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Is Coming out a Privilege?

By Diva R. McMillan

"How to be brave, when being your self is a subversive act, and in some locations can cost you your life."

Is coming out a privilege? I had this interesting conversation with a dance friend of mine. She said that the ability to come out (as queer or GLBT), is a privilege. Now before she said that, My energy had been focused on how the ability to be able to pass as Heteronormal, in any of it's give possibilities, gives the passer the ability to keep the privilege of being thought of as straight. I mean in many people's cases the ability support ones self, the ability to form non nuclear families, or families of choice allow us to garner the support needed to come out. Is this resource collecting, or community building process a form of privilege?

For those of you who know me know that I have very strong feelings about people who stake a lot of their identity in wanting to or attempting to assimilate in straight culture, especailly when this assimilation leads to schisms in queer communities. This schism, at least for gay men produces questions of Down low-ness and St8 acting as preferable and better form of male gender expression. HOLD ON for those of you who think i am bashing st* acting gay men... well...maybe..:) NO. I think it's problematic when your identity is based not upon what you are, but what you are not,specifically when it's directed towards people who are similar to you. I know this may sound hippies Dipy but I find that my life is connected to other people on the spectrum. I am not interested in transitioning for instance, but i protect and encourage people who need to, rights to do so. If there was a revolution and all of the spectrum people had to leave the USA... I promise you despite their gender normality or performance of it (butler)...they would be on that boat to gay land. We are so connected...

Since I have been in London I have been passing a lot, now either people are scared to to ask if I like penis, or boys in London are girly... but now I have met a guy at work, who is cool and St8.He ask me to grab a beer with him... while drinking he ask me if I had a girlfriend in the USA I told him I was seeing someone, but we broke up. I had an opportunity to come out, but i did not and so I was filled up with guilt, I did not use male pronouns and said partner when refering to my ex, to make my self feel better, yet I did not say explicitly I am queer.

How to be proud when the flame is invisible? I spent so much of my life struggling to be proud of the flame, while gays in Uganda could be executed for just coming out yet, I am choosing to hide in a city this progressive. I am ashamed .... this leaves with this question

"How to be brave, when being your self is a living subversive act, and in some locations can cost you the very life your trying to live."
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