I mean, one meaning for “gay” is “happy.” No but seriously.
Researchers at the University of Montreal found that, for gay and bisexual men, “coming out” has actual health benefits, reducing the stress and anxiety that the men in question experience.
You guys, I can totally see this. I was not exactly “closeted” in high school (I mean, you can’t really fool around with a guy at an afterschool club and be like: “What? Interested in guys? A slanderous lie!”). But I wasn’t always honest about it, either. Like, I may have slightly agreed to go to a dance with a female friend of mine who asked me out because I have crippling anxiety, a fear of confrontation, and she was a lovely person and so I wanted to be nice.
Like, remember when Bree Van De Kamp accepted a marriage proposal on Desperate Housewives because she did not want to be rude? Sometimes being polite has its drawbacks.
Anyway, high school was pleasant and so was college. I’m not one for going around and telling everyone that you’re gay or bisexual when you meet them (like you’re a registered sex-offender or something). I kind of expect for friends to figure out that I’m gay the same way that they figure out that I’m white—because it’s obvious. That can sometimes mean that a few people basically have to walk into your dorm room while your All-Hot-Dudes screensaver (I call mine “Mantage,” like a montage, but of men) is up. Or if they ask.
The only time that I will lie about my sexual orientation is if A) it’s an uncomfortable situation (like, one guy says: “gay guys make me uncomfortable,” and another guy says: “No, gay guys are awesome. Hey, Simon, you’re gay, right?” And that is a paraphrased quote from my life (the first guy is very nice and openly has a boyfriend now; don’t worry). Scenario B) is if my family is involved. Because no one does “embarrassing” like my family does.
I mean, now, if my mother meets one of my female friends, she just about always assumes that I am sleeping with the lady in question. This is something that my female friends and I can laugh off—it’s goofy, like getting drunk and making out at a party. I’m not worried about telling my elderly Republican relatives—my eighty-three-year-old Republican grandmother voted for Chaz Bono on Dancing With The Stars because she couldn’t stand the fuss that people made over him being transgender, she voted against Amendment One in our state (an anti-marriage-equality amendment here in North Carolina), and she “secretly” voted for Obama in this past election. It’s just that, literally, my mother would be embarrassing if she officially knew and I would prefer to avoid that. It’s not like I have “relationships” that I hide from her or anyone else. There’s never pressure to tell your family about hook-ups.
That said, I have watched Fashion Police with my mother on multiple occasions, so I would say that she at least suspects.
Am I happier than most people? I would say so. Content, at least. There are people who better exemplify this story. One friend of mine used certain recreational pharmaceuticals as an escape rather than simply for recreation for a while. He came out to his mother and she was not exactly accepting. After she did become supportive, he became much happier and less self-destructive.
So, no one is really surprised, at all, that stopping yourself from living a lie makes you happier. Freeing yourself from that might even let you be happier than people who have never lived a lie. What do you think?