Why Staying In The Closet Is Harmful

Havana Garrett, Reporter

he pain that comes with staying in the closet is immense. In the past, the stigmatization left LGBTQ+ indivituals feeling as if they had no choice to stay closeted. And the consequences of this could be dire.

It used to be a given that if you came out you would be ridiculed and teased. However today we live in a society where more minds are open to the possibility of same sex couples or different gender identities.

For me, the pain that came with staying in the closet led to some of the worst years of my life, and I would not wish that experience on anybody.

But the relief that I felt when I finally came out was immense.

It is now common to meet individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ and this increased visibility may make it seem like coming out is a fad.

The reason more people are coming out now is not because it’s “cool” or “trendy.” Statistics show LGBTQ+ teens will be bullied, and suicide rates for these teenagers are 4-6 times higher than those of their heterosexual peers, but despite this and people are done hiding who they are.

No statistical analysis of the risks associated with being out can change the fact that LGBTQ+ people are finally okay with who they are and are finding increasing acceptance in our communities. Even if the current leadinership of this conuntry refuses to acknowledge LGBTQ+ pride and in some cases has passed legislation that could be seen as harmful to this communtiy, people are coming out and taking pride in who they are as individuals.

“It’s not that my parents are homophobic, it’s that we never talked about my sexuality, or anyone’s for that matter.” A student that has asked to remain anonymous said. “I was afraid that if I told my parents [about my identity] they wouldn’t love me the same. And I always pictured my mom having this idea of my perfect wedding, I was afraid that if I told her, she would be disappointed, but when I came out to her I realized that no fairytale wedding would ever mean anything if I wasn’t in love with the person. She told me she was happy that I chose to be open and okay with who I am, and I’m happy that I can be who I am too.”

The closet is a dangerous place to live, it invokes so much fear and pain onto anyone who is stuck hiding their true identity.

Coming out is something that a lot of people are afraid to do, because they don’t know how people are going to react.

At the same time, coming out can be the best decision you will ever make.

We’ve reached a point in our society where we are more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, and we should take ahold of that and speak who we really and truly are.