4/26/2010

Question of the Day...

Earlier today, a thought occurred to me and I asked a question on my Facebook page:

Why is it that some people think it's sad that other people come to important self-realizations (for instance, coming out), yet those of us who have achieved our own self-realizations are happy for those who have?

A few weeks back, Ricky Martin came out as gay, and there were some "Well, good for him!" comments and some "DUH!" comments too. LOL! Others were like "Too bad, he was cute" or "He's too sexy to be gay."

The other day, one of my favorite actresses Crystal Chappell more or less came out as bisexual. In an interview, when asked about two recent roles as lesbians and if it was hard for her, she said, "I did not have to do much to prepare. I am equally attracted to men and women and I like both genders, so it is not an issue for me. You are attracted to who you are attracted to and fall in love with who you fall in love with. This is who my character is - a gay woman. It wasn't difficult to understand or portray her."

I did my own personal, inner happy dance for Crystal. And if I'm honest, I did one for Ricky too. When someone, especially someone who is gay, bi, or trans, comes to this self-realization, I'm happy for them.

I find it interesting though that our heterosexual counterparts don't share and/or appreciate the importance of our self-realizations. In fact, some are downright saddened by them. I wondered why and it hit me (I guess you could call it a "realization"): as members of the gay community, we don't have the assumption that 90% of the world around us is like us. Heterosexuals have the odds on their side to assume and presume heterosexuality in those they admire and even find attractive. A straight woman goes to the movies and sees a good-looking actor on the screen, and she can lose herself in the fantasy that she's the object of his desire (or at least that she'd simply have the right body parts for such desire from him). Nine out of ten times she can be guaranteed that she's right.

However, when that one time in ten comes to pass and the fantasy is destroyed, it's saddening for the heterosexual. It's considered a loss.

Now, in the gay world, it's an obvious gain for the same reasons. The fantasy that had long been denied and impossible is made possible (at least in our minds!). Having a lifetime of denying the possibility, of sitting in darkened theatres thinking "there's no way this person, this actor, I admire could EVER be gay," places upon the gay person a sadness in assumed heterosexuality of our heroes. Rarely do we get to bask in the knowledge and awareness that this beautiful, popular, powerful person is "one of us."

Until they come out, that is.

When they do, we're excited and happy for them. We rave about their courage and pride.

We also know how vitally important self-realization is to the human psyche. I'm not convinced that heterosexuals get that (okay, some of them!). Knowing ourselves is the focal point of happiness. To find our place in this world is crucial to us. It's hard for heterosexuals to understand what it means to not have a place. They can't fathom it because they can go anywhere and be known and accepted. They get to bask in the assumption, along with 90% of the rest of the population, that those around them are EXACTLY like them.

So why is it that some heterosexuals see a person's self-realization as being gay as a sad event while we, the gay community, cheer it?

Because they lose something they thought they'd always have. And what is that "something" you might ask?

The safety and security of presumption, of course.

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