Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I’m Coming Out of the Closet (part 1 of 2)

(Photo credit: dansays)
I began to notice that I was different from the other kids in middle school, at the same time my hormones were just starting to rage.

I didn’t choose to be this way. I just am. There’s nothing that anyone can do to change me, and I am not ashamed of who I am.

Depending on which survey you believe, we comprise between 2% and 20% of the population. Although many minorities have gained significant rights in the last 50 years, we remain routinely distrusted and despised.

My wife knows about my dirty little secret. My kids and most of my relatives and friends know. But I've always hesitated to make a public announcement here, for fear that the prejudice still harbored against my kind will cause people to turn away from this blog, and forgo my disability advocacy message, which is, and will remain, the primary theme of my website.

My goal is not to convince you that your way of living is wrong and that my way of living is right. My goal is to demonstrate to you that people like me are good, moral, loving, and worthy people, just like you are. We're not evil, deranged, unhappy, aimless, immoral or any of those other horrible stereotypes. In almost every way except one, we're just like you.

We try to lead good lives. We love our families. We maintain high moral and ethical standards, except when we don’t, just like you. If after I reveal my secret you no longer wish to be my friend or to read my blog, then just remember it was you who made that decision, not me. If you later reconsider and come back, I’ll welcome you with open arms.

I realize that most readers will either think “good for you, Mitch” or “I don’t really care one way or the other Mitch, so please get back to your normal writing.” But a few will be deeply disappointed or even offended by my disclosure.

Don't worry, this blog will continue to focus on leading a meaningful, disabled life. I will write elsewhere when I promote my other cause.

My hope is that you will come to consider that people like me are not worthy of scorn, distrust, or even pity.

To be continued tomorrow…(click here)
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  1. What ever the closet from which you are emerging it seems to one with walls of shame and secrecy. I hope your emergence will offer you some freedom and you will see that people still stand next to proud to call you a friend.

  2. As one of my dearest friend said as I told him about my MS "You're still you, aren't you?" What ever it is, you're still Mitch aren't you?

  3. My good buddy, i ditto what Kim wrote, as well as anonymous.

    You have been such s steadfast support system to me, and always offering wisdom & perspective.
    I think we would all do well if we each went into, looked around and cleaned out our own closets.
    We would all be emerging from our individual closets with a more authentic view.

    Keep rollong, my good buddy.

  4. Absolutely DITTO! to everything said above. And of course I understand why you would want to be fully yourself with your readers.

    You don't always have to write about MS and its challenges for me--I'd be interested in the other aspects of your life too. Sometimes MS is a big part of our lives and sometimes it's just an annoying little blip coming from somewhere behind our left ear.