Skip to main content

Facades


The news -- "breaking news" in some quarters -- that pop singer Barry Manilow is gay got me thinking about the whole notion of a public image. We all have one, from the mega-famous to the demure wallflowers. We all present what we want to the world, and hide the rest. There are those who decry such measures, preferring, I suppose, to lay bare their souls for all and sundry. There's something to be said for raw honesty, though perhaps in small doses.

Something to consider is the different spheres within which we operate. No doubt Barry Manilow has been out to friends and, perhaps, family for a long time. The recent revelation is most likely a public one. There's no dishonesty there, just a lack of information. That is, of course, Manilow's choice. I do find it somewhat sad and slightly odd that he'd been afraid to come out due to anticipated negative reactions from fans. His sexuality has been one of the worst kept secrets around.

When it comes to our public image, the version of ourselves we wish to present to others, probably the first question we should ask ourselves is: Is the presentation beneficial or harmful to us? Are we doing it for the wrong reasons? If Barry Manilow had come out as gay forty years ago, would he have had as successful of a career? If the answer is no, would that be considered a negative or a positive for him, personally? What do we consider important in our lives -- money? relationships? security? freedom? -- and then how do we live our lives based upon those priorities?

The matter of choice, and self-awareness of choice, is of paramount importance in deciding what our public persona should be. For example, does a person decide to mask part of who they are because they've convinced themselves that they're an intensely private person, when in reality it is because they have a deeply-rooted anxiety of others' reactions, and they only think their private nature is by choice? One's choices begin and end with honesty with oneself.

So whether or not we admit it, we are, all of us, multi-faceted creatures with many components that come together to make us who we are. Everything we project is a facade of some sort, in that it is impossible to reveal all of who we are at once. There will always be something we hold back. What that is can often depend on who we are around. There is nothing particularly bad about doing that. In fact, it's a pretty human thing to do.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

3/4

Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....


1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night


It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

Unbound

"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…