Image via WikipediaI have always told people about the importance of coming out. Often the argument I get is that people might lose friends or family if they come out.
However, I have always felt that we should look at that as a positive instead of a negative. I always equated it with "clearing the dead wood" one of those rural terms of my childhood. In order to reduce the risk of fire it's necessary to clear dead trees and brush from woods around a house.
In the same manner coming out can clear the dead wood in their lives. These are people to whom we cling for sentimental reasons but who do not really care for us as people. They love their image of us but not the reality of us. Clearing dead wood in our lives helps us move on and forge new and better relationships with people who love the reality of us instead of the fantasy of us.
I think I cleared some deadwood yesterday. I had a friend on Facebook that I used to work with some years ago. We were never particularly close but had a nice relationship on the job. During the past couple days I had posted articles here about the DOMA protest. Those article also post at Facebook as part of my feed.
One of the articles I posted about the prayer vigil being held just before the DOMA rally had a stock photo of two men kissing. This photo posted along with the article on my feed at Facebook.
Image by William Hamon (aka Ewns) via FlickrI noticed earlier that one of my Facebook friends was missing. The woman I used to work with had deleted me from her friends sometime after that post went up. Since I can't send her a message now that she's deleted me, I don't know for sure that the reason was my renewed activism and my posting of the article and photo. However, the timing is highly suggestive.
So, I cleared some deadwood it seems. I look on this as a positive. Now I can be fairly sure that my "friend" really did not have my best interests at heart all these years. That's good to know and the loss of a casual acquaintance is more than made up for in the knowledge that I won't be wasting my time with someone who sees me as second class.