Gay Marriage — Helping More People Come Out of the Closet
The Supreme Court to Decide on Gay Marriage and Rob Portman Comes Out!
Olly olly, oxen free! In the children’s game Hide and Seek, the players stay hidden until found or called to come out of their hiding spots. As adults, if we stay hidden we pay a high price for our invisibility. After listening to a recent news story about California Proposition 8, the voter initiative against gay marriage that’s about to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court I was reminded of the price of invisibility. In addition Republican Senator Rob Portman just came out of the closet as a father of a gay son helped me realize that each of us, heterosexual and homosexual alike, is called upon regularly to “come out of the closet” in some way or another. I had to “come out” into the blogosphere when I started writing. Two years later I’m no longer shy about it.
I experienced fear about writing a newsletter. I’d been afraid to come out of the closet of not writing. I’ve doubted that I have something worthwhile to say, especially on a regular basis. I short-changed myself, not giving myself credit for my education, training and life experience.
We all have self-limiting beliefs, self-secret beliefs we carry around in our minds that keep us from acting in our own and the world’s best interest. While wrestling with my self-doubt about having something to say in a newsletter, I remembered another event in my life that required me to “come out” wherever I was and stop hiding in my own self-imposed closet.
I grew up in a house where children were “seen but preferably not heard.” I liked to sing but didn’t believe I had any talent. I wasn’t supported or encouraged to sing let alone speak up as a child, so I believed I didn’t have the right to speak up, let alone sing. I was also very shy so I wasn’t inclined to stick my neck out and be noticed. As an adult I joined a church choir and had a good time. Somebody told me about a voice class. Timidly and with a lot of fear I signed up for it. The class was a real struggle, an emotional, spiritual and physical struggle. My self-imposed belief about not being able to sing was so strong that I could not shape my mouth and vocal chords the way the teacher showed me. I wasn’t able to make a good vocal sound and improve my singing.
This struggle brought up a strong emotional reaction in me and I took this struggle to my own therapist and worked hard on it. Over the course of the year I was able to change my self-limiting belief and eventually I found my voice! And when I found my voice I could no longer be kept quiet. I claimed a little more of my power thus coming a little farther out of my own self-imposed closet.
What I learned from that experience was that I have a voice and I have the right to use it. Having a voice doesn’t mean that I yell at people or bully them with my words. It means that when I have something I believe is worth saying, I say it. I say it as skillfully and compassionately as possible. Sometimes I lack skillfulness in how I express myself and I apologize for my clumsiness. No longer do I sell my authenticity down the river of being quiet in order to not make waves.
As the gay community knows from so much painful experience, when you cannot or will not be the person you are born to be, and live life with pride and joy, the price you pay for your self-betrayal is your mental, spiritual and physical well-being. Each time we come out of another self-imposed closet it is the next step of our journey of awakening, the evolution of consciousness. It’s a deep ownership of authentic self and the beginning of the journey towards enlightenment.
Children say Olly olly, oxen free when their game of hide and seek is over, asking all of the children still hidden to come out and be seen. How often do you sacrifice your voice and hide in the closet in order to not be noticed? Do you keep quiet so your partner, your parents, your friends, your co-workers and bosses don’t notice your individuality? Does keeping quiet leave you feeling “less than?” Where have you stayed in the closet of your own limiting beliefs, perhaps to not make waves and draw attention to yourself. It’s time. Give yourself an Olly olly, oxen free and to thine own self be true!
I’m here to help. Call me, email me, or simply schedule your own appointment online now. My passion is to help gay men overcome growing up gay in a straight world, to embrace their true nature and to create a loving, successful and wonderful life for themselves and their loved ones, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Change is possible. Transform your life into the life you’ve always dreamed of! Don’t wait another day! You can also sign up for my newsletter in the upper right hand corner of this page.
Larry Cappel is a trained relationship coach specializing in same-sex relationships and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He can be reached through his website if you’d like to talk about any aspect of your relationship.
Do you have any experience with trying to explain to straight people why gay marriage is important to you? If so, share your experience below. I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.