The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Coming Out Analogy

Imagine being a marionette, a perfected, painted, polished puppet taught to perform for other people’s enjoyment. The ropes that constrict you are society, which are forcing you to walk, talk, and do anything they want you to do, whether you like it or not. Whenever you try to go your own way to be who you are, you can’t. The ropes won’t let you become the person you want to be. You’re pulled along day after day thinking that this is what is normal, this is what it’s like to be human.

Or, better yet, being trapped in a tiny, dark, cramped room, in which you know who you truly are and what you want to be, but no one else knows. At first it is so dark that you do not even know that you are in there. Once you do it’s all you can think about. Eventually, you break out of your dungeon and everyone around you is either trying to force you back into it, lock you inside, and make you one of them, or accepts you with open arms for who you are.

This is what it is like to be a queer person. For many, they can cut themselves free from the ropes and burst out of the prison to be welcomed and accepted, but for others they do not have that option. They willingly stay attached to the restrictive chains and trapped in their personalized jail for they know that if they break free and show who they truly are they will shoved back into the closet and will have even less will to get out again.

The metaphorical closet exists and people are in there right now wondering what is wrong with them. Some of the inhabitants are soon to come out into the light and let the rest of the world see the real them, knowing that their family and friends are going to accept them. Others stay in that closet because they might have no choice.

Living in fear of yourself and what you could be is a nightmare on its own. Countless nights without sleep wondering what could be wrong with you, let alone dealing with the bullying and insults that some get. Even if you aren’t being bullied, hearing the stories of what is going on and what has happened to some people is almost as painful enough. All of this is what almost every LGBTQ member and supporter goes through.

Up until years ago, being homosexual was a type of mental illness, meaning all those people that were discovered of “possessing the devil” were sent away to conversion camps to “cure them”. In those camps they did change, but not in a good way. If anything, they were shoved back into the closet, deeper than they were before, and not allowed to get out, if they even tried. Then when they could leave they realize how messed up all of that is. That’s just best case scenario. Otherwise, you keep going through whatever terrible methods of “saving” they have or you commit suicide. This is no way to live and no way to be rewarded for finding out what the hell you are. Its breaking free of one dark, demeaning prison only to be trapped in another one. Even if you avoid this way of hell, there is always the judgements and expectations, something that no one can escape no matter how accepting people around you are. That alone is a punch in the face on its own accord.

Just because the ultimate goal is to come out doesn’t always mean that life gets easier once one comes out. In many places of the world LGBTQ are not very unaccepting. Many of people are openly homophobic. The opinions of people in modern society have been improving, but, there are still people who have yet to see the light in the rainbow.

When many people are in the process of coming out they go through an immense amount of pain. Nobody knows of the issues they are going through, it’s not like a questioning person hangs a sign that says “I might be gay. Don’t bully me”, humans have this innate ability to just say anything that comes to mind with little to none discretion.

A classmate saying “that’s gay” as an insult without knowing what it means, a parent offhandedly insulting some queer person they encountered, a grandparent complaining about the confusion that transgender people cause; this is just some common situations queer people have to endure in the closet. To be in position in which you are just discovering who you are and feel incredibly vulnerable and weak and hear insults and comments, whether intentional or not, from the people around you hurts like a physical stab to the heart. Plenty of queer people live in homophobic families and/or societies in which they are told everyday that being gay or bisexual, among many other things, are wrong.

To return to the room analogy, it is so dark within that prison that you don’t know where you are. You don’t even realize you are in the dungeon of concealness. When you finally do realize the predicament you’re in, you start to relax. You are briefly happy to discover such a thing, despite the terror you feel of being trapped in something so deadly. Once you decide that it is for you to leave this tomb behind, do you notice the  the numerous threatening spikes, or insults, all around the exit, just waiting to leave it’s mark on you. The long you stay the more spikes form. You know it will hurt even more than staying to open the door, however, you can’t stay with the monster that is your deepest fears.

You hold your breath and reach your hand out towards the door knob feeling the stabs and pokes from the spikes. You’re in an immense amount of pain and you desperately hope that all the bloodshed will be worth in the end. You can feel your blood fall from your veins, spread across your arm and clothing, soaking your shirt as drops stream to the floor at an alarming rate. Your arm is almost entirely red with blood and you are holding back your tears and desire to retract your arm. You have to walk through all of the spikes and feel your entire body in the pain that your arm had earlier felt. You very slowly walk through, feeling each individual poke and stab along with your clothing turning bright red. The tears rain on your face due to the pain you endure and the permanent scars being made on your body and soul.

Finally, you get out of your prison and slam the door shut on your doubts, fears, and closeted days, to heal the scars and clean up the mess and bloodspill that it had caused. However, the effect and pain the process of coming out has had on you is only part of the problem. Even after all the pain and suffering you went through in the closet there is plenty more suffering to go through in the world you just entered. You can either embrace the challenges and suffering that is in the world, or you can hide back in the closet with your fears in wait for another chance to come out, only to go through that pain once again.

No one should feel controlled or trapped, whether figuratively or literally. People should be able to come out without the pain of people around them, let alone, when they do come out, have to be controlled by the society around them.

People should be able to cu themselves free of the robes and break out of the prison that society confines them to. People should be able to express who they are without the repercussions and judgement of society.

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