The Facebook group titled “Gay San Antonio” will be marking the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by “coming out” from the “private” setting to the “public” setting on Facebook. When the Administrators formed the group, they originally set the privacy settings so that, without an invitation, the group postings and its members remained hidden. The chosen method of celebration seems appropriate and symbolic, but not all members support the change. Several of them announced that once the group goes public, they will be removing themselves from it for fear of retaliation by their family, co-workers and friends.
One of the group members who is leaving stated:
Sorry I can’t be a part of it but being a part of a political organization like this in the public eye will greatly harm my credibility at work. I’d rather be semi-in-the-closet and employed than openly gay and broke.
This is a very real and reasonable fear shared by many. “Coming out” of the closet as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is far too often a career killer. It’s no wonder that the repeal of DADT is so bittersweet for me. I see through the rose-colored, celebratory glasses and look directly at our oppressors and oppressions ruling us with fear. The reality that our lives are still governed by this fear is a grotesque ode to the heavy toll denying dignity and freedom to a people has on their lives.
So to all members of Gay San Antonio (past, present and future), I offer you this video of Ms. Nina Simone, answering the question, “What’s freedom?”: