Probably doesn't address your stuff directly, Mike, but I found that being closeted, no matter how little, was tiring...having to watch what I said, how I behaved, etc. I felt I was constantly invalidating myself around people who invalidated me. In that sense, I'm with you.

Personally, I need more than that. A lot more.

I've lived for a number of years now in a very gay community. I have some friends who live elsewhere because it's "too gay" - can you stand it? - for them. Well, phine for them. But, for me, living here means I don't have to expend any energy on being "straight-acting". I have the freedom to be 100% myself.

Oh, occasionally there might be some macho type at 7-Eleven who makes the mistake of making a homophobic comment. And, quite honestly, it's pretty damn satisfying to see his reaction when he realizes he's in a store full of [angry] queers.

Nor is it that far removed from the way I felt as a CSA kid versus the feeling I now have watching the squirming of the institutions who protected the perp.