Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Gaudy Gay Guy

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Gaudy Gay Guy

Article excerpt

Fairfield, Ill., population: 5,000. Openly gay: one. That's how it felt anyway. Of the 17 years that I lived in my hometown, 3 1/2 were spent as the openly gay kid.

When I came out to the people of Fairfield, it seemed as though I was shouting my gayness from the rooftops. Perhaps I was. After all, I can't let others shout it for me. But for some odd reason, the consensus was that I was seeking attention. My coming-out was not viewed as an admission, a revelation, or even the acceptance of reality that it truly was. It was viewed as gaudy. Suddenly, anything I did was for attention, including the time I responded to antigay letters to the editor in the local newspaper.

I began to realize that people needed me to crave their attention. Individuals would reinforce their own importance by degrading the value of my actions. I was being swept past the closet and out the door! …

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