#Personal Stories

Why I Chose To Stay In The Closet And Why It Was The Right Decision For Me

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Being a queer desi woman that is in the closet means that around 50 percent of the time, I am filled with anxiety about being outed.

The first person I ever came out to was my best friend, who had just come out to me. The next person I came out to was this classmate I barely spoke to. I impulsively made a gay joke and when she asked if I was gay, I instantly replied with “I’m bi.” Usually, I’m great at lying to people, I do it all the time. But when I was asked point black, I panicked.

If you ignore me accidentally outing myself to people I barely know, I keep my sexuality under a tight wrap. The only people that I have come out to are my close friends and my older brother. The only people I actively hide my bisexuality from are my relatives and parents.

Why I’m Not Out To My Parents

My family isn’t the type to sit down and talk about their personal beliefs or political views. Due to this, I’ve never heard my parents say anything about queerness. That makes it impossible to guess their beliefs regarding queerness and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The possibilities of how they might react if I come out are endless.

  1. Will they ship me off to conversion therapy? I don’t think so but I do not want to risk it.
  2. Will they give me a hug and tell me they love me regardless of my sexuality? Doubt it.
  3. Will they ignore that said I anything and pretend I’m straight? Most likely.
  4. Will they tell me to ignore that I’m bisexual and say “Well you like men nah, no issues we’ll marry you off before anybody else finds out.”? Also a strong contender for the most likely reaction.

Why Being In The Closet Was The Right Decision For Me

The idea of coming out to my parents was so foreign to me that I didn’t even consider it until last year. While my friend and I were talking, he asked me if I ever planned on telling my parents that I was bisexual. Before being asked that, I had never even considered it as an option. That was when I realised I had no intention of coming out to my parents.

I’m very comfortable with where I am at this stage of life. I don’t want to risk the relationship I have with my family. It never felt like I was making a huge sacrifice by hiding my sexuality. Instead, it always felt like the safest option. Why risk judgement from my own family?

Why There Is Nothing Wrong About Staying In The Closet

Being in the closet is not a shameful act. For a lot of queer people, being in the closet is a matter of survival. Acting like queer people owe anyone the truth about their gender identity or sexuality is selfish and self-centred.

Being openly queer also often means that people just think of you as the queer person they know. A friend had a batchmate that was a lesbian, and that was the first thing she told me when she saw her. She might not remember her name, or know anything else about her, but she remembers her sexuality.

Queer people just want to be able to live their lives without feeling like they are being watched or judged. I do not believe that we have not reached a level of acceptance where coming out isn’t considered groundbreaking. For a lot of private people, staying in the closet is the more convenient, comfortable, and safe option.

In the end, the only thing that matters is what the person is more comfortable with. If someone wants to come out, that’s their prerogative. If someone wants to stay in the closet, that is also their prerogative.

Why People Need To Be Considerate Of Whether Someone Is In The Closet

While my friends have been incredibly supportive after I came out to them, there have also been a lot of missteps. The missteps range from a friend telling her best friend that I’m bi because “I tell him everything” to loudly asking me about the girl I had a crush on in public places.

While it’s always nice to see that my friends don’t consider queerness to be taboo, it erases the effort I put into ensuring that only people I trust know about my sexuality.

Talking about my crushes might be a step towards normalising queerness, but it does not negate the fact that I’m not comfortable with strangers knowing my sexuality. Especially if those strangers go to the same college as me or might know my parents. While my friends thought of it as a casual conversation, for me it was a conversation that could destroy my life if the wrong person overheard.