One of my readers, blog buddies, and a dear friend, Jay, sent me a link to an article about the realities of coming out in the South, and I wanted to share it with my readers. ("Coming Out in the South" by Damon M. Banks) My experience with coming out were much like those of the author of this piece. Before the ready access of the Internet, there were no sources of information to find. Yes, you might could find a book at the local library, but who wanted the librarian, who you either knew or your family did, to know you were checking out that kind of book. I remember when the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil came out and I wanted to read it, so I checked it out of the library. When I began to read it and realized the number of gay characters in it, I was afraid of what someone might think of me reading it, so I immediately took it back. It was a few years before I had the courage to go back and read it.
Nowadays, if a kid wanted to read a book, they can just download it on one of their many electronic devices. If they have a question about homosexuality, they can Google it on their smartphone or any other Internet connected device. They can also use the Internet to connect with a wide range of people with similar interests on the many social networking sites. The Internet is a wonderful tool to help someone reach out and discover who they are.
As the author of the piece above pondered, what would my life have been like if I had the technology kids have today? Would I been brave enough to come out earlier? Or would I have understood my sexuality earlier and been able to come to terms with it sooner? Being Christian, gay, and a Southerner, is not the easiest qualities to come to terms with, but I and many others have.
What was your reaction to the article linked above? For those of you in the South, is it a pretty accurate description of your coming out?