An African-American friend of mine credits Facebook with helping him come out of the closet. Here’s his story, told in the first person.
I truly thank God for Facebook because it allowed me to tell everyone whom I had been hiding from that the jig is up. I grew so tired of the lies and deceitful silly games that I had been playing just to appease family, coworkers and a few dear old friends.
Being a gay man is the mother of all marks in the black community. The black church denunciates homosexuality and still does not welcome us with open arms. Congregants would rather travel elsewhere than practice their faith in a “sissy church.”
The day I hit 40, two weeks ago, I thought it was high time I finally grew up. Why was I continuing to hide? Why couldn’t I reveal that part of me that I did not chose to be? Why was I continuing to feed into the prejudices and fears about homosexuality? I needed to break out in a way that was big and all encompassing, and Facebook was the way to do it!
On the eve of my birthday, I pondered how I would come out. I thought of poetic verses, militant prose and even some Biblical lines but then I thought further, “What the hell are you doing man? Just go for it!” And I did!
So I filled in the “interested in” portion of my profile, selecting “men,” one minute after midnight, on the day of my birthday. Then I wrote a status update saying that I am a proud gay black man and have been so all of my life. I went on to state that if anyone opted to disassociate themselves from me because I am gay then so be it, their move would tell me that they never loved me in the first place.
I stayed up a few hours, oddly enough and sadly, to watch my friend count go down. When I awakened the next day, I ran over to my laptop to see how many folks had unfriended me. Hmmm…I had lost 32 friends.
Wait, did I say “lost?” Those people who unfriended me never added any real value to my life anyway.