I am reading a book Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg. It’s about a gay guy who’s tired of being that “gay guy” around school, so his solution is to switch schools and to pretend to be straight (Or not to be out though not necessarily back in the closet – I don’t get it, but it is what it is…).
Although I am more than half way through the book, I am finding the story troubling. I am not sure what is bugging me about the story. If I had to examine my own feelings, I believe it’s because it took me so long to come out that it is bugging me that one would choose to go back (in the closet). I kind of always knew I was attracted to guys; however, I grew up believing it was wrong and I grew up in the projects, so that was an issue in itself.
Once I came out; I was out. I was actually relieved that I didn’t have to hide it (not that I was acting on it; in-fact, I was more celibate than a priest LOL). I just moved to Vancouver and after a few months, I realized that I didn’t have to hide it any more and I found this to be a relieving experience.
So, I am guessing that what bothers me is: Why would one deny oneself? I mean, a few times in the story the protagonist lied about who he was to maintain his straightness. I don’t know if I could do that unless I was threatened (I mean some gays still get bashed, or worst, killed – even in this more enlightened era – I had to lie once one late summer night a number of years back). If one lies to have to keep one’s friends, as it seems the protagonist is doing, then one has to wonder what kind of friends are they? If you are honest about who you are, then your assured that the friends you make like you for the person you are (that is my thinking anyway).
I will finish the story, but one has to know that this
deception will come back and bite the protagonist.
—Robert Confiant 6 November 2019