Is Coming Out a Big Deal?|
I said there and will say here that I think coming out is a big deal - everywhere - and I also think staying closeted is a big deal - everywhere.
I agree with most of what you're saying in this post. I still have big issues with the implication that the issues around coming out versus staying closeted are the same throughout the country. They're really not, and the experience of someone coming out today in rural Alabama is likely to be very different from someone coming out today in New York City.
That doesn't mean there aren't any problems in NYC. That doesn't mean people in rural Alabama shouldn't come out. But this is not just about differences in individuals' situations -- it really is about differences in communities and cultures as well, and it's important for people to be aware not just of other people's experiences, but of other people's experiences in their own community. (And also outside their own community, because it's sometimes hard for people, especially very young people, to understand how their lives might change if they left their home communities to move somewhere either significantly more tolerant or significantly less so.)
|Date:||July 29th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)|| |
I agree with most of what you're saying in this post. I still have big issues with the implication that the issues around coming out versus staying closeted are the same throughout the country
I didn't imply that and I'm sorry you inferred that. I don't think the church shooting in Knoxville is illustrative of those differences. That is what I said and that is what I mean. This is the point I disagree with you on.
I've lived in a number of places and visited many others and listen to local concerns. I have relatives and friends in a number of places and one of the things we often talk about is the difference in how easy/hard it is to be out (as well as how easy hard it is to be visibly Jewish) in different places.
I'm sorry you don't believe me on that but I don't know how to convince you that my disagreement with you on the implications of the church shooting do not mean that I am unaware or inattentive to concerns in different communities.
Edited at 2008-07-29 04:46 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry I read your comments on this and on your earlier post about "outing" fans as implying that the issues were the same nationwide. I'm glad to have it out on the table that they're not, and I apologize for misunderstanding you.
I'm still trying to phrase a response to you about the shootings, but I wanted to go ahead and say that.
|Date:||July 29th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)|| |
Thanks for saying this. What I have said - and I believe - is that coming out is a big deal everywhere, even in places that are in many ways supportive of gay and lesbian culture (like NYC) or where there are lots of legal protections (like my ancestral home town of Winnipeg). Legal, cultural and personal issues intersect. I'd much rather be an open lesbian in NYC than Winnipeg in spite of the superior legal climate for
mutants lesbians and gay men there. And I'd rather be an independently wealthy open lesbian pretty much anywhere (can someone arrange that, please?) because the power associated with wealth insulates people from a lot of the negative consequences of homophobia. Still, there are a lot of closeted wealthy people, which is fodder for another post sometime.
To clarify as to how this relates to fandom identities, I said that something analogous with coming out is that people often overestimate the risks and underestimate the benefits of being open when they are making the decision. And I further said that I know that because of hearing from people after they've come out or been open about their fannishness when they themselves have said that they had misjudged the situation. I think in the midst of a difficult decision people often lack perspective, a perspective they get over time. Since those perceptions and that perspective change over time, I can't sign on to the idea that was expressed that a person always knows his or her situation best. I've seen people who didn't know their situation very well, because they were blinded by fear, and I've seen people who didn't know their situation well because they were blinded by optimism.
I was one of the latter group. I never would have thought that I was risking ostracism through coming out. I think young people in particular need to realize that's a possibility, and that it's not just something that happens in religious fundamentalist communities or among Republicans and that it's not a case of "Oh they'll come around." Not always.
Edited at 2008-07-29 05:30 pm (UTC)
I don't think there's much more for us to say to each other about the Knoxville shootings. After thinking about it, I realize that I really do not want to have an argument with someone outside my own religious community and part of the country about what this act of violence means for us. Therefore, I'm going to stop having that argument, here and in marag
's journal, at least until I feel differently. I'm sorry this has been a frustrating conversation.
|Date:||July 29th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)|| |
|(Link)|Therefore, I'm going to stop having that argument, here and in marag's journal, at least until I feel differently.
Well, I hope you won't feel chilled from posting comments on marag
's post on the topic. I didn't respond to your last one and don't intend to respond to any more, so I won't be arguing with you. But yes, if you did put comments in my journal I would likely respond and would not be able to guarantee in advance that I'd agree with all you say, so there is potential for argument. I'm sorry this has been a frustrating conversation.
I'm sorry to have frustrated you.