I’m sitting in the closet. I’ve been sitting here for a little while. Every now and then I crack open the door and peer out with one eye to see how things are going. What I see when I peek out makes me quietly shut the door and sit back down on the floor and keep my mouth shut.
I think we all know someone who has “come out of the closet”. My closet is a little different than the usual closets you’ve heard of. Its not a sexual orientation sort of thing. Fortunately I’m heterosexual. When I say “fortunately” I don’t mean that its better to be heterosexual. I mean its just easier being out in the world and being the way the world wants you to be. The world is changing, even though it may be at a snail’s pace, for my LGBT friends. A lot of them are open and vocal now, but there was a time when most of them stayed quiet, didn’t want to draw attention to themselves.
In another sense that’s sort of where I’m at now. Quietly sitting in my closet. Keeping my mouth shut. Trying not to rock the boat or just out right shock friends and family. I’m just sitting here in the closet, minding my own business. Listening and watching others spout off on their own ideas and assumptions. Occasionally I stand up, open the door, and venture out a bit. But then the fear of judgement sets in and I run back into the closet where I’m safe.
While I sit in this closet, my eyes become adjusted to the dark, and I realize that I am not alone. There is a whole army of us sitting in here. Some have boldly left the security of the closet and are vocalizing their opinions and beliefs without fear or care of judgement or condemnation. I try to latch on to more of these types of brave people as I stumble upon them here and there. Hoping to somehow absorb some of their courageousness.
Courageousness??? Yes, I think it takes great courage to step up to the podium and vocalize your beliefs and opinions, knowing that you are setting yourself up for attack. I find a little comfort in looking across the closet and seeing some friends eyes peering back at me.
I test the waters occasionally in a sort of docile, submissive way. I hope to grow a little bolder and vocal. I think its possible to be vocal and have an intelligent discussion with people of a different opinion. But sometimes what I see and hear makes me wonder if its really true. Sometimes just the question that is asked lets you know what someone thinks of you.
So for the time being I will sit here in my quiet closet and keep myself out of trouble and controversy. <sigh>