You can’t hide and have pride.

Just a brief thought on Pride 2014…

I deal with guys who “value discretion” all the time. I understand. Guys who have sex with guys don’t often feel perfectly okay with their boss (or their boyfriend, wife, kids, mom) finding out. I get it.

But here’s the thing about hiding the important stuff about ourselves (and make no mistake, sex is The Important Stuff): It is virtually always done out of shame, fear and distrust.

Also, the act of hiding our authentic selves attaches meaning to that aspect of ourselves: It establishes and reinforces the personal belief that something is fundamentally wrong with us.

I consider that garden variety shame as a tragic cultural disease. It’s a pandemic of self-defeat.

It is hard to be true. Incredibly hard. We are all raised in cultures of suppression where we learn to hide our true natures from infancy to grave. Hiding is fundamental to our understanding of our universe.

Denial is hiding. Lying is hiding. Obfuscation is hiding.

I am making a broad, sweeping statement of opinion here. I deeply believe that all personal acts of hiding are literally self-destructive. When we deny our self, we harm our self. It’s so epidemic we don’t even smell the rot of our dying joy that hangs in the air. We think the roles we’re playing are our real lives and it’s tragic and stifling.

My personal mission in life has three vital components: Be authentic. Be balanced. Be generous.

I can’t be 100% authentic because I live in the same suppression culture that you do. But I am committed to consistently releasing lies, being more true today than I was yesterday, and letting go of every obfuscation, distraction and fiction I have constructed about myself that I may discover as I go.

So I’m going to offer some advise to you on this Pride: Practice telling the truth and noticing where and how you are hidden. Recognize how the secrets you keep poison your moments. Consider how you might diffuse the bombs of undisclosed truth and eliminate their peril from your life.

The real me does not fit any standard narrative. Nobody’s authentic self fits anybody’s standard narrative. All standard narratives are easy answers to complex realities. Fuck them. I need to be myself in all my slutty, messy, complex and living glory and I don’t give a shit if it doesn’t fit your idea of a normal life. It’s my life. Yours is yours.

Hiding is antithetical to pride. If you really want to experience pride, dignity, joy… stop hiding.

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