CBS's new poll... confirms what we already knew—that ending the closet is the key to equality. By far the best way to do this is as an act of positive affirmation. Those gay people who prefer careerism and safety over integrity and courage have every right to do so. But I also have every right to note that they are the key obstacles to their own progress—and no closeted person has any moral standing to complain about his or her inequality. He daily constructs the architecture of his own marginalization.... Gay equality is being pioneered among the younger, braver generation. They get it. And those who stood by must live with the knowledge of their own cowardice.
Some of Andrew's readers push back—some gays and lesbians never came out because they couldn't come out, it's easier to be out now, have a little sympathy for older gays and lesbians, the bad old days were really bad, etc. I addressed the issue of sympathy for older closet cases in the Advocate a few years ago. Sorry, closet cases, but sympathy for closet cases has long since passed its expiration date. If you're closeted and over sixty, okay, you get a pass. Under sixty? You get a label: coward.