Many conservatives have asked me whether it is harder to come out as gay or conservative. To be honest, there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Regardless, I do not come out as either gay or conservative unless I believe I can do so without any serious repercussions. However, which one is harder to come out as primarily depends on the environment.
For example, I attended a four-year public university early in my adult life. Because liberalism is accepted as the default ideology on most college campuses, I found it much easier to come out as gay than conservative. In fact, I kept most of my conservative opinions to myself because I did not want my conservative politics to adversely affect my grades. The few times I did share my conservative opinions in the classroom, I remember hearing other students making condescending comments about my beliefs.
On the flip side, there are certain situations where it is more difficult to come out as gay than conservative. For instance, I have already had work environments where many people were highly religious and I feared being treated differently if I came out as gay. In addition, most of my family is conservative, and some of my extended family is not thrilled about gay people. In addition, I find it difficult to come out as gay in a religious setting (e.g., church). While not all churchgoers condemn homosexuality, there is certainly a strong contingent of churchgoers that believe homosexual conduct is sinful.
Overall, both conservatives and gay people may face repercussions for coming out depending on the situation. Ideally, we should all be able to live in a world where we find strength in our unity and accept each other’s differences.
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