Closet Gay Quotes

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The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you've just told them.
Rachel Maddow
If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.
Harvey Milk
I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being... by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.
Paul Newman
Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up and start to fight.
Harvey Milk
The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables. Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day I would be grounded, rooted. Said my head would not keep flying away to where the darkness lives. The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight. Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do. I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling. You will find a good man soon.” The first psycho therapist told me to spend three hours each day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed and ears plugged. I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet. The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth. Said to focus on the out breath. Said everyone finds happiness when they care more about what they give than what they get. The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamicatl, Lithium, Xanax.” The doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me forget what the trauma said. The trauma said, “Don’t write these poems. Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.” But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River convinced he was entirely alone.” My bones said, “Write the poems.
Andrea Gibson (The Madness Vase)
She thought of people she had seen holding hands in movies, and why shouldn't she and Carol?
Patricia Highsmith (The Price of Salt, or Carol)
Amazing how eye and skin color come in many shades yet many think sexuality is just gay or straight.
DaShanne Stokes
Only by speaking out can we create lasting change. And that change begins with coming out.
DaShanne Stokes
Any man who isn't married by thirty-five is either gay or he's got skeletons in his closet.
Lisa Renee Jones (If I Were You (Inside Out, #1))
Day leveled Ronowski with a stern glare. “Ronowski, you are gay, man. You’re tightly closeted. But you are indeed gay, ultra-gay. You’re fuckin’ Marvin Gay. You crash landed on Earth when your gay planet exploded.” Day moved away from God and stood in front of an openmouthed Ronowski. “Come out of the closet already. It’s so bright and wonderful out here. Dude, I’ve seen Brokeback Mountain too, don’t believe that bullshit. No one cares who you fuck…ya know…like you tell me every. Single. Day. Of. My. Life,” Day said exaggeratedly.
A.E. Via (Nothing Special)
I leave the kitchen table to bathe, and to dress for church. If only my closet held on its shelves an array of faces I could wear rather than dresses, I would know which face to put on today. As for the dresses, I haven't a clue.
Tim Cummings (Orphans)
If you are in the closet and fall in love with someone of the same gender, it doesn't automatically remove the shame and fear that's kept you locked away. The love you are experiencing encourages you to face the reality that this is who you really are and also has the power to set you free. The richness, beauty and depths of love can only be fully experienced in a climate of complete openness, honesty and vulnerability. Love, the most powerful of human emotions, is calling you to freedom and wholeness.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
Then maybe it's time to change that." Della sat back in her chair. "Change what?" Kylie asked. "Come out of the closet. You know, like...'I'm gay and here to stay.' You'd need a different slogan, but maybe, 'I'm a lizard and if you don't like it, I'll eat out your gizzard.'" Della chuckled. "Okay, it needs some work, but you get what I mean.
C.C. Hunter (Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls, #5))
Do you want to know what one definition of bizarre might be? Driving to your closeted boyfriend's pretend-girlfriend's house to watch them prepare for a faux date.
Sean Kennedy (Tigers and Devils (Tigers and Devils #1))
Guys hung out all the time. It didn’t mean they were gay. But when you are gay, you automatically think everybody knows and wonder if you’re safe.
Sean Kennedy (Tigers and Devils (Tigers and Devils #1))
You can’t plead tolerance for gays by saying that they’re just like everyone else. Tolerance is something we should extend to people who are not like everyone else.
Vito Russo (The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies)
Once," Fran says, settling against the worktable, folding her arms, "I knew this kid who very bravely and bossily came out of the closet when she was only fourteen years old. She told me then that we can't choose who we love. We just love the people we love, no mattter what anyone else might want for us. Wasn't that you?
Madeleine George (The Difference Between You and Me)
It's Miranda who speaks up. "You're gay," she says, with complete seriousness. "And I love you.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
The true ugliness of the closet is its subtlety. It eats away at your soul bit by bit and you don't even realize it. If you never deal with it or comes to terms with it, then ultimately the closet will destroy you.
Gar McVey-Russell (Sin Against the Race)
My first psychotherapist told me to spend three hours each day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed and my ears plugged. I tried it once but couldn't stop thinking how gay it was to be sitting in the closet.
Andrea Gibson (Take Me With You)
The closet is a powerful thing. It makes you accept things you never thought you would in order to preserve the facade that you present to the outside world.
Sean Kennedy (Tigerland (Tigers and Devils, #2))
To all the young people who discover they are gay: Don't be afraid to come out of the closet right now.
Núria Añó
Here's a queer fact: none among the skeletons in your closet are ‘straight’ so expect them to ‘come out’ very, very soon...
Khayri R.R. Woulfe
I'll admit that I'm deeply closeted, but I'll never admit that I'm gay.
Norm Macdonald
If you put enough closets together, you have enough space for a room. If you put enough rooms together, you have enough room for a house. If you put enough houses together, you have space for a town, then a city, then a nation, then a world.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
You're gay," wash stated. Rhodes nodded, a short jerk of his head, dropping his gaze to his beer. "As in, you-like-men gay." Still eying his beer, Rhodes gave an affirmative shrug. "As in, you like-to-fuck-men gay." "Yes!
Katie Allen (Private Dicks (Private Dicks, #1))
Homophobia and the closet are allies. Like an unhealthy co-dependent relationship they need each other to survive. One plays the victim living in fear and shame while the other plays the persecutor policing what is ‘normal’. The only way to dismantle homophobia is for every gay man and lesbian in the world to come out and live authentic lives. Once they realise how normal we are and see themselves in us….the controversy is over.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
The root of heterosexual fear of male homosexuality is in the fact that anyone might be gay. Straight men aren't threatened by a flamboyant faggot because they know they aren't like that; they're threatened by a guy who's just like they are who turns out to be queer.
Vito Russo (The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies)
I’d like to make it clear from the start that I am gay, gay, gay. Like, when I come out of the closet, I’m usually wearing my sister’s prom dress kind of gay.
Gwen Hayes (So Over You)
... he's most probably in a closet so deep he's, like, in Narnia.
K.A. Merikan (Road of No Return: Hounds of Valhalla MC (Sex & Mayhem, #1))
I don't get it, if there was a closet full of gay guys, then why would any of them want to "come out of the closet?
Chris Crocker
Make no mistake, hiding one's true self away in a closet and creating a facade of heterosexuality is not without its consequences. It may appear to have a degree of safety but from my experience they are very unhealthy places and do all kinds of terrible things to individuals psychologically, emotionally and behaviourally.....to say nothing of projection. The damage of the fear, shame, guilt and self-loathing that exist inside a closet are often reflected unknowingly in the external life of the individual. In or out of the closet; there is a price to pay. Each individual must weigh up the consequences of honesty, openness, secrecy and deception for themselves. Coming out, for most of us, is like an exorcism that releases us of the darkness we have lived in for years and caused us to believe awful things about ourselves. On the other side of the looking glass are freedom, light and life.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
The more the LGBT community comes out of the closet, the more Christians are expected to go into the closet. the irony is too absurd to fathom.
Becket Cook (A Change of Affection: A Gay Man's Incredible Story of Redemption)
There are those from religious backgrounds who resist and oppose LGBT equality; some very obsessively and publicly. They make bold accusations and negative statements about gay and lesbian people, their supposed "lifestyle" and relationships. But when a son, daughter, brother, sister or close friend comes out it is no longer an "issue" it becomes a person. They realise everything they'd said was painfully targeted at someone they love. Then......everything changes.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - one man's journey to find the truth)
The ability of anyone in the culture to support and honour gay kids may depend on an ability to name them as such, notwithstanding that many gay adults may never have been gay kids and some gay kids may not turn into gay adults.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (Epistemology of the Closet)
There is no unthreatened, unthreatening conceptual home for the concept of gay origins. We have all the more reason, then, to keep our understanding of gay origin, of gay cultural and material reproduction, plural, multi-capillaried, argus-eyed, respectful, and endlessly cherished.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (Epistemology of the Closet)
It is astonishingly satisfying to look at him and think Closet Case, and know he can read my mind as he looks away flushed. All Mormons are gay, I believe. Rick is merely a further example.
Augusten Burroughs (Dry)
According to my previous belief system, being a Christian and homosexual was not only incompatible; like heaven and hell, they were in absolute opposition. The constant conflict of being one person inside but presenting another on the outside for twenty-two years eventually took its toll. The messages I got were loud and clear. Never ever admit to yourself or anyone who you are. Hide it, kill it, eradicate it, heal it, deliver it, break it, suppress it, deny it, marry it to a woman, heterosexualize it, therapy it, anything and everything, but whatever you do don’t stand up one day and say “I am gay” because that will mean the end. I spent most of my life trying to destroy the real me, doing all I could to ensure he never found expression. A suicide of the soul, identity and meaning. When you finally embrace the gift of your sexual orientation it IS the end; the end of shame, fear and oppression. You leave the darkness of the closet and begin a life of honesty, authenticity and freedom.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
But thats their image of us so we stay tense, holding our breath, hoping we wont be found out. - about being gay from the film Love My Life
Ebine Yamaji (Love My Life)
If you will it, it's not a dream.
Theodor Herzl
God a-damn me the day I chose to enter this hellish so-called marriage instead of following my Morris-loving, sweet-loving, full-blooded, hot-blooded, pumping-rumping, throbbing organ of an uncontainable, unrestrainable, undetainable man-loving heart.
Bernardine Evaristo (Mr Loverman)
For the love of God! He howled. Could all of the straight people get out of the fucking closets, please? Gay men coming through!
Kat French (Undertaking Love)
Even the ones who were gay were so deep in the closet they were frolicking with woodland creatures in Narnia.
Onley James (Intoxicating (Elite Protection Services, #1))
... he’s most probably in a closet so deep he’s, like, in Narnia.
K.A. Merikan (Road of No Return: Hounds of Valhalla MC (Sex & Mayhem, #1))
I think that sometimes the whole larger-than-life gay thing is just another kind of closet. It's easier to be different if you're very different, if you go all-out on purpose. Because that way you can still hide who you really are.
Lili Wilkinson (Pink)
So he was queer, E.M. Forster. It wasn't his middle name (that would be 'Morgan'), but it was his orientation, his romping pleasure, his half-secret, his romantic passion. In the long-suppressed novel Maurice the title character blurts out his truth, 'I'm an unspeakable of the Oscar Wilde sort.' It must have felt that way when Forster came of sexual age in the last years of the 19th century: seriously risky and dangerously blurt-able. The public cry had caught Wilde, exposed and arrested him, broken him in prison. He was one face of anxiety to Forster; his mother was another. As long as she lived (and they lived together until she died, when he was 66), he couldn't let her know.
Michael Levenson
I had to face the fact that I had been using my gay friends as props. They were always supposed to be funny and entertain me and praise me and listen to my problems, and their life was supposed to be a secret that no one wanted to hear about. I wanted them to stay in the “half closet.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
At Chadham High, the safest place to be gay was in the closet.
Huston Piner (Light in Endless Darkness)
The Gays have not only come out of the closet, but they have managed somehow to put us into it.
Charles Bukowski (The Continual Condition: Poems)
I wasn’t raised in a household where it was considered abnormal to be gay. So for me to meet people who use the word 'faggot' as an insult, with a derogatory meaning, I can’t take it. I don’t understand it. It’s so foreign to me. I was raised in a household where being gay was like, the most normal thing. You know, my brother is gay, all of my best friends are gay. When my brother came out of the closet, it wasn’t a big deal for my family. Even my grandpa, who is like, super old-school, was like, Good for you! It’s outrageous to me when I see people hate on someone because of their sexuality. I hate the intolerance. I hate the judgment. I hate it so much. Most of my favorite people in my life are gay. It’s something I’m super passionate about, because whenever I would see my friends get bullied, or my brother get hurt for his sexuality, I would become a raging lunatic. I would literally become a raging lunatic because I just can’t take it. When you see someone you love hurting, for such a superficial, bullshit reason, it’s like, how small and spiritually unenlightened and dumb as fuck can a person be? How much further can your head get up your ass that you’re actually judging someone as a person based on their sexuality before you even have a conversation with them?
Ariana Grande
It was the first time I'd ever considered that gay might not just be about whom we slept with but a kind of sensibility, what survived of feeling after all the fears and evasions of the closet.
Paul Monette (Becoming a Man)
Forget 'pray the gay away.' I you're more turned on by an AR-15 than a pair of tits, time for some serious therapy. Time for all you gun-humpers to come out of the closet. Is this really about the 2nd Amendment and self-defense -- or just a pathetic fetish for guys with tiny pee-pees?
Quentin R. Bufogle (Horse Latitudes)
Midlife dynamically, for both straight and gay males, is often challenging as we face the reality that many of the dreams we had for our lives might not become a reality and unresolved conflicts come to the surface. For us to successfully transition in to the next phase of our lives we must find reconciliation of these issues. And for the gay male there is a sense that the gay self we have tried to keep in the closet or so many years begins to scream out. "Time is running out. When do I get to live?" You can't ignore that voice in the end, you can try and suppress it, and you can try and deny it, you can try and silence it by filling your life with other noises and diverting attention ......but that voice still exists. "Will my entire life be a lie?
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
If you put enough closets together, you have enough space for a room. If you put enough rooms together, you have enough space for a house. If you put enough houses together, you have space for a town, then a city, then a nation, then a world.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
Harper’s brow furrowed. “Why are you even asking me questions? I know you did your research on me.” “I did,” he admitted unrepentantly. “I learned a lot about you. For instance, I learned that you’re responsible for the breakdown of an ex-boyfriend’s bank account—” “Allegedly.” “—that you hacked a human police database and messed up their filing system when your friend was unjustly arrested—” “Hearsay.” “—that you beat up a male demon who hurt your cousin—” “I have an alibi for that.” “—and that you infected an old teacher’s computer with a virus that caused clips of gay porn to pop up on his screen every thirty seconds.” “Closet gays do the strangest things when the pressure gets too much.
Suzanne Wright (Burn (Dark in You, #1))
I don’t think I chose to be gay, if that’s what you mean. In fact, I didn’t choose a lot of things. Like being the son of the president. Or coming to Inverness. Or even being in the closet, really. All in all, I’d say I have about as much free will as an espresso maker.
Tim Floreen (Willful Machines)
She knew I was gay. She’d always known, and so was she, except she was so far back in the closet she had a residency visa for Narnia.
Debbie McGowan (Checking Him Out (Checking Him Out #1))
Out & Equal is about work. It's about authenticity. It's also about justice. Essentially it's about love, because when you get right down to it, the civil rights movement for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is really about having the freedom to be who we are, and to love who we love.
Selisse Berry (Out & Equal at Work: From Closet to Corner Office)
Fact is, blatant heterosexuals are all over the place. Supermarkets, movies, on your job, in church, in books, on television every day and night, every place - even in gay bars. & they want gay men & women to go hide in the closets - So to you straight folks i say - Sure, i'll go if you go too but i'm polite so - after you.
Pat Parker (The Complete Works of Pat Parker (Sinister Wisdom 102))
Any story dealing, however seriously, with homosexual love is taken to be a story about homosexuality while stories dealing with heterosexual love are seen as stories about the individual people they portray. This is as much a problem today for American filmmakers who cannot conceive of the presence of gay characters in a film unless the specific subject of the film is homosexuality. Lesbians and gay men are thereby classified as purely sexual creatures, people defined solely by their sexual urges.
Vito Russo (The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies)
Honey, gay men don't have kids," one huffed at me. "Are you out of your *mind*?" They dismissed me--and the lives of so many men in the South who had complicated lives. Who didn't have the luxury of living out of the closet safely. Who were pressured as teens to have sex to prove their manliness, in areas where the teenage pregnancy rate was astronomical. Or who didn't fit into the pigeonholes of ay or straight. No, *I* was the crazy one not worth listening to. What did I know about the lives of gay men?
Ruth Coker Burks (All The Young Men)
From the point of view of this relatively new and inchoate academic presence, then, the gay studies movement, what distinctive soundings are to be reached by posing the question our way—and staying for an answer? Let's see how it sounds. Has there ever been a gay Socrates? Has there ever been a gay Shakespeare? Has there ever been a gay Proust? Does the Pope wear a dress? If these questions startle, it is not least as tautologies.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (Epistemology of the Closet)
American society has willfully deleted the fact of homosexual behavior from its mind, laundering things as they come along, in order to maintain a more comfortable illusion. The censors removed it; the critics said, "Well, look! It isn't there"; and anyone who still saw it was labeled a pervert
Vito Russo (The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies)
All great, simple images reveal a psychic state. The house, even more than the landscape, is a "psychic state," and even when reproduced as it appears from the outside, it bespeaks intimacy. Psychologists generally, and Francoise Minkowska in particular, together with those whom she has succeeded interesting in the subject, have studied the drawing of houses made by children, and even used them for testing. Indeed, the house-test has the advantage of welcoming spontaneity, for many children draw a house spontaneously while dreaming over their paper and pencil. To quote Anne Balif: "Asking a child to draw his house is asking him to reveal the deepest dream shelter he has found for his happiness. If he is happy, he will succeed in drawing a snug, protected house which is well built on deeply-rooted foundations." It will have the right shape, and nearly always there will be some indication of its inner strength. In certain drawings, quite obviously, to quote Mme. Balif, "it is warm indoors, and there is a fire burning, such a big fire, in fact, that it can be seen coming out of the chimney." When the house is happy, soft smoke rises in gay rings above the roof. If the child is unhappy, however, the house bears traces of his distress. In this connection, I recall that Francoise Minkowska organized an unusually moving exhibition of drawings by Polish and Jewish children who had suffered the cruelties of the German occupation during the last war. One child, who had been hidden in a closet every time there was an alert, continued to draw narrow, cold, closed houses long after those evil times were over. These are what Mme. Minkowska calls "motionless" houses, houses that have become motionless in their rigidity. "This rigidity and motionlessness are present in the smoke as well as in the window curtains. The surrounding trees are quite straight and give the impression of standing guard over the house". Mme. Minkowska knows that a live house is not really "motionless," that, particularly, it integrates the movements by means of which one accedes to the door. Thus the path that leads to the house is often a climbing one. At times, even, it is inviting. In any case, it always possesses certain kinesthetic features. If we were making a Rorschach test, we should say that the house has "K." Often a simple detail suffices for Mme. Minkowska, a distinguished psychologist, to recognize the way the house functions. In one house, drawn by an eight-year-old child, she notes that there is " a knob on the door; people go in the house, they live there." It is not merely a constructed house, it is also a house that is "lived-in." Quite obviously the door-knob has a functional significance. This is the kinesthetic sign, so frequently forgotten in the drawings of "tense" children. Naturally, too, the door-knob could hardly be drawn in scale with the house, its function taking precedence over any question of size. For it expresses the function of opening, and only a logical mind could object that it is used to close as well as to open the door. In the domain of values, on the other hand, a key closes more often than it opens, whereas the door-knob opens more often than it closes. And the gesture of closing is always sharper, firmer, and briefer than that of opening. It is by weighing such fine points as these that, like Francoise Minkowska, one becomes a psychologist of houses.
Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Space)
When Larry Kramer tells Mathilde Krim in Interview about the closeted gay man at the National Institutes of Health who buried the AIDS data for two years, that’s when I understand how doomed we were before we ever knew. It will be recorded that the dead in the first decade of the calamity died of our indifference.
Paul Monette (Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir)
American capitalism is derided for its superficial banality, yet it has unleashed profound, convulsive social change. Condemned as mindless materialism, it has burst loose a flood tide of spiritual yearning. The civil rights movement and the sexual revolution, environmentalism and feminism, the fitness and health-care boom and the opening of the gay closet, the withering of censorship and the rise of a “creative class” of “knowledge workers” – all are the progeny of widespread prosperity.
Brink Lindsey (The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture)
At first, he was certain that the confusion arose from language; more specifically, the failure of language...But with the absence of language, of a label, came an unfortunate implication: shame. To not to commit to a label, however committed he was to his relationship, was to be indecisive which meant confused which meant closeted which meant GAY.
Vivek Shraya (She of the Mountains)
I came of age in a culture where gay marriage went from comic impossibility to foregone conclusion to law of the land. I haven't been closeted in almost a decade. Even so I am unaccountably haunted by the specter of the lunatic lesbian. I did not want my lover to be dogged by mental illness or a personality disorder or rage issues. I did not want her to act with unflagging irrationality. I didn't want her to be jealous or cruel. Years later, if I could say anything to her, I'd say "For fuck's sake, stop making us look bad.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
The closet implies a literal, physical boundary dividing one’s life before publicly declaring queerness, and after. It’s a threshold impossible to recross, two distinct places to live: in the darkness, or in the light of one’s self-truth. It doesn’t promise stepping into the light will be easy, but it does imply a fundamentally altered human experience.
Grace Perry (The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture)
Do most gay women love each other?” Doc asked. “A lot of them love closeted movie stars.
Sarah Schulman (Empathy)
Any man who isn’t married by thirty-five is either gay or he’s got skeletons in his closet.
Lisa Renee Jones (If I Were You (Inside Out, #1))
unsolicited advice to adolescent girls with crooked teeth and pink hair When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys call asking your cup size, say A, hang up. When he says you gave him blue balls, say you’re welcome. When a girl with thick black curls who smells like bubble gum stops you in a stairwell to ask if you’re a boy, explain that you keep your hair short so she won’t have anything to grab when you head-butt her. Then head-butt her. When a guidance counselor teases you for handed-down jeans, do not turn red. When you have sex for the second time and there is no condom, do not convince yourself that screwing between layers of underwear will soak up the semen. When your geometry teacher posts a banner reading: “Learn math or go home and learn how to be a Momma,” do not take your first feminist stand by leaving the classroom. When the boy you have a crush on is sent to detention, go home. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time. When the skinhead girls jump you in a bathroom stall, swing, curse, kick, do not turn red. When a boy you think you love delivers the first black eye, use a screw driver, a beer bottle, your two good hands. When your father locks the door, break the window. When a college professor writes you poetry and whispers about your tight little ass, do not take it as a compliment, do not wait, call the Dean, call his wife. When a boy with good manners and a thirst for Budweiser proposes, say no. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys tell you how good you smell, do not doubt them, do not turn red. When your brother tells you he is gay, pretend you already know. When the girl on the subway curses you because your tee shirt reads: “I fucked your boyfriend,” assure her that it is not true. When your dog pees the rug, kiss her, apologize for being late. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Jersey City, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Harlem, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because your air conditioner is broken, leave him. When he refuses to keep a toothbrush at your apartment, leave him. When you find the toothbrush you keep at his apartment hidden in the closet, leave him. Do not regret this. Do not turn red. When your mother hits you, do not strike back.
Jeanann Verlee
This is where we come," he said. Albie and I look at each other. “We?” “Me and, you know.” Albie’s eyes got wide. “I really don’t think I want to know about this.” I surprised myself. “I do,” I said. I guess I was tired of having to withhold the truth from Toby. Other than Ben, he and Albie we’re easily my best friends at Natick. Toby looked a little surprised, like he’d just assumed we wouldn’t want to hear the details. “You do?” “Yeah.” He looked around to make sure we were alone. We definitely were. No one came back here to my knowledge. Also it was cold. Like twenty degrees. Only three idiots would be in the woods in the winter, it seemed to me. “Robinson” he said. “Gorilla Butt,” I said, nodding. “I know.” “You know?” “Yup.” Toby crossed his arms an then deflated into a fake pout. “You’re stealing my scene, bitch. Scene stealer.” “Sorry,” I said. “So you and Gorilla Butt. Wow.” He flipped me off. “He hates that,” Toby said. “But, yeah. It’s hairy.” “Oh, look, almost anything else in the universe,” Albie said, heading back to campus and leaving us in the clearing. “He’s such a prude,” Toby said rolling his eyes.
Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight (Openly Straight, #1))
From the standpoint of integrity, I think we all need to own up to our dirty little secrets. I believe that when we are open about our own strange desires or unusual lives, it paves the way for others to do the same. In the past thirty years, gay men and lesbians took a lot of flack to tell the truth about their love lives and their courage opened the door for a mass migration out of the closet. We’re now at a moment in time when unconventional families (even thirty-year triads and gay couples) are losing their children in custody battles because their families don’t conform to mainstream ideas about what a family should be. Given this context, I want to be someone who stands up for my choices even if they’re unpopular, even if I get snickers at cocktail parties.
Victoria Vantoch (The Threesome Handbook: Make the Most of Your Favorite Fantasy - the Ultimate Guide for Tri-Curious Singles and Couples)
My head fills immediately with objections. I’m not technically a gay man. I’m bisexual. I don’t have a lifelong experience of homophobia. I’ve been out of the closet for a few weeks, total. I’m not an expert. And, even if I was, I hate sharing personal shit at work. But I’m here to save my job. A job I love. So I do what I promised myself I’d do. “I’d be happy to speak to the staff,” I tell Bill.
Sarina Bowen (Us (Him, #2))
(Charles) Laughton was one of the most pugnaciously morose men I had ever met. His huge talent seemed to endorse his implacable resentment. His Caliban self-portraiture must have been further agnozied by being incarcerated, like so many of his unhappy generation, in that closet which dared not speak its name. Even his large collection of Klees and Kokoshchkas was displayed as trophies of martyrdom rather than joyful plunder.
John Osborne (Looking Back: Never Explain, Never Apologise)
It had been a nice night, but not one they’d repeat. Like, ever. Why was he dialing his phone? A few rings later, a familiar voice picked up on the other end. “Whitman.” Dammit, my subconscious really is out to get me. “Matt? Brennan. I was wondering if…” make it something good, “…you…wanted to…” his gaze flew around the room, settling on his DVD shelf, “…watch Star Wars with me?”Star Wars? A hundred DVDs on the shelf and he settled on fucking Star Wars? He was never going to get in Matt’s pants ever again. There was a pause on the other end. Great, I’ve scared him off with my closet geekery. Go me. “Which one?” His heart skipped a beat. Or not.“I have all six.” “My favorite is Strikes Back. I can be at my place in about twenty. I’ll bring food?” Brennan’s eyes squeezed closed and he grinned, kicking his feet in delight. I am such a girl. “You know we can’t watch Strikes Back without immediately going to Return, right?” “We should pace ourselves. Star Wars is serious business. Usually I don’t watch them without consuming about five pounds of Skittles and three bottles of Coke.” “I’ll grab the junk food. We can pull an all -nighter.” “It’s a weeknight.” Matt sounded ridiculously disappointed about the fact, which was so happy-dance-worthy that Brennan almost literally jumped out of his chair. “But maybe we could turn it into a three-part date? Start tonight? End Friday?
Christine Price
Instead of being able to go out and buy a book about a closeted gay kid who's scared of becoming a stereotype while coming to terms with being gay that could have helped me understand what I was going through, I' needed to write my own.
Shaun David Hutchinson (Brave Face)
The conservative ideology sees LGBT rights as an affront to the traditional way of life, for some reason. We are attacked as phonies, pretenders, even perverts, just for being who we are. There are people who wish for us to go back into the shadows, the closet, never to return. Many of these people who wish to deny us our very legitimacy, who denounce us as mentally ill deviants, spend an hour each week paying homage to an ever-present, yet non-interventionist man in the sky. They go to courts across the land to defend their right to praise that uncorroborated deity at the expense of other people’s civil liberties. To them, we the living, the transgender people who walk the earth, are fake, but the man up there, He is real.
Ian Thomas Malone (The Transgender Manifesto)
As for those who were ashamed to declare themselves, lying low for the sake of a peaceful existence, she utterly despised such of them as had brains; they were traitors to themselves and their fellows, she insisted. For the sooner the world came to realize that fine brains very frequently went with inversion, the sooner it would have to withdraw its ban, and the sooner would cease this persecution. Persecution was always a hideous thing, breeding hideous thoughts—and such thoughts were dangerous.
Radclyffe Hall (The Well of Loneliness)
I'd heard there were some gay girls in senior year who were dating each other right out in the open. But not any boys. Its different for boys. I mean, everybody knows somebody gay - duh, it's not 1980 or something - but not at school. At school, it was a secret, and you were on your own.
Patrick Ness (Different for Boys)
Poem for My Father You closed the door. I was on the other side, screaming. It was black in your mind. Blacker than burned-out fire. Blacker than poison. Outside everything looked the same. You looked the same. You walked in your body like a living man. But you were not. would you not speak to me for weeks would you hang your coat in the closet without saying hello would you find a shoe out of place and beat me would you come home late would i lose the key would you find my glasses in the garbage would you put me on your knee would you read the bible to me in your smoking jacket after your mother died would you come home drunk and snore would you beat me on the legs would you carry me up the stairs by my hair so that my feet never touch the bottom would you make everything worse to make everything better i believe in god, the father almighty, the maker of heaven, the maker of my heaven and my hell. would you beat my mother would you beat her till she cries like a rabbit would you beat her in a corner of the kitchen while i am in the bathroom trying to bury my head underwater would you carry her to the bed would you put cotton and alcohol on her swollen head would you make love to her hair would you caress her hair would you rub her breasts with ben gay until she stinks would you sleep in the other room in the bed next to me while she sleeps on the pull-out cot would you come on the sheet while i am sleeping. later i look for the spot would you go to embalming school with the last of my mother's money would i see your picture in the book with all the other black boys you were the handsomest would you make the dead look beautiful would the men at the elks club would the rich ladies at funerals would the ugly drunk winos on the street know ben pretty ben regular ben would your father leave you when you were three with a mother who threw butcher knives at you would he leave you with her screaming red hair would he leave you to be smothered by a pillow she put over your head would he send for you during the summer like a rich uncle would you come in pretty corduroys until you were nine and never heard from him again would you hate him would you hate him every time you dragged hundred pound cartons of soap down the stairs into white ladies' basements would you hate him for fucking the woman who gave birth to you hate him flying by her house in the red truck so that other father threw down his hat in the street and stomped on it angry like we never saw him (bye bye to the will of grandpa bye bye to the family fortune bye bye when he stompled that hat, to the gold watch, embalmer's palace, grandbaby's college) mother crying silently, making floating island sending it up to the old man's ulcer would grandmother's diamonds close their heartsparks in the corner of the closet yellow like the eyes of cockroaches? Old man whose sperm swims in my veins, come back in love, come back in pain.
Toi Derricotte
How to Come Out as Gay Don’t. Don’t come out unless you want to. Don’t come out for anyone else’s sake. Don’t come out because you think society expects you to. Come out for yourself. Come out to yourself. Shout, sing it. Softly stutter. Correct those who say they knew before you did. That’s not how sexuality works, it’s yours to define. Being effeminate doesn’t make you gay. Being sensitive doesn’t make you gay. Being gay makes you gay. Be a bit gay, be very gay. Be the glitter that shows up in unexpected places. Be Typing . . . on WhatsApp but leave them waiting. Throw a party for yourself but don’t invite anyone else. Invite everyone to your party but show up late or not at all. If you’re unhappy in the closet but afraid of what’s outside, leave the door ajar and call out. If you’re happy in the closet for the time being, play dress-up until you find the right outfit. Don’t worry, it’s okay to say you’re gay and later exchange it for something else that suits you, fits, feels better. Watch movies that make it seem a little less scary: Beautiful Thing, Moonlight. Be southeast London, a daytime dance floor, his head resting on your shoulder. Be South Beach, Miami, night of water and fire, your head resting on his shoulder. Be the fabric of his shirt the muscles in his shoulder, your shoulder. Be the bricks, be the sand. Be the river, be the ocean. Remember your life is not a movie. Accept you will be coming out for your whole life. Accept advice from people and sources you trust. If your mother warns you about STDs within minutes of you coming out, try to understand that she loves you and is afraid. If you come out at fifteen, this is not a badge of honor, it doesn’t matter what age you come out. Be a beautiful thing. Be the moonlight, too. Remember you have the right to be proud. Remember you have the right to be you.
Dean Atta (The Black Flamingo)
Homophobia and the closet are allies. Like an unhealthy co-dependent relationship they need each other to survive. One plays the victim living in fear and shame while the other plays the persecutor policing what is ‘normal’. The only way to dismantle homophobia is for every gay man and lesbian in the world to come out and live authentic lives. Once they realise how normal we are and see themselves in us….the controversy is over. It is interesting to think what would happen though....on a particularly pre-determined day that every single gay man and lesbian came out. Imagine the impact when, on that day, people all around the world suddenly discovered their bosses, mums, dads, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, doctors, neighbours, colleagues, politicians, their favourite actors, celebrities and sports heroes, the people they loved and respected......were indeed gay. All stereotypes would immediately be broken.....just by the same single act of millions of people…..and at last there would no longer be need for secrecy. The closet would become the lounge room. How much healthier would we be emotionally and psychologically when we could all be ourselves doing life without the internal and societal negatives that have been attached to our sexual orientation.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
Coming out for gay people is a process, not a one-time event. Some days you feel free, open, and ready to piss on the world if they care what you do in bed. On other days, even if you’ve been out to yourself and others, you’re ready to hide in the darkest closet—because sometimes it is safer, easier, and more secure to hide.
Mark Richard Zubro (Why Isn't Becky Twitchell Dead? (Tom Mason & Scott Carpenter, #2))
A review of 850 research papers concluded that people with religious involvement and belief system have better mental health outcomes. They have higher levels of psychological well-being such as life satisfaction, happiness, positive effect, and higher morale and less depression and suicide. If however you are gay or lesbian (in the closet or your sexuality/belief system unresolved)…….. it is the exact opposite….it can drive you crazy or kill you (suicide). Also it should be noted that this research has shown that the very places where Christian young people should feel safest (in their churches, Christian homes, schools and with friends) are actually places of harm.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
I want to live in a world where gay children don't have to feel like outsiders, don't have to play be different rules, and don't have to prepare a big coming-out speech or be terrified of whether or not their mom and dad will love and embrace them for who they are. I want to live in a world where everyone comes out. Every one. Gay and straight. A world where parents wouldn't assume anything. We wouldn't suspect or gossip. We would wait. We would listen. We would believe our kids when they tell us who they are. And then we'd let them know that they are wonderful and they are loved just the way they are. I want that for others because it's also what I want for myself -- to be accepted for who I am. Isn't that what we all want?
Kristina Kuzmic (Hold On, But Don't Hold Still)
— Do they know? That you're gay? — Why waste their time with it? It's not like it'll ever be an issue anyway. — Yeah, but, it's who you are, right? — I guess so, — he said. — I don't really know how to be any way else. — When did you know? — I was twelve, maybe. Something I just knew one day, even though I hadn't known it the day before. — So it's like that, huh? A feeling? Not just being into other dudes? — Oh no, it's that too. Of course it's that. But it's more, I think. Not so much a feeling as a fact, like having blue eyes or brown hair. It's just maybe something you don't discover until you're ready to understand it better. — Like being straight, — she said. Only we don't have to deal with all that closet bullshit. — Bingo, — he said.
John Corey Whaley (Highly Illogical Behavior)
Yoshino distinguishes covering from “conversion” (trying to become straight) and “passing” (staying in the closet), and points out that even after gay people come out, society exerts a “covering demand” on its minority members. I would argue that, by pleading for more magnanimous treatment of our opponents, gay thought leaders were unconsciously applying the covering demand to the LGBT equality movement as a whole.
Michelangelo Signorile (It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, & Winning True Equality)
God came up and kissed Day on his forehead. When Day looked over at Johnson, who was still slowly sipping his soda, the guy did look lonely as hell. Before Day could say something kind, his other headache strolled in. “Oh hell. What the fuck is going on in here? This must be the officer’s gay alliance club meeting.” Day blew an exasperated breath. “And now that you’re here, Ronowski, all members are present and we can begin.” Day smiled as God and Johnson practically spit their drinks out laughing. Ronowski fumed. “Day, you’re going to stop calling me gay! I have never been gay! I will never be gay, and I don’t like anyone that is gay! So stop saying that before people start believing your bullshit!” Day clapped his hands together once. “Okay everyone those are the notes from last week’s meeting, now on to new business.” Day leveled Ronowski with a stern glare. “Ronowski, you are gay, man. You’re tightly closeted. But you are indeed gay, ultra-gay. You’re fuckin’ Marvin Gay. You crash landed on Earth when your gay planet exploded.” Day moved away from God and stood in front of an openmouthed Ronowski. “Come out of the closet already. It’s so bright and wonderful out here. Dude, I’ve seen Brokeback Mountain too, don’t believe that bullshit. No one cares who you fuck…ya know…like you tell me every. Single. Day. Of. My. Life,” Day said exaggeratedly. He stepped in so close to Ronowski that he could smell the body wash he used. “Let a man bang your back out one time.” Day leaned in to the man’s ear and felt Ronowski’s body give a fierce shutter. “I mean pound your ass so hard that you can’t walk straight for a week, and I guarantee you, you’ll want to march in the next gay pride parade, wearing nothing but a glitter jockstrap and a fuckin’ hot-pink feather boa.” Day stepped back and saw the beads of sweat that had popped up on Ronowski’s forehead. Satisfied he’d proven his point he refilled his coffee and left the break room.
A.E. Via
The Republican rallying cry of the last seven years has been that they want to take the country back. Yes, back to a time when men worked and women stayed home and watched the kids. A time when there were no drugs but everyone drank. There were no abortions except in back alleys. No gays, except in the closet. Minorities knew their place. And strikers got their heads busted. And if we didn’t like another country, we bombed the shit out of it; their whitewashed, utopian dream, and every else’s dystopian nightmare.
Ian Gurvitz (WELCOME TO DUMBFUCKISTAN: The Dumbed-Down, Disinformed, Dysfunctional, Disunited States of America)
I came of age in a culture where gay marriage went from comic impossibility to foregone conclusion to law of the land. I haven’t been closeted in almost a decade. Even so I am unaccountably haunted by the specter of the lunatic lesbian. I did not want my lover to be dogged by mental illness or a personality disorder or rage issues. I did not want her to act with unflagging irrationality. I didn’t want her to be jealous or cruel. Years later, if I could say anything to her, I’d say, “For fuck’s sake, stop making us look bad.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
Political power is small, although from outside it can seem very large. Economic power is much more important, as is the power of media communication. They are true powers. What does political power do? Changes the laws. And what effect does that have? It's very relative. We know very little about how many laws are adhered to, and if they are followed what effect that has. We have to manage to create a change in attitudes and changes of attitude are obtained more through campaigns, through attitudes that set an example, than through laws, through sanctions etc. A change in attitudes of communication, cultural change, has an absolutely unstoppable effect. I have lived in a Spain when if you were gay you would be thrown in prison. Realistically, they haven't especially changed the laws, until we cleared up the possibility of marriage, but at the start of the democracy gay people were thrown in prison. The law barely changed but people's attitudes did. It was in films, on television, it was in novels, it was examples - gay people who came out of the closet, they were kind, we loved them; there was a change.
Manuela Carmena
Shortly after becoming a Christian, I counseled a woman who was in a closeted lesbian relationship and a member of a Bible-believing church. No one in her church knew. Therefore, no one in her church was praying for her. Therefore, she sought and received no counsel. There was no “bearing one with the other” for her. No confession. No repentance. No healing. No joy in Christ. Just isolation. And shame. And pretense. Someone had sold her the pack of lies that said that God can heal your lying tongue or your broken heart, even cure your cancer if he chooses, but he can’t transform your sexuality. I told her that my heart breaks for her isolation and shame and asked her why she didn’t share her struggle with anyone in her church. She said: “Rosaria, if people in my church really believed that gay people could be transformed by Christ, they wouldn’t talk about us or pray about us in the hateful way that they do.” Christian reader, is this what people say about you when they hear you talk and pray? Do your prayers rise no higher than your prejudice? I think that churches would be places of greater intimacy and growth in Christ if people stopped lying about what we need, what we fear, where we fail, and how we sin. I think that many of us have a hard time believing the God we believe in, when the going gets tough. And I suspect that, instead of seeking counsel and direction from those stronger in the Lord, we retreat into our isolation and shame and let the sin wash over us, defeating us again. Or maybe we muscle through on our pride. Do we really believe that the word of God is a double-edged sword, cutting between the spirit and the soul? Or do we use the word of God as a cue card to commandeer only our external behavior?
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert)
The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables. Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day I would be grounded, rooted. Said my head would not keep flying away to where the darkness lives. The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight. Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do. I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling. You will find a good man soon.” The first psycho therapist told me to spend three hours each day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed and ears plugged. I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet. The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth. Said to focus on the out breath. Said everyone finds happiness when they care more about what they give than what they get. The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamicatl, Lithium, Xanax.” The doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me forget what the trauma said. The trauma said, “Don’t write these poems. Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.” But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River convinced he was entirely alone.” My bones said, “Write the poems.
Andrea Gibson (The Madness Vase)
For queer people, there's something special about finding another queer person. And we do--we find each other, don't we? "Gaydar" feels like a term invented by a straight woman for the sole purpose of outing closeted men, but there's an underlying and universal purpose to the concept of gaydar. It's finding your pack; it's survival. Queer people have never, ever-even now, when so much about the world is objectively better than it used to be-been able to live our lives as freely and openly and spectacularly as straight people have. We've always had to find each other, in dark corners of gay bars, in back alleys, in niche Tumblr fandoms, to survive.
Jill Gutowitz (Girls Can Kiss Now: Essays)
North American LGBT activists, wedded to epistemologies of the closet, often implicitly or explicitly equate this culture of semivisibility with the Global South’s lack of progress. In Sirena Selena, the Puerto Rican novelist Mayra Santos-Febres parodies the North’s conflation of “developing” nations’ electrical power outages and their lack of sexual enlightenment through the words of a Canadian tourist in Santo Domingo. He sighs, “I don’t want to criticize, you know — with all the problems these islands have, it’s understandable that they’re less evolved. . . . You can’t compare our problems with the atrocities a gay man has to face in these countries. . . . It’s all hanky-panky in the dark, like in the fifties in Canada.
Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley (Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism between Women in Caribbean Literature (Perverse Modernities))
As for us, we saw the police as a natural catastrophe— like floods, fires, earthquakes. There was nothing you could do about these things except to try and escape them. We had no analysis, no understanding that society could be changed. We simply tried to survive, as ourselves, as kamp girls, natural rebels. We did not feel that the police might not be entitled to hunt us, but accepted them as inevitable. I was beaten up for suggesting that a woman ask for a lawyer. It was seem as a stupid— even dangerous— suggestion. Fighting back with threats of lawyers would only make the police even angrier at us. But part of me felt that what was happening was unfair and unjust, though I had no idea how things could ever be different. Melbourne and Adelaide were exactly the same. The public lesbian scene was dangerous and difficult. There were many other New Zealand lesbians around, too. In spite of everything, I loved it. The “mateship” was amazing and close, important enough for any risk. And the freedom to be ourselves, to be real, to be queer, affirmed us. There were private, closeted scenes too, but they were hard to find and cliquey. They were fearful of being “sprung” by kamps who were too obvious. They were mainly older middle-class women. I knew some of them, learnt many things from them— like how to behave in a nice restaurant if you are taken to dinner. But they too had no sense of anything being able to change— except for the one strange woman who danced naked to Beethoven and lent me de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. She sowed some wild ideas, more than a decade too early for them to make any sense.
Julia Penelope (Finding the Lesbians: Personal Accounts from Around the World)
...oh, believe me, I feel that I'm the least homophobic person... ...I hate putting labels on people... ...I came up with a term, I call them 'Limbo Gay,' that's one, and I came up with another term, 'Straight Gay,' and then there's a new one I made up, I call them 'Dry Gay,' and then there's also 'Gay Gay' which is really the same as 'Really Gay'... ...but this doesn't mean I'm being homophobic, and this is something the gay community needs to be educated about... ...and a man who likes penis doesn't have to call himself gay, or bi, or confused, all he has to do is say to the woman, 'Look, I love you, but I'm a penis man, I like penis...' ...these gay men spend their entire lives lying about who they are, and so lying just becomes a way of life to them... ...these gay men are trying to live a life that isn't theirs to live, they don't belong in the straight world, they belong in the gay world... ...that doesn't make me homophobic...
Bonnie Kaye
North American LGBT activists, wedded to epistemologies of the closet, often implicitly or explicitly equate this culture of semivisibility with the Global South’s lack of progress. In Sirena Selena, the Puerto Rican novelist Mayra Santos-Febres parodies the North’s conflation of “developing” nations’ electrical power outages and their lack of sexual enlightenment through the words of a Canadian tourist in Santo Domingo. He sighs, “I don’t want to criticize, you know — with all the problems these islands have, it’s understandable that they’re less evolved. . . . You can’t compare our problems with the atrocities a gay man has to face in these countries. . . . It’s all hanky-panky in the dark, like in the fifties in Canada.”5 But the “dark” or semivisibility of Caribbean same-sex sexuality can be something other than a blackout. It can also read as the “tender and beautiful” night that Ida Faubert imagines in “Tropical Night,” a space of alternative vision that nurtures both eroticism and resistance. The tactically obscured has been crucial to Caribbean and North American slave societies, in which dances, ceremonies, sexual encounters, abortions, and slave revolts all took place under the cover of night. Calling on this different understanding of the half seen, Édouard Glissant exhorts scholars engaging Caribbean cultures to leave behind desires for transparency and instead approach with respect for opacity: a mode of seeing in which the difference of the other is neither completely visible nor completely hidden, neither overexposed nor erased.6 The difference that Glissant asks us to (half ) look at is certainly not that of sexuality (since it is never mentioned) nor of gender (since he includes in his work a diatribe against feminism).
Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley (Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism between Women in Caribbean Literature (Perverse Modernities))