Yesterday I wrote a post about Salon news editor Steve Kornacki’s essay in which he described living his life in the closet and publicly came out. My boyfriend read it a couple of hours ago. Jokingly I said, “I wasn’t too mean, was I?” My boyfriend responded, “Maybe a little.” I was horrified.
So let me say apologize up front. Steve, if you are reading this, I deeply and truly apologize for being mean. It was not my intention. I am a big fan of your writing, and I wish you the best. I think that it was brave of you to so publicly reflect on, evaluate, and expose your inner life the way you did. I do not want to you to think that I am belittle your internal struggles. Coming out is hard, no matter who, where, or when you are. Although I have seen many positive comments toward you, I have also seen some really nasty ones from within the LGBT community, and I don’t want you to think that I think that way.
Having said that, I take back the ambivalence I expressed on reading your essay. It was heartfelt and it was beautifully sad. It was also very difficult to read because it was filled with internalized homophobia and self-loathing. The Internet commentators who made me cringe, that’s what they were reacting to. Internet posting boards are not known for nuance, and the activist element of the LGBT community tends to think in extremes. Hence the rage and anger (and also the outright, uncritical adulation.)
I really hope that you are able to find the happiness that your fear robbed you of for so many years. I look forward to a follow-up in a few years time where you actually get to reflect on yourself as an openly gay man and what your path has been since you came out. After you finally moved beyond the bad feelings. You’re a terrific writer and thinker; I can’t wait to read it.