Family & Relationships Gay Lesbian & Bisexual & Transgender

Gay Rejection and Loneliness - Fearing the Risk of Coming Out

Social withdrawal can be positive or negative.
Positively it may give you a chance to work, think, or meditate on a task at hand.
We all need privacy from time to time - a bit of me-time in solitude to get your bearings straight.
Negatively, if the solitude grows to loneliness, it can lead to anxiety, sensory distortions, or even clinical depression.
Even without physical withdrawal from other people, a person can still become lonely if he feels emotionally disconnected from others.
This is sometimes called emotional isolation.
Emotional isolation can be a result of social isolation, but it can also happen while a person is surrounded by others; especially if these "others" aren't close friends or companions.
In some cases emotional isolation can be the result of being alone/lonely or isolated from true companions, but in other cases it could be the result of past emotional pain.
In other words the person isolates himself emotionally from others because of previous painful attachments with others - emotional isolation as a defence mechanism.
In short you could be on your own without any pain, or you could be on your own in pain, or you could be among others and still feel isolated, or you could isolate yourself emotionally because others gave you pain.
This bit of social psychology could help us to understand the fears of gay people who prefer to stay in the closet.
A gay person could stay in the closet because he/she fears rejection and ultimately isolation from others.
Such a person keeps his/her sexual orientation a secret in order to avoid being isolated by the community.
What the closeted person does not realize is that the closet is a lonely place.
The community might accept him/her, but they do not really know the person they are accepting.
The realization that the people around the gay person don't really know him/her isolates the gay person in any case.
The act of avoiding isolation therefor causes but another form of isolation.
Staying in the closet helps you to avoid rejection and isolation by other people, but all you achieve is to isolate yourself from those who would've accepted you with open arms.
You could say that living in the closet equals self-isolation and living out in the open equals isolation from others.
The end-result stays the same - you are still isolated and that leads to depression.
The only difference is this: if you stay in the closet you are isolated from everybody, but if you come out you are only isolated from homophobes.
Out and proud gay people are accepted and loved by other gay people as well as right-minded straight people.
The risk of coming out is that you will be rejected by homophobes; keeping it a secret means you are rejecting yourself, and there isn't a worse form of isolation than the isolation you feel when you reject yourself.

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