Monday, August 29, 2011

A Culture of Duplicity & Inauthentic Living

Former Governor of New Jersey,  James E. McGreevey is perhaps
best known for his startling declaration in 2004 that he was gay and
had been having an affair with a male staff member.

His book, "The Confession", is a gripping and revealing tale of
a man's upbringing and all the facets of living a double life. It's
excruciating to read of all the secrecy and lies that people still
endure in this 'modern' age.

My outlook over closeted public figures has softened somewhat
over the years. I do know there is more than one side to the
story of how people act and live. This book is making me even
more sympathetic to the plight of men and women in this dilemma.

My take has always been that just because I live my life openly
and on my sleeve, I have no expectation that there is only one
way to live as a gay man. (Or woman, or bi, what have you.)

In fact, the way I live is indicative of maybe only 10% of the gay
population. Most favor a quieter, more discreet life. A simpler
and less confrontational way of being. What I do is not about
critiquing anyone else, or suggesting a 'better' way; it's the way I
have to live. And I want to change things in this world do that
no one else has to live a life of desperation like the one McGreevey
so heartbreakingly demonstrates in his autobiography.

All of the hurdles of denying one's own affections, living a life
for others' needs instead of one's own, the lies, the constant fear;
it's all achingly detailed in an honest and straight-forward way that
is engaging and real. For anyone who has ever dealt with feelings
of difference, or being gay, or who knows someone gay, I urge you
to read this book.

It's a blueprint for an unfortunately huge segment of the populace
that we need to address. There are still far too many hurting souls
out there. It's a call for all of us to live a more truthful existence.

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