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Word Count: 1,286
In a society that frowns upon the gay and lesbian community many men keep their bisexuality or homosexuality on the low so to speak for fear of being rebuked ridiculed andor rejected This is even more prevalent for black men in America who are already at a disposition largely in part due to the color of their skin In E Lynn Harris novel Invisible Life he focuses on the internal struggle of dealing with ones sexual identity as well as the secrecy that is attached with maintaining a gay lifestyle His colorful story features several gay characters which exhibit the many different reasons why some men choose to remain in the closest There are a number of reasons why many men remain in the closet one of the most popular has to do with status Not everybody or even the majority of people condone homosexuality in America so for someone to outwardly proclaim to be gay they are subjecting themselves to potential social suicide Basil Henderson is a prime example of someone who cant afford to be seemingly gay because of his social status A pro athlete Basil goes by an alias even though he gives no reason why it can be inferred that it is to protect his secret lifestyle Basil explained how hard it was going both ways in the public eye and that there were several professional players both football and basketball who were in but it was the most secretive of cliques 199 Coincidentally at the time this is being written Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards comes out as the first openly gay player in the NBA This is parallel to one of the ideas that Harris is trying to convey with the status of black celebrities who are constantly under the public eye and are susceptible to unruly scrutiny Being in the spotlight of a stage like professional sports one must do all they can to avoid
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