While coming out stories typically get a lot of attention, it is just as important to understand the reasons that people remain silent. Here narrators talk about times they–or others they know–did not speak up about their sexuality. This section of the site also contains comments from transgender individuals about passing as a “genetic” man or woman.

Bonnie Aspen                      “A double La-Z-Boy sofa.”
Marge Ballack                      “It appeared that it was a straight group.”
Joe Bloom                             “There’s a lot of unwritten rules about bathrooms.”

Ted Clark                                “I had a self-imposed quietness.”
Marianne Dawson               “I’m Marianne.”
Ann Marie Floch                   “I thought I had to quit.”

Diane Lantz                            “They won’t talk to you.”
Christopher Lawrence       “90 percent of our community is non-visible.”
Dean Lynch                             “He didn’t self identify.”

Lenard Mace                         “I walked a very thin line.”
Linda McKitrick                    “That’s like living in a prison.”
Gene Otto                               “He always had a woman on his arm.”

Janice Packwood                “Do you really want to come out?”
Craig Peterson                      “Rewarded for being closeted.”
Marvo Reguindin                 “I knew nobody.”
Deena Romoff                       “People have been afraid in Spokane.”

Paul Tiesse                             “There is still subconsciously this fear of being outed.”
Peter Williams                       “I think he should’ve been forthright.”
Willow Williams                   “There’s flames shooting out of our chimney!”
Kim Winchester                     “I was so ashamed back then.”