09 May 2007

By the Numbers

it's three I hate but it's one I dread the most

At first, we can't see any good time, place, or reason to come out of the closet. We can only see the act as a violent upheaval of what we appreciate to be the status quo. Eventually we all do tell those we love most but why? What makes us hesitate and what makes us finally tell and risk our stability?

I propose that fear is the great motivator for both. Fear hides our secret. Fear leads us to forge false identities. Fear binds us in silence.

Even here in the anonymous-as-you-like blogosphere we hide. We are unwilling to use names. Unwilling to post pictures. Unwilling to expose our secret to the light.

Paradoxically it is fear that ultimately forces us from the terrible closet. Fear of being exposed. Fear of what we become while trapped in there. Fear of what we think about doing to ourselves.

Exposure is what I have always feared the most. I feared being found out every day I kept my secret until I was twenty-four. I was afraid of each thing I listed prior. Coming out defeated nearly every fear I held dear... except for one: Fear of the Dread Three Questions.

Dread Question 1 is the arrogant one: "Should we have recognized the signs?"

Yes, you should have. You should have known when I dropped out of coach pitch I was gay. You should have known that when I didn't like football by Jr. High I was gay. You should have known that when I refused to go to my Senior Prom because I was saving for my mission I was a raving queen.

Dread Question 2 is the ignorant one: "Are you sexually active?/Do you have an STD?"

I just would rather never, ever answer this question. Ever.

Dread Question 3 is the big one: "Are you attracted to me?"

Honestly, after all this time I'm not sure if it would be worse if I was asked this by a male or a female. If a girl asked it would probably be because she believed I was a romantic interest. Saying "no" would hurt her feelings and "yes" would only be a lie.

If a guy asked (and each of my closest friends are male) I would have to answer "no." I think on some level no guy, however straight, wants to hear they are unattractive but by no means do they want their attractiveness confirmed by me!*

If you have a Dread Question I missed or a funny/mortifying story about one of these three let me know and I'll compile them in a future post.

*Fortunately, and I swear this is true, none of my closest friends (the ones I've known and lived with for years and years) are attractive. Honesty is the best policy.


good tune



Edgy said...

When I came out, I got a variation of Question 2 from my father. Actually, it wasn't a question. It was the Safe Sex Talk. In the middle of a restaurant. I was 31.

drex said...

I think the "Why would you choose that?"/"Can't you just decide to like girls?" question is pretty good. Also, when coming out to parents there's the dread of the "What did we do wrong?" question coming up.

Abelard Enigma said...

When I told my wife, one of her first questions was: "are you viewing pornography?"

Beck said...

Some of the hardest questions to answer for me were: "So, why didn't you tell me sooner? / When did you really know? / How do you really know?"

I still don't have a good answer for any of those questions.

playasinmar said...

Wow. Those are all great/terrible Dread Questions.

I forgot about the one from the second X-Men movie, "Have you tried not being a mutant?"

Marmoreal said...

and a form of one of beck's questions: Are you SURE?
(well now that you ask, let me see, um, huh, maybe I just wanted to take the risk of outing myself for the fun of it...YES, I'm sure)

iwonder said...

When I told a friend of mine, he said, "Well, did you ever think that maybe it's because you don't date women? I mean, have you ever tried being attracted to them?"

That was a fun conversation. Yeah, I'm gay because I don't date women. Yep, that's how it works. And if only I'd just thought to try being attracted to women and not men. I should really give that a try sometime!

Sir Jupiter said...

That third question is definitely a Catch-22. I got that question from an old mission companion, and neither answer (yes or no) would have assuaged him.

playasinmar said...

I know!

"I know you haven't been real successful with the ladies. That's why you're a roommate instead of a spouse. But I want you to know something. You're ugly."

It's probably nothing but comforting to know that I'm not attracted to them. Maybe it makes me cringe because I don't want to be unattractive to other men.

Original Mohomie said...

I actually started a post about something related in which I was also going to invite additional comments. This was a fun read.

I've not run into those awkward questions, luckily. One girl I told was concerned by my non-somber attitude and whether I should hang out with other guys dealing with the issue because of temptation. I replied with something like, "Yes, well, most guys have been learning to resist temptation with girls since puberty. Yet somehow, some of them make it through without fornicating. Go fig." OK, so I was less flippant.

Anonymous said...

Perfect answer for dread queetion 2: Are you sexually active? "No I just lay there!"