Monday, May 6, 2013

Gay and Southern

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?


silvereagle said...

A good article you refer to. I agree that it may be easier in general terms for the young man or woman of today to 'come out' (I despise that term! - What are they comming out of?) and that the internet and its information does play a part in that easiness. However, when looking at the specific individual, I know it is still a very personal decision, and not one that has an answer found on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Being pretty new to the whole "out" business, I guess it's been pretty easy. I know that when I figured "it" out, I was living in SC, and just knew this wasn't something you crowed about. (What amazes me is that not only my best friend, but two others in the neighborhood and my first "girlfriend" all turned out gay - must have been something in the water in that town!)

I think the fact that I work with FIVE 13-14 year olds that are out at least to their parents, and I'm still in the South (Virginia is about as southern backwards as it gets), I guess whatever it is they're using is making it easier!

Peace <3

charmngbilly said...

so, from the depths of deepest Missi'bama i rate it "meh"