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The Coming-Out Story That We Can All Learn Something From

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 09:10 AM
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The Coming-Out Story That We Can All Learn Something From
http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/10/the-com... /

For months, Randy Phillips has been posting anonymous videos to YouTube under the name AreYouSuprised. They're always shot from the same angle, with the viewer looking directly at his torso; were the camera to tilt just a few more inches up, it would expose his face -- and out him. The videos, as you can tell from a quick scan of their titles, are all about the same thing: "When I realized I was different.", "Questions for a gay military man", "I didn't choose to be gay", "DADT should I come out".

And a quick scan is all that I've given them, too. I haven't been following Phillips' story from the beginning. No; I found my way to this page because one of his most recent videos, "Telling my dad that I am gay-LIVE", has gone viral, spreading quickly through word of mouth and social media. I was directed to it by a piece Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote for Salon entitled "The coming-out story that gripped the world."

It's 2:45 a.m. somewhere in Germany and Phillips is sitting on a chair of wood and coarse fabric in front of a large, wrinkled map of the world, cell phone in hand. It looks like one of those forgotten cubbies off of a public library. Only later will we learn that, unable to sleep, Phillips has been holding his phone for the last four hours, deciding whether or not to make the call. When he finally does, through the magic of time zones, it's quarter-to-eight back home in Alabama.

It takes more than two minutes to get to this point, but you'll keep watching -- just like nearly five million other people. There's no action, but Phillips is compelling, the title of the video enticing, and the suspense builds with each passing second. (Alabama? As if this wasn't going to be hard enough.) It's not for lack of attempts -- there were entire books and organized media campaigns -- but no single story has broken through following the recent repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), the 18-year-old official policy that kept gay men and women from serving openly in the United States military, like Phillips' has.


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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 11:09 AM
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1. K&R. (nt)
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 12:18 PM
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2. Great story! Thanks.
Recommended.
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 06:57 PM
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3. you made me cry.
And I'm guessing the map is probably covering a window or something else distracting.
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