When I think of the phrase “in the closet” what comes to mind is a certain fictional wardrobe dreamed up by C.S. Lewis. And when you’re as deep in the closet/wardrobe as I was, you see some strange things.
I was so far into the closet I was seeing fawns and talking beavers. I got so deep it was always winter and never Christmas. I got lost in the world inside the wardrobe, so that I was telling anyone who would listen that Aslan was not a tame lion.
I took a voyage to a dark world underground, and followed Puddleglum through the land of the giants. I explored the seas rescuing lords, and encountered strange mystical islands. I followed heroes and heroines as they battled the evil witch.
I had a crush on Jadis, the White Queen.
The closet couldn’t make me straight, couldn’t stop the intoxicating power of femininity to lure me in. A world full of fawns and witches, battles and adventures, could not distract me forever from the nature of my own heart. No matter how interesting or lovely my wardrobe was, no matter how much bigger it was on the inside than the outside, it was still a box I was trapped in.
I don’t want young queers today or in the future to live in closets, in wardrobes, in boxes. I want them as free and unenclosed as every other young person. I don’t want them to spend decades hand carving the decorated doors of their wardrobes, as I did. I don’t want them polishing a prison. I want them out, and free, and safe, all at once.