Check out this podcast where the tables are turned and Jonathan Mayo gets interviewed about the history of Cleaning Closets!Read More
STATING MY CLOSET CASE
"I don’t wanna be labeled. Bi is as close to (nervous laugh) an unlabeled label as I can get to. And you know some people say 'oh that’s just an excuse to be promiscuous'…"
During the last workshop, I asked the actors to write blogs before and after the workshop. Here is one of them:
I'm feeling a bit nervous for the workshop. I largely came to know my queer & trans identities through my studies in college: they are rooted in modes of critical thought as well as in my personal experience and knowledge. But those modes of thought are not readily accessible, especially to folks who haven't gone to college, which obviously these youths have not [yet]. I hope that we are all able to find ways to communicate with each other across the identities that don't bind us together, be they differences in race, class, gender, etc. The term "LGBTQ community" is misleading in that we are composed of so many disparate pockets of communities--some of whom have nearly nothing in common. I'm going to continue to breathe deeply and make myself open to the people in the room and the process that lies before us over the next few days.
Wesley Slone, a student from my alma mater of Morehead State University recently contacted me after I was a guest speaker via video conference with SPECTRUM, the alliance on their campus. He was writing a research paper for class about the impact of social media, more specifically YouTube, on the next generation of LGBT youth. Here's a little excerpt with my quote in it!
For some people they are afraid to come out because they are afraid that they will be treated differently or not accepted. When they look on platforms like YouTube they see that they may be treated differently and sometimes not accepted but it’s okay. There are people that because they were different they could have the biggest impact on someone else’s life. As quoted by Jonathan Mayo, “These internet sensations have come out in personal video confessions blazing the trail for today's youth. Many of them have built their fan base as openly gay men right from the start such as Troy Sivan and Tyler Oakley. These brave individuals allow youth to feel represented in the media and not alone in the world.”, there are individuals like these that use their fame to trail blaze and show youth that they are accepted in the world.
In a moment of self reflection, I recently decided to thumb through some old journals that I've been keeping since at least middle school. In doing so, I stumbled upon and entry from January 19, 2002. In this journal entry I laughed about the great date I had with one of my best friends. We went to the movies, and when it was over I chose not to go to the bathroom because I saw some gay boys that made me nervous because I wasn't out to anyone else yet. Only myself. And I hadn't even been out to myself that King at this point. Perhaps about a year. In this entry I state that "I almost met some gay guys in the bathroom (at least I think they were gay--I don't have official gaydar yet)." I thought this was hilarious and so telling of who I was at the time. And I love that it was on paper instead of the computer. It made it more nostalgic. I've grown so much since then.
Guest Blogger Eric Yoak is a fifth year at Morehead State University. Originally from Willard, KY, he studies Strategic Communications. He has served as a board member for Campus Pride Board of Directors, performed on stage in the original production, Cleaning Closets, and hosted LGBT events since beginning his college career.Read More