A reader writes:

Your reader's comment that he wishes he could "come out" as a heterosexual reminded me of a recent Louis C.K. interview on NPR's Fresh Air. Here's an excerpt:

And it's funny because, you know, gay men have to - they're put sort of a crucible. And I'm speak - you know, it's not - I'm just taking liberty in saying this. Gay men have to go through something to own their - who they are. They get beat up. They get ostracized. Whatever they go through, if they survive it, they come out very confident people.

They come out having been tested and having to really figure out who they are to get through it, because I think that's how you get through any kind of a test is by really finding your strengths and believing in yourself. So a lot of gay people who are still standing and still strong, that's who they are.

Heterosexual men have never been put through that test. We don't get - nobody goes, oh, my God, you like women? And you don't have to defend it for your whole life. So we're not so sure about our sexuality. I think that's one reason why heterosexual men attack gay people or are afraid of them because they're now confident and they've gone through this, but we don't know who we are sexually. We're a mess. So I think that that's why the two sides of the sexual barrier is such an interesting - it's such an interesting conflict.

I'm not so sure that straight men don't know who they are sexually, but I absolutely agree that we don't go through a crucible, and that many of my gay friends clearly have. They are more honest with themselves and others about who they are regarding other, non-sexual aspects of life.

I wonder if perhaps this is one of the reasons that gay characters appeal to writers, particularly for film and television where confident, sassy gay characters were in vogue long before of depictions of those who are still running the gauntlet of self-discovery and self-defense. There's an element of admiration involved, even if it sometimes crosses the line into the repetitive stereotypes that South Park mocked as "I'm super, thanks for asking!"

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