Sublimating Gayness


Posted on May 14th, 2013 by Lauren Gutterman

FRANK Book Pic MediumFrom Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank, originally published in the New York Times on May 12th:

To the Editor:

In “The Best Little Boy in the World — That’s Me” (Op-Ed, May 7), Adam D. Chandler stresses the consequences of the closet: both diminished self-worth and spurring overachievement to compensate. These are experiences confirmed by my and others’ research on “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the costs of concealment generally, including the new study Mr. Chandler mentions.

He wonders, then, if coming out will lower his drive. But for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, shame, stress and the drive to surpass the rest don’t come solely from concealment. They also result from living in a world that tells us day after day that we’re morally bad, which can spark a painful drive to prove that we’re morally good — whether we’re out or not.

I welcome Mr. Chandler out of the closet, an important and impressive step forward. But my message to him is not to worry too much that the bright light will sap his drive. Until more L.G.B.T. people take this courageous step, and more straight people stop defining our sexuality as morally rotten, too many of us will continue to endure this needless pain.

NATHANIEL FRANK
Brooklyn, May 8, 2013

 

Add a comment


Comments are subject to moderation and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of
Columbia Law School or Columbia University.

FEATURED POSTS

CATEGORY CLOUD

"Homeland" Security Abortion Rights Adoption adultery Affordable Care Act Alien Tort Claims Act Asylum Bankruptcy BDS Bullying Census Politics Children Citizenship Civil Unions Columbia Law School Compulsory Marriage Condoms Contraception Contraception Mandate Cordoba House Criminal Law Cures for Homosexuality Defense of Marriage Act Disability Rights Discrimination Divorce Domestic Partnership Domestic Violence Domestic Workers Don't Ask Don't Tell Economic Justice Education Egypt Elections Employment Discrimination ENDA Estate Planning Events Family Law Fellowships femininity Free Speech Gender and Technology Gender Identity Discrimination Gendering the Economy GSL Online Haiti Hate Crimes Health Care Hilary Clinton Hillary Clinton HIV HIV Discrimination Hobby Lobby Homelessness Homophobia Housing Human Rights Identity Politics Illegitimacy (sic) Immigration Reform In-ing Incest India International Law Islamophobia Israel Justice Sotomayor King & Spalding Labor Trafficking Land Reform Law School Legal Profession Legal Scholarship Lesbian & Gay Parenting LGBT Parenting Marital Status Discrimination Marriage Masculinity Medicaid Michelle Obama Migration Military National Security Obama Administration Obama Appointments Outing OWS Palestine Parenting Pinkwashing Policing Politics of the Veil Polyamory Popular Culture Pornograpy Pregnancy Presidential Politics Prisons Privacy Products Liability Profanity Prop 8 Prosecutorial Discretion Publications Public Rights/Private Conscience Queer Theory Queer vs. Gay Rights Race and Racism Racial Stereotyping Rape Religion Religious Accommodation Religious Exemption Religious Freedom Restoration Act Religious Fundamentalism Reproductive Rights Reproductive Technology RFRA Romania Rwanda Sartorial Commentary Schools Sex Discrimination Sex Education Sex Stereotyping Sexting Sex Trafficking Sexual Assault Sexual Duplicity Sexual Harassment Sexual Health Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Sexual Orientation Discrimination Sex Work SMUG Sodomy Law Reform Sports Supreme Court Surrogacy Technology Title IX Trafficking Transgender Uganda Uncategorized Violence Women and Poverty Women of Color Zimbabwe

Academic Calendar  |  Resources for Employers  |  Campus Map & Directory  |  Columbia University  |  Jobs at Columbia  |  Contact Us

© Copyright 2009, Columbia Law School. For questions or comments, please contact the webmaster.