Today comedian and all ’round top chick Magda Szubanski announced she was gay. It was a big deal. It shouldn’t have been, we hear you say, but for her it was. Her interview on The Project tonight makes for great television. Watch it now:
But why is coming out such a big commotion anyway? Why should anyone have to, or feel like they must?
I did not come out of the closet so much as the closet was dismantled slowly from around me. Panel by heartbreaking panel my fortress of solitude was torn down and sold for junk on the blackmarket of extreme gender curiosity.
Each veiled question, aimed at securing a little more whether I ‘was or wasn’t’ was rather like an eye peeping through the cracks of my humble little closet, swivelling and squinting for a look at what, I had thought, had been my best kept secret.
Of course my charade was the homosexual equivalent of a prison break in broad daylight where the thief in black and white clothing attempts a Looney Tunes-esque run for freedom behind a fake bush. Not fooling anybody.
At this point I should like to point out that there has never been a requirement for my older brother, who is straight, to sit my mother down and have ‘the talk’ with her explaining in no uncertain terms that he likes women and that, yes, boobs kind of do it for him. Had he, or anyone for that matter, done this society might have thought them weird.
Indeed, there is a new breed of gay who has dispensed entirely with the construct of the closet (they are so avant garde) and decided there really is no need for this whole coming out hullabaloo in the first place. And while this is an admirable march forward, I scarcely think most of society is ready for it, for better or for worse.
This lot just take their first boyfriends or girlfriends home as some kind of homo surprise.
Taking that path would be less a military-precision escape from the closet and more akin to bursting from it at high speed atop a gilded and bedazzled lion. I envy those who can take this road as my removal from the closet was traumatic and prolonged, on account of the fact I used a broom handle to try and brace myself against the door while people pulled at my ankle.
You see, for the longest while I thought it entirely possible that I could fake it until I make it. I’d never fallen in love with a boy, of any persuasion, so I thought the innate sense of my being gay might forever remain a dull realisation somewhere at the back of my mind where I stored useless information about dinosaurs and the rise and fall of Pop Tarts.
As I’ve previously written, I certainly found myself two unwitting girlfriends in high school who aided and abetted my stated goal of remaining straight forever. Growing up in the country was useful because nobody really knew any gay kids and therefore their gaydars were about as well tuned as a parsnip. And so my charade survived beyond high school.