Here's a part of "The Planet: The Podcast For L Word Fans!" Elka and KC (both are lesbians) are talking about the reason to be out. It's quite long but I think all of it is true. The whole podcast canbe listened here at Off-Season Podcast 05-03-06.
Elka: At least we can’t be criticized for not being out enough. We’re the outest people ever.
KC: I finally bought an mp3 player. So I’ve been listening to the other podcasts and I’ve also...
Elka: Oh I didn’t know that.
KC: Not very many. I’ve just listened to like 2 of everybody. And I’ve also been reading some of the blog stuff and I’m really surprised that the other people who are doing the podcasts aren’t out. One of them was talking about how um... they have to re-do their house whenever their parents were coming over.
Elka: Oh I know what you’re talking about.
KC: And I was really surprised that those girls aren’t out, totally.
Elka: I think the girl who had to re-do her house is pretty young.
Elka: I mean all these people on the blogs are pretty young. Like I said you gotta be out by the time you’re 30.
KC: No I think early 20s. I’m not saying it was wrong. I’m just surprised.
Elka: Well, I’m just saying this because some of them got hate mail for not being out enough. You’re not the right kind of gay like that kind of bullshit. Which…
KC: No, I’m not saying that. I’m just surprised. And then the people who posted to their blogs I was reading a lot of comments and a lot of people... I guess I just forget about the other groups of people honestly. Part of the thing is I think it’s SO so important to be out. It’s the most important thing that you can do as a gay person.
Elka: I agree totally.
KC: It’s more important than voting, it’s more important than, I was thinking…
KC: Than furthering your career. It’s the most important thing you could do because if you’re not out then everybody’s never gonna know and nothing’s ever gonna change and plus you feel so much better when you’re out. That’s the smallest part of why it’s important. I’m not saying oh those girls are… I mean everybody has their time and their time hasn’t come yet. I’m assuming they aren’t gonna stay in the closet forever. They seem like intelligent people. I’m not saying that at all. They’re probably just young or maybe still dependant in some way, I don’t know. But I was surprised.
Elka: Not everyone is as cool as my mom (*When Elka came out to her mom, her reaction was “OK, can we go shopping now?”). I mean, I’m like the luckiest queer alive in that respect. For one thing, if you’re out, if someone on the border line and they’re homophobic, but they don’t know why, they meet you and you’re out and you challenge them in some way, not like argue with them but you challenge their bigotry you could be paving the way for the next gay person they meet. So then the kid that comes after to you doesn’t have to be the first gay person they’ve met, you know? So that’s one thing you can do by being out. I mean you’re an adult, you’re tough girl or guy, you’re strong you’re independent, you’re confident, be out, because you’re gonna be helping out some kid who’s not as independent as you are.
KC: I’ve been out for over a decade now and literally hundreds of people have told me that I’m the first gay person they knew and they’re surprised that I’m “normal” and they were capable of getting along with me and I didn’t try to persuade them and all this stuff. Hundreds of people told me that and a lot of them were older people and if I’m the first gay person they knew, they might not have met one for five or ten years. I mean I don’t know.
Elka: You’re not the first gay person they knew but you’re the first out person.
KC: Right. Right.
Elka: I mean, everybody knows someone who’s gay but a lot of people… we’re the only ones they know that are out! Yeah and it’s not even… I mean we live in a red state but it’s not hard to be out here. Got yelled at before and stuff but…
Elka: We even had a situation that was kinda scary but it’s worth it.
KC: I think most people the number one thing that they fear is rejection from their parents.
Elka: Uh huh. Even more than just setting a good example or changing people’s biases or whatever, I think the most important reason to be out, especially young people, when you’re in the closet and you are starting relationships, being in the closet teaches kids how to lie to everyone they care about in their formative years. It’s like teenagers who are gay are trained in how to lie and deceive the people that they care about the most. And then, you know, when you’re in your 20s you want to date one of these people and it’s like… some people get fucking warped and it’s because they’ve lied to everyone everyday for the past 10 years and it turns people fucking nuts.
KC: Ha-ha! Yeah I think so.
Elka: And I hate that! I mean I do not want to date someone who is a well practiced liar and I just think it’s just so sad that people are being trained how to lie better.
KC: Yeah. About something that’s so natural, even.
Elka: Well because you can’t just be a complete fucking liar about one part of your life and be a good honest person about everything else. Don’t you think that dishonesty bleats over and taints over someone’s personality after a while?
KC: I’ve never ever thought about it that way so I don’t know.
Elka: I think that this is why so many of us have had like negative dating experiences and crazy stalkers and shit like that.
KC: No the reason why there are crazy stalkers is because there are crazy dudes in the world.
Elka: I’m talking about lesbian stalkers.
KC: I’ve never had a lesbian stalker. Well of course they exist.
Elka: Well, I’m saying I think that’s what turns lesbians in to like crazy stalkers. Lying and dishonestly warps their minds.
KC: Ok, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Elka: How can you create like a healthy relationship with your girlfriend if everyday your life you’re lying to everybody?
Elka: I’m done with that. It’s ironic that you bring that up because I had a poll pre-written for what I wanted the poll to be this week and by the way we’re still taking your season 3 highs and lows. We’re gonna do a whole show about that.
KC: Wait, I’m not done with that topic yet. Well the other thing about coming out is that, this has happened to me a lot and I love this part of it cause I don’t know why… I like to be in the spot light.
Elka: Hehe apparently!
KC: Well one of the thing that happens a lot is someone who hasn’t been around someone who is out, they almost immediately, after knowing, start asking these questions that, you can tell like they’ve wondered about this for years but they’ve never known a gay person to ask and I love it because the questions are so dumb.
KC: But they are so fun to answer. Hahaha. When I first moved in to New Mexico, I worked at this office job and it was like the lamest job ever but it was an office of about 10 people and we just sat all day and did our work. The day when somebody finally asked me or whatever which is a couple of weeks I think or maybe a couple of months after I started working there, they found out that I was gay or somebody if I had a boyfriend, I said no I’m gay. I don’t remember how I came out there but I did. And within 20 minutes the whole office was asking me questions like I was on a talk show.
KC: It was so funny. Hey were like “so is one of you like the man and the other a woman?” they were surprised that I was, I wasn’t even offended because I knew the questions were coming but they were surprised that that wasn’t an offensive question and the most basic questions, you know. Obviously the one that comes up is “What do you do in bed?” Usually men ask that. But this was mostly women working office and so we had already talked about all kinds of stuff you really shouldn’t be talking about in the office but you do. The flood gates were open. And I just love that. Cause you could tell that some of them have been saving it up or they didn’t know who to ask for a reliable answer or they’ve been told by straight men the answer is totally bullshit. That’s another reason cause it’s kinda fun. It’s been way more enjoyable to come out than it has been bad experiences. I’ve hardly had any bad experiences with coming out, actually. Sometimes it’s interesting cause you’re like “what do they think??”
Elka: A lot of people hate those stupid questions that straight people ask us, though. I think you’re in a huge minority of actually not minding that.
Elka: I don’t mind it either because I’m too much information girl anyway. A lot of people are like “what I do is none of your fucking business, straighty!”
KC: Oh. Well I think it’s interesting. And they don’t know the challenges. They know that people look down on gay people but they don’t realize all the legal issues involved with not being able to get married, not being able to adopt a kid and all this like they never thought about it. Heath insurance.
Elka: They never think of that.
KC: No never. I mean NEVER. So…
Elka: I mean when you say something about gay marriage or gay rights, all they think about is 2 guys in a groom outfit walking down the aisle in church. They never think about someone like me getting sick and my partner not being able to take care of me because were discriminated against in health benefits. And that’s what matters. I don’t give a fuck about throwing rice at the church. I care about, you know, if my girlfriend gets sick, then I’m gonna be allowed in the room, even though I’m gonna have to turn around and leave again cause I can’t stand the sight of blood or needles.
KC: I mean we can go for days talking about how important it is to be out.
Elka: At the same time we're not judging people who aren’t ready yet.
Elka: That has to be a goal. If you're not out yet, you have to set that goal to be out because you can’t stay in the closet for your whole life.
KC: And if you feel you’re putting it off, set a limit on the time. Just be like “ok I’m gonna be out by the time I’m 29 “or 28 of whatever.
Elka: No you can come out before that. Don’t be like “well I’ll come out on my 29th birthday.” If you’re 22 and you’re out of the house and feel ready, don’t wait until you’re 30 just cause I said so.
KC: I think you should come out as soon as you can. As soon as you safely can.