Years later, a colleague would offer me the most beautiful analogy about the emotional impact of living this way, the pain of living in a glass closet. You tell yourself that you're just wearing a coat, protecting yourself in public, against the elements. You tell yourself it's just temporary, that someday you'll take off the coat and be the real you. But eventually, years later, when the time comes and you're finally ready to shed it forever, you realize you can't. The coat has become your skin.
-- Kate Fagan, The Reappearing Act, p. 173