I've been thinking about closets recently and it's not just because Kiks and I are thinking of looking for one that can accommodate clothes and knick-knacks accumulated for years.
A question that nagged me a couple of days back was: can a relationship between an out gay man and a closeted one work? My opinion is that, yes it might for a while but there will come a point where the matter will have to get resolved: should the closeted person come out or the out gay guy comes back in the closet?
Basically, I think that for an out gay guy, going back to the closet is a very hard thing to do. It's too constricting, it's dark, it's messy and it's a place you'll never want to come back to once you've experienced being in the open. After the personal liberation of coming out, to be guarded once again with how you act, how you speak and the freedom of saying that "he's hot" to anyone without apologies is surely a gut-wrenching decision.
But of course, coming out is a decision that must not be forced. Else, instead of that sweet feeling of finally being able to do so, it becomes a bitter source of resentment and self-loathing.
Thoughts about closets once again came up after I finally watched Milk.
Indeed it was about the life of Harvey Milk. But it was the message of what he did while he lived that struck me more powerfully: gays must come out.
His advocacy to promote the rights of gays and protect the gains of the gay movement was both acts for out gay men to rally and an encouragement for closeted guys to come out. He thus worked for policies that could set the condition for those in the closet to be able to come out without shame and fear of any form of retribution.
Like any movement for change, it has ups and downs. But perseverance is hinged on and can lead to hope. For at the end, anyone who has been in an oppressed condition will want for a better one.
Every pride march, every rally for a gay cause and every time that someone speaks and acts for gay rights is a message to those in the closet that says, yes it can be done. Moreover, it must be done for, cliché as it may sound; it is in being and doing things together that give us the resolve to push forward.
Still the films let me look back to the times I spent inside the comfort of a closet that is actually a prison. We always say that experience is the best teacher and closets are not built to allow one to live and learn from the nooks and crannies of the gay life.
And yeah, if I have to live the gay life with someone like James Franco, I'll smash that closet into pieces.