Please be sure to read the comments for these 'why be gay' posts, they're the best part!
When I asked, "why be gay and lonely?" the first time, two closeted gay or bi men gave shy replies that affirmed they had that fear. For the second installment, two more married guys spoke up, but they were much more vocal.
Lion Queen of 'I Don't Understand It Either!!!' was especially pointed.
I think he spoke for many, many married men when he said, "I don't see me ever coming out, I've never had a desire to come out and personally think it would only make my life more difficult.
"I think it depends on what would make you less miserable ... Sure, you can be true to yourself, stop living a lie (and all the other bullshit) but what about in 6 months time, in a years time and in five years time, would you still be happy?
"As married gay men we often long for what we can't have and when we have it it's normally quite disappointing.
"... Some will tell you coming out is the best thing they ever did, others will say it was the worst decision they ever made."
If you read Lion Queen's comment in its entirety, not just what I quoted, you will see that his point is not to denigrate being out or being gay, rather, that he believes every man should be free to choose his own destiny.
So why is that words like Lion Queen's make many "out and proud" gay men shake with anger?
Here's a typical reply:
"Nothing educates the ignorant or demonstrates our reality or defies the hatred or refutes the lies or provides a better argument for full equality than simply… coming out. Every gay person MUST come out!" - http://bstewart23.com/blog/2008/11/22/every-gay-person-must-come-out/
Not so long ago, I could understand that argument. But just within the last few years, public attitudes about gays and lesbians have dramatically shifted. And that trend will continue because young people are the most accepting. The gay train has left the station. Gay marriage and full, equal rights will happen, sooner rather than later.
Ultimately the question of coming out is no longer about civil rights, it's about individual choice.
How is demeaning a gay person for being in the closet any different from demeaning a gay person for being out? In both cases, the individual is being insulted and degraded - for matters that are personal and private.
I don't want to rehash the out vs in argument. Neither side will ever convince the other. But is it possible that the 'rational majority' can agree that the individual has a right to their sexuality and that as long as they aren't hurting anyone else, they should be permitted to live in peaceful acceptance, either in or out?
Bottom line: shouldn't acceptance work in both directions?