Coming Out as Rite of Passage

Social critics are always going on about how a major problem in modern society is that we lack the rituals that in earlier societies marked the boundary between childhood and adulthood. So if that's true, what is one group that is an exception to this; which has a ritual which each member goes through? Queer people: the ritual is coming out.

Straight people have their script delivered to them at birth. They don't even have to study the lines -- the role is simple and predefined. We get the same script, but we look at it and say -- "Where's my agent? This part just isn't me." We learn to be real actors to try to fit in - we're not just playing ourselves like straight people. But eventually we get sick of it. We want to quit the acting biz and have a chance to just be ourselves.

Here's some generalizations about the coming out process. There's that period of "I think I might be." A final stark moment of recognition, similar to walking into a room and saying, "Who is that stranger" and then realizing that it's your mirrored self. A segment of loudly claiming the new territory, exploring the dimensions of this new native land.

It's a self-administered ritual for the most part, though others are drafted into parts -- the first other queer friend, the straight friend whose friendship is tested, the parent whose world is inverted. The parent who must face reality -- their offspring is an adult, no longer their child to be controlled. See -- isn't that the effect the social critis are noting lacking -- a parent-child shift. Look at all the adult children who won't leave the nest -- well at least queers can be trusted to shake things up with Mommy and Daddy.


It's been a while since I've done a rant, and I'm trying to start up and be more regular about it. I'm going for a weekly schedule this time. Please check back next Monday to see how my resolution is holding up.
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