Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I remember a time where what I felt and who I was attracted to was a secret. I learned early that I had a secret and a secret it would remain.
Therefore today when I run across a video such as this one in which a famous young gay man lives behind his secret I can empathize.
Don’t get me wrong, I wish Elton and others had been out and able to lead thus showing me that I was ok. However, I understand. I understand now that for them the safety of the curtain allowed them to live two lives. One life in front of the curtain out on stage and another in secret behind it. Society actually demanded the separation.
Stars of the past who tried to live their truth found their careers ruined and were ostracized, rejected into oblivion.
Today Elton is able to live as an out gay man. He is married and has two children. After all those years in hiding, today he can live as an example. Unfortunately Billy Haines never made it to see the day where his lifelong relationship would be validated much less that he could live and work as an out gay man.
What Billy Haines chose isn’t lost on me though. He chose to live his truth and to live as an out gay man, but it lost him his career. In his own way he blazed a trail by refusing to live a double life, or in other words he refused to live a lie.
Elton chose to live the lie until eventually his truth started to be too obvious, yet fortunately for him the times had changed to acceptance. But I don’t fault Elton. He had much to contribute, and contribute he did through his work and art. He was fortunate that thankfully times finally changed.
Societal “norms” keep people from fully expressing and living their truths.
Isn’t it time we appreciate differences and continue to challenge societal norms? Isn’t it time we actually question gender stereotypes? Isn’t it possible that the actual organ isn’t the actual sex? Isn’t it possible that sex, or sexuality, doesn’t even fucking matter?
Peppermint & Cazwell’s video Blend has appeared here before. It’s worth a re-post.
If we all do not understand, empathize, love, accept, support, forgive and STAND UP for each other then who will?
Let’s celebrate each other. Let’s celebrate life.