My recently deceased cousin Rick was gay, closeted deeply his entire life. He would never admit it to anyone though everybody knew anyway.
My aunt and uncle were in denial about his homosexuality, and he never came out. My uncle was always saying, “Rick will find a nice girl some day!” like a moron, and my aunt was hip to Rick and would cynically roll her eyes.
My Mom said, “Rick is the completely opposite of you, Bob. Rick’s never had one date with a female in his entire life.” 180 degree difference, like you two were flipped somehow and you became the anti-Rick and he became the anti-Bob.
She always emphasized one date as if this was very weird behavior. Even back then, this seemed weird. She suspected he was gay.
I met him at his place in Santa Monica once in 1979. I was a punker and he was a former hippie. Lived alone in a small dark apartment filled with books. I saw him in the daytime, but he kept the apartment really dark like it was Samuel Beckett’s apartment in Paris.
He hated punkers and thought they were just evil, so this led to a rather hostile, intense, and charged conversation.
Somehow I mentioned homosexuality. He got very angry and defensive. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “It’s not good or bad. It just is.” He angrily said, “That’s right. It just is.”
He thought I was some homophobe, and actually am a bit like that, but I had no hatred for him for being gay, not that day or any other day. He was just a typical paranoid gay man who assumes you hate him when you don’t. He made some other remarks about drugs and gay sex, referring to poppers, and it was pretty clear reading between the lines of the conversation, that he was gay as Hell.
He died recently and this was finally confirmed to me after all these years, but my family acted like even divulging this decades-long family secret to me was incredibly offensive. They told me that he was gay for sure, and he had lived his life with a series of older men in various places in California. News to me after following him through 55 years of life always wondering.
But I guess I had no right to ask or even know this. So, even in death, my family wished to keep my gay cousin Rick locked into the closet, probably forever.
Closets are for clothes.
Somehow this was a big secret, it was offensive to discuss it, and I was a total homophobic bigot for even asking for evidence, after his death, that he was gay.
Thank you SJW’s!