I’ve seen this video floating around the web for a couple of days now, but didn’t give it a look until tonight. I’m really glad I did.
Steven Boyle used a poetry reading as the perfect opportunity to come out of the closet. The fact that he came out at all is reason enough for applause, but the way in which he did it was just fantastic. His poem, entitled “I hit send, or modern meltdown” in less than four minutes speaks about his love for another guy, self-censorship, homophobes, trying to maintain an image of heterosexuality, and same-sex parents. The most amazing part is that he’s able to convey such important messages without ever coming off as preachy or morose, and the end result is both hilarious and inspiring.
The poem, which does a fantastic job of recruiting audience participation, is as well-received by those in attendance as it is by us watching it at home, and it reinforces two very important characteristics of coming out. The first is that there is no set way to come out. I know I’ve spoken of this before, but I think it’s important for anyone considering this option. Everyone’s situation is different, and just because many people decide to come out in a similar way, doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. It’s important to do what feels most comfortable to you, and Steven Boyle’s coming out showed that it doesn’t even have to be a formal (or even serious) affair. Secondly, the reaction to the audience was a wonderful reminder that not everyone is opposed to hearing about gay people’s thoughts and opinions. In fact, there seemed to be no hesitation in the assistance of the poem, and the loudest voice to shout out “suck dick” in participation was a guy’s. Also, note that, when Steven was done, no one was commenting on the fact that the poem’s content was gay-themed. Instead, they were all remarking on how awesome the piece word, even joking that he should have dropped the mic in bad-ass fashion.
There are very many awesome people around, gay or straight. And considering all the media attention that the vilest individuals of our society are given, it’s great to highlight the better percentage of those around us.