It’s hard to put words to how moving it is watching this. It literally took my breath away.
Most straight people have no idea what the closet is and what it does. The experience of negotiating withholding or disclosing a secret that carries such a high social risk — and not just the one big coming out, but the multitude of little daily comings out — will always be a marginal experience. It’s just math. We will always be explaining ourselves. It will always be a fact about us that we will have to, at some point, at many points, decide whether to accept the risks (of suspicion, pity, disgust, distraction, violence, etc.) and disclose (the upside being to live as a whole, integrated person in the world) or keep hidden (and remain fragmented, superficial, false, afraid). The constant vigilance is exhausting. The psychological and emotional toll of the closet shapes every relationship, every encounter, shapes our lives.
To watch, on a mainstream TV show, a viable popular candidate for president, speak so candidly and thoughtfully about this experience changes everything. Especially a candidate who is exceptional for so many reasons having nothing to do with his sexuality.