my response to someone urging men to stay in the closet

I write in response to Allen Jones’ ode in the BAR on staying in the closet. I appreciate coming out for him was difficult.  His shifting between his shame dissolving and telling others to lie shows he’s conflicted. I am one of those who urge men to come out. I am also part of a generation that came out when we risked losing our parents’ love and our jobs. Mr. Allen suggests people who urge others to come out have selfish reasons.  We do, we want to preserve our sanity. As someone who led a national gay organization and a campaign to create a gay and lesbian center with the largest collection of LGBT material in a public institution, the San Francisco Public Library, I beg to differ with Mr. Jones’ assertion that we are an “immature society led by gay leaders” he questions.  Perhaps he should look around and see the thousands who created a society strong enough to take on an epidemic and re-write the rules for drug approvals and funerals as well as claim our civil rights. I also suggest he spend an afternoon on the third floor of the library in the Gay & Lesbian Center and immerse himself in history he missed.

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