I was listening to Dan Savage, writer of the advice column Savage Love, writer, podcaster, and gay rights advocate (It Get's Better campaign), on Marc Maron's WTF podcast the other day. I don't always listen to WTF (I have too much media on my list to consume), but decided to do so on that particular day because Dan would be the type of guest that would entertain as well as challenge both host and listener.
The conversation started with the basics of Dan's life -- pretending the girl he had sex with in high school was Andy Gibb, coming out to his mother first and later to his dad. And that's when he said something that particularly resonated with me.
If you're gay and in the closet, and you can come out without any serious repercussions but choose not too, then you're a coward.I'm paraphrasing a bit (I'm not going to search through the episode to get an exact quote). but the above is what Dan meant.
I chewed on that a bit.
I'm bisexual, but a practicing heterosexual. It's been many years since I've been intimate with another penis. (Yes, this is a joke. You can laugh now.) And people may mistake my choice of being married to a woman, having kids, and a whole white picket suburban lifestyle with being 100% straight. That would be categorically wrong. An example of my "twoness" is a joke I wrote: Being bi means being able to say "I like her shoes" while still wanting to have biblical relations with her. (There are raunchier versions of this funny.)
But I digress.
I agree with Dan's sentiment regarding sexual orientation. Though I don't mention I'm bi on a regular basis I don't hide the fact either. I imagine if my wife were hit by a meteor tomorrow, and I started dating a man, then, yes, what I choose to do with my penis would be a bit more, well, in your face.
I think his statement applies to atheists, too. If you're and atheist and in the closet although you wouldn't suffer major repercussions by coming out, then this is cowardly. Allow to qualify this a bit. Identifying yourself as an atheist is a very different experience depending where you're living. Sweden? Probably not too big a deal. Cambridge, Massachusetts? You're probably not going to get death threats. Mississippi or Saudi Arabia? The former requires a lot of courage and a plan (like what to do in the zombie apocalypse plan), while the a person living in the latter would probably need a passport and a plane ticket.
What say you?
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