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Dispelling Fears

Letters to the Editor


To the Editors of The Crimson:

I'd like to express appreciation and support to Chuck Fraser for his recent article, "Coming Out", in the December 6 issue of The Crimson. As a gay woman, I have shared many of his experiences in a slightly different context. Several years ago, I, too, realized that the only possible option for dealing with my sexuality in an essentially oppressive society was honesty. Engaging in the continual process of coming out to family, friends and new acquaintances in changing environments is not always easy, but it is far preferable to living out the lies of a closeted existence.

It is encouraging to see that in so conservative a community as Harvard, people like Chuck are taking the courageous step of articulating this process in a public forum. Homophobia--whether the heterosexual variety or as it is internalized by closet gays who cannot risk openness--stems largely from fears of the unknown. It is only by making our presence and experiences known beyond the gay subculture that such fears will ever be dispelled or social change effected.

Commendation is also due The Crimson for publishing this article. At my undergraduate school, the student newspaper continually subjected the gay and women's organizations to the kind of sophomoric "humor" that would quickly be condemned by all were it directed at black, Hispanic, or Asian minorities. It is refreshing to see such a reasoned and balanced editorial view as is reflected in the appearance of "Coming Out." --Elizabeth A. Kelly

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