By Gwen on Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 22:19
This time, I didn’t clutch any remotes. The girl, Carlijn, is at a different stage than the boy I saw two episodes earlier. She is out to everyone except her brother and parents, doesn’t keep her voice down when she talks about it with Boomsma in public, and makes some jokes at some point. Although she compares her mother’s cancer to coming out (“It’s just another problem”), comes out to her parents through a painting, and her father refuses to go on camera throughout the entire episode, it has more of a feel-good quality than the other episodes I saw.
Carlijn / © KRO
After wondering for a bit why I felt guilty about typing this, I really hope not everyone goes about picking and choosing their episodes based on the feel-good quality. The truth is, of course, that coming out most of the time isn’t all flowers and butterflies, even when things improve afterwards.
I came out to my parents less than a year after I’d connected the dots because I wanted to get it over with. With the risk of sharing just the tainted version in my mind: my mother turned into a rambling mess and almost ran upstairs, my father told her to let me finish but didn’t say anything else, and by the end of it I found myself outside my parents’ bedroom door without a clear idea of what the conclusion of it all was. (The lesson here is, kids, don’t come out in the evening when your parents have ridiculously early bedtimes.) I don’t think I initiated conversation a lot during the days that followed. Now, we’re nearing the three-year anniversary of that night and things have been completely fine for a long time. Case in point: my father spent some time spelling everything that appeared on this site out of honest, almost childish enthusiasm. It bordered on the obsessively creepy, actually, which I told him, so I hope he’s stopped doing that by now. Seems like a waste of time for a man in his early fifties.
Anyway, I certainly wouldn’t have made a feel-good episode, if only because I would have been visibly nervous discussing it with Boomsma, would have kept my voice down and would have probably broken down crying a couple times during the whole ordeal.
On the whole, I am still on the fence about the existence of this show. This has more to do with the increase of ‘real life’ or ‘reality’ television everyone should all of a sudden be interested in, instead of the show itself. Like anything on television is completely real. As reality shows go, this is clearly one of the more honest kinds. I also appreciate Je zou het maar hbben, which profiles people my age with various chronic diseases or disabilities without any elaborate fuss about it.
The concern, however, has been raised by almost all parents on the show so far: why do we need cameras with this? The people who signed up for it say it is to show what it is like to come out or because they needed that final push, which I can understand. I also know that people have become more comfortable with sharing intimate details of their lives with the world - see two paragraphs earlier.
I was going to end like this, with the message that we shouldn’t let cameras into everything. Because I’m old-fashioned in a way, however silly it is to say that when I haven’t even turned twenty. (There isn’t much to be old-fashioned about. Except maybe LEGO.) Until I heard the show mentioned in a debate I was following over live stream yesterday evening. The debate was about ‘sexual nationalism in a multicultural society’, but someone referred to Uit de Kast at some point, even though they don’t seem to have that much in common.
That’s when I realized: Uit de Kast is already having an impact. Even if not everyone will tune in, that I got all nervous while watching some of the episodes is a clear sign of its strength. Uit de Kast shows something a lot of us have gone through, and a lot of other people have never experienced. It gives a tiny look into the lives of regular gay youth.