At the end of the survey was demographic information: Age, marital status, education level - and then this question
Which of the following best describes you?I had to put my pen down and consider how I should answer this question. It may seem insignificant to others - but it is a big deal to me. The reality is that my gayness may very well be a factor leading to the purchase of a Nissan Cube because, frankly, a lot of straight guys wouldn't be caught dead driving it, especially those of my generation. It's cute and more popular with teenage girls than those of the male persuasion.
[ ] Heterosexual/Straight
[ ] Lesbian/Gay
[ ] Other
[ ] Decline to answer
I set the survey aside to attend to other errands while I thought about how I should answer. It's supposed to be anonymous - but then it did come addressed specifically to me. It also requested contact information in case someone wanted to contact me regarding some of my answers. And, to many, it'll seem contradictory as I already answered that I'm male, and married (to a woman). Plus, I'm still deeply closeted - am I ready to stick my toe out of the closet?
On the other hand, I'm not ashamed of who I am. I'm gay - so what! If it bothers you then that's your problem so get over it. (I can be quite militant in the privacy of my closet)
Later in the day, I picked up the survey, checked "Lesbian/Gay", answered the remaining questions, and put it in the pre-paid return envelope to go out in tomorrow's mail.
I don't know what tomorrow will bring. Perhaps I'll chicken out and toss it in the trash rather than the mailbox. But, for today, it is empowering - my first "public" declaration. As recently as a year ago I very much doubt I would have answered the same.