Cozy In The Closet

Dear Dr. Darcy,

I'm a young lesbian, I've come to terms with my sexual orientation over the past few years and don't have a problem with it, however I don't ever plan on coming out. What I want to ask you is if you believe someone can lead a happy, fulfilling life in the closet. I must clarify that I don't intend on lying about my sexuality but rather not disclosing it. I'm a very private person and have always been this way. In my career and amongst friends I don't want to be known as "the lesbian" because I'm so much more than that and what I've heard from out lesbians is that when you come out as a lesbian to someone it's seen as an invitation to intrude upon intimate details of your sex life and if you're a 'femme' like myself, receive looks of disbelief followed by ignorant comments about your appearance. I just don't see what's so great about being out of the closet, I don't get any more civil rights for being out, I still won't be able to get married if I find a woman and fall madly in love with her. Young gay people are constantly told "it gets better" but really, it's all propaganda. I understand issues will probably arise when I date women who are out of the closet and expect me to leave the comfortable dwellings of Narnia too and that's something I'll have to deal with. I suspect that as both a therapist and an openly gay woman you will (with bias) tell me it's impossible to be happy while hiding something as big as being gay but maybe you'll surprise me...

ANSWER

We are all biased, Pop-Shrink.  We all see the world through our own experiences.  But unlike you, I’ve been trained in this particular skill set and have acquired the ability to set aside my own experiences while viewing yours.  Nice try, though.

You want to call it being private?  That’s fine.  Listen, I don’t walk around town draped in a rainbow flag.  There is much more to me than being gay.  It’s absolutely a piece of who I am and nothing close to the whole that makes me Me.  That said, and with all due respect to your lesbian sources, you’re going to have a hard time finding a well-adjusted lesbian who is willing to live in the closet with you.

I’ve seen this happen a GAZILLION times and it’s always the same pattern:  The out partner agrees to date the closeted one thinking that the relationship won’t be serious, which it inevitably becomes.  The out partner then deludes herself into believing that the closeted partner will come out after she’s had some time to grow and mature, and when that doesn’t happen, Pop Shrink, your proximity to the closet becomes the rope in an endless tug-of-war between the two of you, until eventually she writes to me and I encourage her to either accept her life in the closet or get the fuck out – without you.  If having seen this dynamic a thousand times makes me biased, consider me guilty as charged.

I have no doubt that you can live a nice, quiet, closeted life.  I believe you can be happy.  But you’re only going to attract women whose soul mission in life will be to pull your ass out of the closet – mark my words.  This won’t be evident at first.  They won’t even know that it’s important for them to date someone who's out.  But it will eventually become the dividing factor between you.  So buy some cats, Pop Shrink.  You’re going to need some company in between those breakups.

No stats for Pop Shrink.  My form is not working correctly. Ironic.