Compassion from the Closet
As we’ve passed National Coming Out Day and Intersex Awareness Day, I passed these days doing my typical workday things, and then added a few posts to facebook to mark the days. Most people know I’m gay and most people know I’m a intersex. And if they don’t, then they are intentionally blind to it. And that is okay.
We ask people to be out and proud of who they are. Once a person is out of the closet, he or she may forget the anguish of going through the coming out process.
It brings me to those who cannot be completely out of the closet because of their job, home environment, and/or other factors. Yet, I am reminded that just because these people cannot be completely out of the closet does not mean they are any less one of us.
We must work to protect everyone in our ranks regardless of how they may identity or remain closeted. For those in my life who are forced to remain semi-closeted because of work, I feel they bring an interesting if not unique perspective. They can be compassionate for others who are suffering.
Individuals are suffering due to disability, economic circumstances, anguish of being gay, and other social issues. This suffering leads to depression, failing health and well-being. Yet these special closeted people in our lives can see this suffering, and they can offer compassion. They can be gentle in ways many cannot.
This compassion they have is important. They can see the suffering because they see it in themselves. I’m not referring to all closeted people. Some become self-destructive because the closet is killing them. I’m talking about those who are enduring with living in the closet. They have every right to live out loud, but their circumstances keep them from not living out of the closet.
Compassion and understanding is not something these unique souls require. But it is what we should require of ourselves for them. We tend to only see the world in black and white and forget the shades of grey.
Honor these people who work to help burdens of others. Those that are closeted and cannot be out. One day we can hope they are out and proud. But give them love, compassion and understanding… not mockery and judgement. They are one of us.