Oh no. Alex Keaton’s mother is a lesbian? I’ve read a lot of comments on Facebook and around the Internet and they all have one common thread – Meredith Baxter did the right thing by coming out of the closet. One person said it was terrible that while they were fighting for the right to marry, celebrities and athletes were trashing their vows with no remorse.
I’m not even going there because the whole “we should get to be miserable just like everyone else” argument is ridiculous.
I’m more interested in other people’s reactions, which for the most part fall into two camps. Or one camp with two viewpoints. The first is that Baxter was incredibly brave to out herself. The second is that a person’s sexuality is no one’s business and people who don’t fly the rainbow flag (for themselves or in honor of gay friends) are evil and stupid.
We make our sexuality everyone’s business – we do it by taking vows and wearing a ring on the third finger of our left hand. True, no one knows exactly what goes on behind closed doors, but the wedding ring gives a clue as to who we’re doing it with. People assume a woman with a wedding ring is married to a man. Vice versa for the men.
Those assumptions will never go away. Ever. Even when gays have the right to marry.
The other thing that bothered me is that Meredith Baxter didn’t seem to want to announce it to the world. She thought she had to – and unfortunately, she was probably right. I can only put it in context of my world.
My family knows I’m gay. My friends know. The school friends on FB that followed a link to my blog probably know. The 200+ other FB strangers probably know if they read my page or clicked through to my blog. But when I find a job, my boss isn’t going to know. My coworkers won’t know. That is my choice to make, not the LGBT community.
What if I published the book that no one is reading? What if everyone started reading it and then I became the next J.K. Rowling? Do random strangers have a right to know I’m gay simply by virtue of purchasing a book I wrote? Does that kind of celebrity mean I lose my right to privacy? Does not wanting that privacy breached mean I’m ashamed of who I am? Does it mean I’m a closet homophobe?
I haven’t joined the “fight” for “rights” because I think it’s all bullshit. The truth is that I don’t have to have anyone’s approval. Not yours. Not my mother’s. Not Perez Hilton’s. (Also? What makes gays think they have the right to out other people?) I don’t have to be “married” to prove that I’m worthy. I don’t have to wear a ring to make people think I’m straight. That may sound like a contradiction because I just said that when I get a job, I’m not going to announce to my coworkers that I’m gay. It’s not a contradiction, it’s the entire point. Most people come out because they say they don’t want to live a lie anymore. That’s a legitimate reason, but it’s not the entire truth. Coming out, being straight, being married, voting Democrat, having kids … it’s all about approval. All of it.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting approval – I want it, too. I’m just not going to fight to get the approval of people who probably aren’t going to like me anyway.
If Laura Leighton changes teams and proposes to me, I’m sure I’ll change my mind. Until then? Shut the closet door. It’s cold out there.
*say, flay, may, bray, lay, ray, fey, whey, fillet, day, play, tray, stray, okay I’m bored now