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July 24, 2017 | by  | in VUWSA |
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VUWSA

That Closet’s Looking Cozy Again

This year represents the fourth year since I stumbled out of the closet — stumbled being the appropriate word. Since then, however, I have enjoyed life as an openly gay man in New Zealand with no intention of returning to the proverbial closet again. While I am always aware things aren’t as good elsewhere as they are in Wellington, I was never affronted by it. Until last week.

For the duration of my degree I have been working towards the ultimate goal of moving to China to study and then work. Last week China followed suit with Russia and outlawed imagery or videos of homosexual relationships on television and online. It is important to note that this decision has been met with significant backlash from the Chinese public and that the views and actions of an authoritative government can hardly be taken as strongly representative of the people’s, as in a democracy, but I digress.

As with any such news from around the globe I was angry at first. However, then I found that feeling morph into something else, concern, borderline fear. Suddenly every image of a Rainbow on my profiles stood out a little more, every LGBTQI+ page I followed seemed a little more noticeable and every LGBTQI+ post I had ever written or been tagged in seemed more threatening. I found myself in mental territory I didn’t want to be in, considering again moving into that oppressive warmth of the closet.

Ultimately I will not; to do so goes against who I am now and does no good to the cause which I believe in. But this served not only as an unfortunate reminder of the perils of the road ahead, but a wonderful reminder of how fantastic the city we have here is.

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