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Real Voices: ‘Closets are for clothes’ by Jim Koury

On Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013


StressedMan_109157339When one is in the closet, it can be a very lonely place. I have a t-shirt that says “closets are for clothes” regaled in bright rainbow colors. I want to relate how this t-shirt played a role in my coming out.

I was at a point where I had told many of my closer friends that I was gay. Most embraced me for who I was and stated that they pretty much knew already.

After some time I began to “worry” again about my professional counterparts. That old fear began to creep in; what would they do if they found out about me?

At that time I was preparing to go to an annual training. I decided it was time I came out to those in my “other world.” I wanted to do something fun. After some thought, I came up with a brilliant idea involving the t-shirt. I see now the universe had a plan for that t-shirt.

I had e-mailed a number of my close friends and came out to them, all of whom e-mailed back and said it just didn’t matter to them. I had told them of a plan that I had conspired to do a mass self “outing.” I told them that there would be a sign, and that once they saw it, they would know what I was doing.

At one of the gatherings at which the whole school’s registrants would be attending, I wore my t-shirt. I told one of my dearest friends, Bonnie, to stick close to me and not let me out of her

sight. She was a trooper and did so willingly and gave me a big hug before we entered the dining area.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see people looking at my shirt. Some came up to me and hugged me and said, “It’s cool; what the hell took you so long?” Another person came up to me and said, “You know, people wear things like that if they are sending a message.” I said to him, “you are a brilliant man” and walked away.

So my coming out to my professional counterparts was not bad at all either! For those in the closet, I encourage you to find a close friend and confidant that you trust unconditionally. Decide to come out in your own way and be true to yourselves. Live your life without fear as the person you were born to be and always remember “closets are for clothes.”


Written by Jim Khoury

Written by Jim Khoury

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