For starters I have no way of knowing what the percentage might be. I really canít even begin to guess. For every gay person that is out, Iím very certain that there are many more that arenít and lots of times because theyíre in a straight marriage and feel that they canít be free to help us wage what that true percentage might be.
The Cincinnati Pride festival years ago only attracted a very small amount of people, and Iíd welcome all of you to attend just to see what those numbers are now. Iíve been to all kinds of events at Sawyer Point/Yeatmanís Cove over the years, and never have I seen the amount of people attend events like the numbers I see at the Pride Festival. The estimate now has swelled to about 90,000. True not everyone who attends are gay as there are also tons of representation from parents of gays that want to show their support.
While the numbers of attendance are now incredibly huge, I still think about all of those closeted gays who wouldnít be caught dead attending. Married or not there are also tons of gay people who donít feel like they want to be so out and waving flags, and they keep their lives very private and donít feel the need to be officially out about it.
This can be due to a number of reasons such as they donít feel like their workplace is one that could be very acceptant, or perhaps the neighborhood they live in. Even with society thankfully showing more acceptance these days, so many people still experience a sense of fear that they might welcome adverse reaction from family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors if they revealed their true selves.
With that said I grew up knowing that I was gay and how society felt about it. I next to never felt that I had a voice to say anything, and keeping that under wraps was such a lonely place to be, and especially during my teen years. I rarely sensed anything from T.V. programming other than a few obvious actors such as Paul Lynde, and even then is was still under hushed circumstances.
The pervading thought is that all gay men are flamboyant and that certainly anyone could tell if someone was gay, but for every flamboyant homosexual there are so many who are not. Same with woman. Sure thereís a lot of tom boyish lesbians, but thereís also the tag of lipstick lesbians regarding women who you couldnít tell just by looking at them.
I would never suggest that straight people just go away and quit pushing their ďstraight agendaĒ, because Iím well aware that there are more straight people than gay, but it sorta bugs me to hear straight people say that theyíre fine with people being gay, but please donít push the topic on me so much because I donít really care to hear about it. Iíve spent my whole life having to swallow the world being so hyper straight making me feel that I have no place in this world. As I grew older I came to realize that there are way many more gay people in this world then people know and for there to be so many and very little representaton within the culture was disturbing and not a true representation of reality.
If you see more and more representation these days itís a combination of true reality finally showing its face, and without the help of understanding straight folk it could very possibly never happen. Itís been a case of people finally understanding because now they know family and friends who are gay and itís not such a frightening thought to them considering theyíve had the benefit of acutally talking the topic with them to a point that it becomes a big nothig burger when they begin to realize that a gay person didnít choose to be gay, and that there have always been homosexuals, and there always will be, and that weíre not all the freaks that people have been lead to believe we are, and that in many way weíre just as down to earth as anyone else and share many of the same interests etc. I donít do my gay laundry, I just do my laundry.
Also when you see more of it on T.V. itís also a bit of a backlash that says that now I have a voice Iím really really going to use it because Iím never going to go back into that suffocating closet ever again, and that the journey to really live in a free accepting culture has just begun, and to make it a solid reality we canít just go away because some straight folks are uncomfortable about it. We are going to make sure that people realize that we exist and we are a true reality and representation of a significant portion of our culture and not just an insignificant freakish footnote that we need to be ashamed about.
One thing for certain about the gay culture that in the past always seemed to join in secrecy in back alley bars that seemed creepy and weird is because they had no other choice, but now gay folks are feeling more accepted in anybody bars, and gay bars are now showing up on Main St.
Growing up all I really wanted was to be apart of the real world rather than having to separate myself from it to go into my exclusive gay world. Some gaysí behaviour has been seriously affected by all of those years living in the shadows that they think thatís the only way to live and I feel sorry for them because all of that living in the shadows wasnít there choice to begin with, and it was just a necessary evil because society wouldnít allow any other way.
Bottomline is that homosexuality is a true reality, and finally the strides we have made to make this clear are starting to pay off, and because some straights are feeling too uncomfortable about being made aware of us is no reason to apologize for just being ourselves. Weíve had to live in an exclusively straight world all of these years and in many ways suffer through that in our suffocating closets that by comparison we really canít feel sorry for straight people who suffer so much because now they have to consciously realize that we exist, and more so than they ever cared to know.
What is that percentage? I donít even care because thereís no true way of knowing, but I do know that weíre certainly significant enough not to be suppressed. Even the very few asexual people in this world need not be suppressed. Imagine a 17 year old kid telling his or her friends that they have no sex drive whatsoever, and just see how they might be shunned and considered to be weird. We are all who we are. Straight people didnít wake up one day and choose to be straight, and neither did gay people. Weíre all just a true reality of humanity, straight and gay, and Iím very thrilled now to be living in this era where I can finally see with my own two eyes that we can all get along and understand each other. What my true hope is that one day we solidly see that the whole topic is seriously a big nothing burger and that we live in a culture that no one feels that they are being suppressed just for being who they are, and loving who they love.