An idea that I believe originated with the writer Armistead Maupin, that there is a measure of maturity which dates from the age at which you came out as gay. So, a person who is thirty and came out at sixteen is the same gay age as a person who is fifty-four and came out at forty. It's discussed in his book The Night Listener, and also somewhere in the Tales of the City series.

It makes some kind of sense to me: the coming out process seems to go through the same sort of stages no matter what age you start at. First you're horribly scared that telling anyone at all will result in the end of the world as you know it. Then you tell everyone because being queer is the best thing that ever happened to anyone, ever. Especially if you're getting some. Then you figure out that being queer is just another of those things, and not that much harder or easier that the shit everyone else goes through. And you probably don't really get more sex, either.

There's a parallel, but more elaborate, theory about the stages of coming to terms with transgendered status, but it, as far as I know, lacks a snappy name. When I've made one up, I'll node it.

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