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The Psychology and Sociology of Coming Out of the Closet

Credit Ludovic Bertron, Wikimedia

In the space of a lifetime, the status of gay and lesbian people in the United States and Western Europe has been transformed. So to watch a play like "A Song at Twilight," written by Noel Coward in 1966, is to journey back in time and then wonder how far, really one has traveled.

Coward patterned his protagonist on Somerset Maugham, and painted him as a man whose rigid denial of his own sexual status has exacted a terribly price from him and from the people around him.

How far have we traveled?  In Boston, organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade say that gay people can march , but not if they call attention to their orientation.

And when Michael Sam, a football player, came out before the NFL draft, we heard constant complaints that he was calling unnecessary attention to himself.

On this show, we'll explore the history of coming out, life after Stonewall, and if it really does get better for people coming out in 2014 as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or something in between.

Questions or comments? Write us below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.


Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer. Colin can be reached at colin@ctpublic.org.
Chion Wolf is the host of Audacious with Chion Wolf on Connecticut Public, featuring conversations with people who have uncommon or misunderstood experiences, conditions, or professions.
Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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