Coming Out of the Closet: Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit

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"Ich bin schwul und das ist auch gut so"---I am gay and that is a good thing”. This is what Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit prior to the 2001 mayoral elections said. In a matter of seconds, everybody throughout Germany knew about it. There was positive feedback about his coming out, but it also aroused criticism.

In this essay, I would like to discuss the assets and drawbacks of coming out the closet. I think this is a very important subject because many people struggle with their sexuality. Reflected in this struggle, many people are flawed to the degree at which they hide their sexuality. It takes a lot of courage to come out the closet and therefore many homosexuals decide to rather stay anonymous. How different one can react in regard to this subject is shown in Tony Kushner's play “Angles in America". Most of the characters in this play struggle with their sexuality as well. Roy, Joe, Louis and Belize all deal with the issue of coming out throughout the play. However, every single one of them deals differently with this issue. Prior is definitely one of the most openly gay characters in the play. He demonstrates certain openness about his sexuality within the play, he shows his dependence on his boyfriend Louis when he is not feeling very well. Prior says at the end of the play: “I can handle pressure, I am a gay man and I am used to pressure". (Here Prior implies that being gay has made him stronger than most people; discrimination towards him, has made him "tough.") Contrary to him, for example is Joe, who is definitely not comfortable with his homosexuality and is married to a woman. Later in the play, he eventually leaves her to explore a relationship with Louis, but the marriage shows his state or condition of being closeted. Last but not least there is Roy, who is clearly feared to express his sexuality. He calls himself a heterosexual, even though he has sex with guys. "Because what I am is defined entirely by who I am. Roy Cohn is not homosexual. Roy

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