From the moment, at the age of 18, that I realized I was gay, I came marching out of the closet and never looked back. Oh, sure, I come out again and again when I meet new people but it's not the same as taking that first step out of the closet. From where I sit, these are the top five reasons to come out of the closet.
1. The more the merrier. Even at 18 years old, I was confident that the more people who proudly announced their homosexuality, the more normal it would become. In the past 18 years since I came out, we've seen this become more and more true.
2. Honesty is the best policy. Lying is stressful. Mixing up pronouns and trying to remember who knows and who doesn't know that you're gay can take an emotional toll on you and your health.
3. You won't find the man/woman of your dreams hiding in the closet! There's nothing more sexy than confidence. And a confident person who accepts his sexuality is more likely to attract others.
4. Beat the bullies. Staying in the closet is letting the bullies win. Coming out and living your life with pride lets the bullies know that they can say or do what they want, you still love and accept yourself.
5. There are people who love you ... no matter what. One of the biggest concerns for people considering coming out is that they may lose friends or loved ones. And, in fact, that may be true. But for every jerk who stops talking to you, there are five warm and friendly people who will embrace you.
Coming Out Resources:
• How to Come Out As Gay or Lesbian on WikiHow
• I Am Coming Out of the Closet from Experience Project
• Advice for Coming Out of the Closet on BBC
• Coming Out Resources on Empty Closets