Consequences of HIDING
Thinking With Clarity about the Cost of Dishonesty
The very word itself, makes you look upon it with skepticism. HIDING. Society usually doesn’t approve of people who hide things. We are open and expect that same quality from our friends and relatives.
More recently, the democratic left and their proteges, the mainstream media, have hidden many things from the public that we had a right to, and they had an obligation to tell us. It was in this context that President Trump would call them, “the enemy of the people”, which they just hated to hear!
But to LGBTQ+ people, HIDING is part of their constitutional makeup. There are such profound physical and psychological consequences to being disingenuous. Parents, teachers, relatives, and friends are mostly at a loss of what to do or say when confronted with this issue.
Admittedly, many Bible Churches are open about how the Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is wrong. It’s easy to criticize from the armchair. But tens of thousands of Moms and Dads are confronted with this issue every day.
LET’S GO ON A TRIP
There is over a 90% chance that you, the reader, are heterosexual. With that in mind, come with me to a fascinating city… a city where almost everyone is expected to be Gay or Lesbian, a homosexual.
Everyone around you is same-sex-minded, and naturally, the assumption is that you are as well. So it’s important that you not give any hints that you are heterosexual.
We stop at a large outdoor cafe and there are many tables covered with colorful umbrellas. You and I find an open table and sit down. We notice that eyes are checking us out and you begin to feel uncomfortable. I tell you, “I’ll be right back, I need to find the restroom.” There you sit, a bit more uncomfortable now. Then someone catches your eye and smiles…
What feeling, what emotions are coursing through your body right now? A flood of questions pour over your consciousness:
Do I smile back?
Should I act like I didn’t see the attention?
If I smile and they come over, what would I do then?
Where is Ron?
I don’t like being here alone.
What is taking him so long?
1, 2, 3, SNAP! You are back reading these words…
EFFECTS OF LYING
In a recent article in Psychology Today, Bill Sullivan, Ph.D., talks about the effects of lying.1 We’re told that lying has its roots deep in our history. Children pick up this skill between the ages of two to five. Indeed, the “terrible twos” are the start. We think some lies are “white lies”. “Yes you look great in that dress” or “I had a great time with you today”. But lying about who you are or what you are doing is much more sinister. This cognitive dissonance puts the mind and body into an alert stage which is what traditional “Lie Detectors” register: that fine difference in the way breaths are taken and perspiration.
Dr. Sullivan also speaks of how brain imaging shows huge activity when the “fight or flight” areas of the brain are activated. In normal speaking, these areas are very calm. Tell a lie, and these areas light up like fireworks.
“According to a 2015 review article, constant lying is associated with an array of negative health outcomes including high blood pressure, increased heart rate, vasoconstriction, and elevated stress hormones in the blood.”2
For LGBTQ+ youth, hiding who they are for fear of ridicule from their peers or family, fear of physical abuse from peers or parents, or even the great fear of first acknowledging that they are not like other people is a huge stress mentally and emotionally.
LGBTQ+ World Picture
These types of questions are normal in the life of almost all young people. You are not sure of how people will accept you. But you add the element of being oriented emotionally towards your same SEX, and emotions and anxieties just got amped multi-fold!
In January 2019, Angola removed negative references in regard to homosexual conduct. and in a comprehensive report on the status of LGBT rights around the world showed that,
“… 32 UN member states have introduced or interpreted provisions to restrict the freedom of expression in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
That is one step forward and 32 steps backward. The report continued:
“The ILGA3 report’s lead author, Lucas Ramon Mendos, said: “On the one hand, we are moving forward in a progressive way, removing barriers. We see countries like Mongolia, South Korea and the Philippines moving towards more protective legal frameworks while in Africa we have seen incredible progress in Mozambique and Angola. On the other hand, some countries are backtracking, enacting laws that restrict the dissemination of ideas or communications among LGBT people.”
“The introduction to the report highlights some of the successes achieved since it was last published in 2017. These include India striking anti-gay sections from its penal code, Ireland appointing Leo Varadkar as its first openly gay head of state, the World Health Organisation striking gender incongruence from its list of mental disorders, and Botswana making it easier for transpeople to change their official genders.
“Yet, despite this optimism, there is cause for concern that while legislation targeting LGBT people around the world is being dismantled, the reality on the ground is very different.
“We see that there are countries that are protective against sexual orientation but that doesn’t mean the situation is safe on the ground,” said Mendos.4
On July 1, Russian constitution changes ended hopes for gay marriage when they stipulated, “marriage is only between a man and a woman”. There has been much discussion of what happens when you cross the border. Saul Shanagher, of travel safety consultancy, Be Travelwise, acknowledged that hiding your sexual orientation may not come easily.5 His assessment was that many of his age group had a lot of experience hiding their orientation. But that the kids today don’t have those skills. “They want to say who they are”, he said.
Dating Apps like Grindr and Tinder have had to make special capabilities to hide their user’s locations so they don’t get arrested by police posing as an interested party. Other methods have included hiding a user’s profile until they return home from 70 or so countries where homosexuality is criminalized.
It is not uncommon for someone to get married on Friday and be fired on Monday due to many states’ lack of legal protection against discrimination.
There are so many issues that heterosexuals do not have to think about that are constantly psychologically taxing for the youth of any age and many even into adulthood.
A survey of 1000+ LGBT+ people attending a “Pride in London” event, found that 74% of attendees felt it necessary to hide their sexual orientation. Reasons range from ridicule by classmates shown by simple body language or facial expressions to being disowned by parents and trying to find a place to sleep. A similar survey of the general population showed a huge difference compared to LGBT+ respondents.6
Glsen 2019 National School Survey
Conducted from April to August 2019. Final sample: 16,713 LGBT+ students from age 13 to 21 from all 50 states.7
59.1% felt unsafe.
32.7% missed at least 1 day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
45.2% avoided bathrooms.
43.7% avoided locker rooms.
77.6% avoided extracurricular activities.
17.1% reported changing schools due to feeling unsafe or uncomfortable.
98.8% heard “gay” used in a negative way.
52.4% reported hearing homophobic remarks from teachers or staff.
87.4% reported anti-transgender comments.
In another survey:8
2% of the population has been bullied at work because of their gender, compared with 10% of LGBT+ respondents in the survey
77% of LGBT+ respondents said they felt uncomfortable being their true self in public, against 23% of the general population
59% of LGBT+ respondents had felt threatened by other people's attitudes and behaviors towards them, compared with 16% of the wider population
41% of gay men said they would think twice about holding a partner's hand in public, dropping to 5% among the general population
What is the line…
…the line where a person decides that facing discrimination, the guilt, the shame, the ridicule, the fear of being homeless or disowned, all with the accompanying physical stress and anxiety is just too much? It would be better to just be dead….
We all play a part in the lives of those around us. Where have we come up with these beliefs that people who know they are different just don’t belong? I think it’s very easy to answer that the Church in one way or another has been at the root.
I hope you will continue with me in this discovery of what LGBTQ+ people deal with every day and then go into the Bible in this multi-post series.
Many of you know I am an organist and music plays a great part in my life. After all of the sadness we have just discussed, I want to share an inspirational moment.
There is no reason to hide or be afraid. I leave this Prayer in song.
Heritage Singers / The Prayer
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