Spring 2007




Visual Arts
Challenge Prompt
Arts Community
Author Bios

step out or stay in
T. J. Kampa

     There’s a silent epidemic shaking the “alternative lifestyle” community.
     According to anonymous sources, more and more individuals are suffering serious physical damage by coming out of the closet.
     “It seemed like the door was stuck. I think I dislocated my shoulder,” said one man who was afraid to be identified.
     This phenomenon was first reported in San Francisco, but has since been noticed in pockets of New York, Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Miami. Hospitals are reporting everything from sprained ankles, dislocated hips and even some minor concussions.
     “I thought this would be the happiest day of my life. I was worried about what my family would think, but I didn’t expect broken toes. I shouldn’t have tried to kick the damn door open,” said one person who was considering going back inside.
     Injuries are not limited to the gay and lesbian population. There is also and increase in tail-bone and other “back side” injuries to bisexual people.
     “So many years of sitting on the fence has given me a bad case of hemorrhoids. I wish I could just make up my mind,” said an unidentified woman.
     Researchers wonder why some closet doors can be so difficult to open and why some fence posts seem so sticky. The strength of closet doors are dependent on several factors including: number of years confined, affinity for fashion and taste in shoes, but the fence posts remain a mystery. Maybe bisexual people are just tired of making decisions, or don’t want to be accused of being heterosexual.
     “Straight people are so boring, so normal. They don’t have a pride celebration, any cool flags or symbols to stick on their minivans. They can get married, adopt children, claim spousal benefits and file joint taxes…who wants all that? We’d rather risk injury, struggle for our rights and be discriminated against just for being who we are,” said a cute three-some on their way out of a book store.
     This wave of personal violence is having a dual effect on neighborhoods across America. PFLAG and HRC chapters are scrambling to figure out how to promote GLBT pride without injury and heterosexuals are trying to organize a parade. National Coming Out Day festivities have been replaced with seminars on keeping closet doors free-swinging, while straight people vote on what their flag and pride symbols will look like.
     “We think a simple black/white flag is perfect for the heterosexual community. No color, no diversity, no mystery, just a stark division between one and the other,” said a proud straight spokesman. The Catholic Church in cooperation with many members of the Republican Party will sponsor the first “Hooray I’m Straight Day!”
     Home Depot has pledged its help in keeping everyone safe from his or her closets. They now offer and will install closets big enough to stay in comfortably for those who don’t want to risk bodily harm.
     “We’ve always encouraged people to come out, but telling family members you’re gay is much harder with a concussion,” according to a local PFLAG chapter. With these expanded closets, folks can stay in if they want and don’t have to risk being identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

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