Halloween and How Tim Cook Took Off His Mask.

Halloween is the gay man’s Christmas.  When you are left of straight, you spend a lot of time wearing masks around family, friends, co-workers, and school.  Usually those masks hide our fears and insecurities of being found out to be “different.”  But Halloween, that’s actually when our masks come off and we get to show a glimpse of our true selves.  You may not recognize the deeper hidden meaning behind our costumes, and yes, sometimes a costume IS just a costume, but to our queer community, those masks and costumes can free our inner thoughts, selves. and inspirations.

As our friends and family crack up when we “dare” to wear something outrageous, we are secretly releasing our inner Wonder Woman’s, Dorothy’s, He-Man’s, and Leather Boy’s.  Growing up in Southern California, I have bared witness to the holiday that is Halloween, on the streets of West Hollywood, and at some of the most fantastic themed parties in the U.S..  Even the most shy and introverted become outgoing and gregarious as we shed our masks of deception and let our rainbow flag fly.

For a lot of us, we wear our masks far into adulthood.  I was one of those.  I’ve known I was gay since I was about 14, and secretly acted on being gay since I was 18, and professionally hid being gay until I was 34.  I always openly supported the LGBT cause, and had many gay friends to show how progressive I was, but I was really only lying to myself and hiding in the closet to my so-called friends, without creating the true friendships I could have had if I was willing to take off my mask.

The biggest “Treat” this Halloween is Apple CEO, Tim Cook, coming out as gay in an op-ed piece he wrote for Bloomberg Business Week.  Although this big revelation has been whispered about quite openly for a while now, it still took courage to come out and emphatically own it for himself.  The venue was almost as important as the announcement.  We have seen celebrities come out in People magazine, we have seen young up and comers like olympic diver, Tom Daley, come out on YouTube, so it seemed appropriate that as a global business personality and leader, he chose a well respected business magazine to tell his own story.

Apple is quite arguably, one of the biggest companies on the planet.  As far as brand recognition and consumer awareness, it is one of the undisputed champs.  Does this announcement from the CEO mean that every Iphone, Ipad, Ipod, and Mac user will immediately push their homophobic thoughts to the side when they look at that familiar apple logo? No.  But will it hurt the Apple brand with these consumers?  Probably not. The company itself is already known for ranking among the best places for LGBT employment in regards to hiring, benefits, and protections.

What it could mean however, is that other LGBT executives at major corporations, may find it a little easier to come out as well.  Policies and tolerance usually come from the top down in business, and with more openly out leaders in business and industry, it can create a safer and more hospitable working environment all the way around.  As it is now, employers in my state, Ohio, and 28 other states in our country can simply fire you for being gay.  The tech industry is one where innovation comes fast and furious, and most start-ups are headed by younger men and women who may be building their business today from their garage, and turning it tomorrow into the next anchor of a new Silicon Valley.  Imagine if these future tech moguls, now take their cue from Tim Cook, and are able to take their masks off from the start.  To live their personal lives as free and innovative as they begin their companies, and hopefully make that the cornerstone of their work environment, for all their employees that come work for them.

We may not see any Tim Cook masks come October 2015, but rest assured that many more in the LGBT Community will not be needing to change one mask for another, as this coming out statement will hopefully embolden more of us to take off our masks we wear the other 364 days of the year.

Enjoy the day Stranger Friends, let your true mask be your compass after you take off the glitter, the wigs, the make-up, and the go-go boots this Halloween.  I’ll be the guy in the Cowboy Outfit!…………S

Hey Stranger Friends, Welcome To The World A Little Left of Straight!

Nothing is scarier the night before All Hallows Eve, (Halloween), than me deciding to write a blog again.  I had a good run of it for a while, but it has been over eight years since I can claim to have posted “regularly.”  Honestly, I don’t find myself any more interesting than I was back then, but I have certainly become more opinionated and fearless, both qualities I admire and loathe in a person, lol.  I’m still chubby, still living in Northeast Ohio, and yes, still gay.

A conflux of events has brought me here, including a major birthday, a major illness in my family, a major occupational analysis, and a major need to get all of those feelings out and write once more.  I nudged myself a little last month, by becoming a recap and review writer for BroadwayWorld.com, which has forced me to put pen to page, (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be).  If you are enjoying watching THE RED BAND SOCIETY and MADAM SECRETARY as much as I am, you can follow the links and let me know if I am on the mark on my reviews, or let me in on your two-cents worth.  I’ll be writing a little bit about all of these events as time goes on, as well as my thoughts, opinions and concerns, of the world at large, albeit from a slightly left of straight point of view.

*****You get what I did there?  I alluded to still being gay and how that influences my perspective.  I crack myself up. HA!

If you haven’t noticed, my grammar, and following the rules of writing, still has a lot to be desired.  Luckily, I have an excellent editor at BWW, (BroadwayWorld, thanx Matt), and absolute trust in editors whom I plan to submit a few ideas I am working on.  Besides those places, “it’s my venue, and I’ll scribe as I want to.” with all due apologies to Lesley Gore.  I tend to write as I speak and in my own personal stream of consciousness, so there may be some very long run-on sentences if I am excited or feel very strongly about a subject, no matter how bad it may look on the screen, especially if you don’t speak as quickly as I do, and if you don’t speak fast, really, you are wasting time, so try to get to the point Skippy, we are wasting daylight here, and I have places to go and people to see.  Sometimes it’s just a few words.  A recent blog post here on Word Press, who is hosting this blog, had some quite funny and personal experiences on editor’s own styles, so I am not alone in this, whew!  I will run the occasional spell and grammar check button if something doesn’t make sense even to me.

While “Great Expectations,” is my favorite read, don’t expect too much out of the gate Stranger Friends.  Consider my toe “dipped.” into the shallow end of the writer’s pool, and I am happy that you are along for the ride.  I hope you will follow my blog and please post some comments as the spirit moves you.  Without comments it’s just me talking to whoever might be listening and my friends worry about that for me already.  If you are a fellow blogger, let me know.  I need to fill some space on this site as I get used to the format, and would love to share your words with my Stranger Friends.  (With the exception of NSFW bloggers, or as I like to call them, “Bloggers after Dark.”, this would not be the proper place to post your links.)  I look forward to writing for you…………Scott

An eerily accurate representation of what I look like when I write from an google file photo.
An eerily accurate representation of what I look like when I write from a google file photo.