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Is Coming Out a Big Deal? - Mo's Journal
July 29th, 2008
10:47 am

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Is Coming Out a Big Deal?

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From:penknife
Date:July 29th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
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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.
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From:mofic
Date:July 29th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
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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)
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