I remember one of my first gay bars was the FrontRunner in Manchester, New Hampshire. It was a members' only club requiring one to sign in before entry. New Hampshire at the time required gay bars to keep track of club goers; the only way such a place could exist in an otherwise restrictive atmosphere of conservative New Hampshire.
I wasn't fully out to everyone during my first visit there, but I wasn't hesitant to sign. It was just different, but I felt a little padded since the bar was about 200 miles away from my parents. But now someone had a record of me being in a gay bar. This of course did not mean I was 1,000% gay, but I was at least socializing with "those kind of people" in one of "those kind of bars."
That was 20 years ago. Times have changed quite a bit. I now live in one of the gayest places in the United States, but it would still seem odd to sign into a gay bar. If it were asked of me, I may still hesitate a little to sign into a bar, but I would. Where else would I sign as a gay man? Would I sign into a voting station? Would I sign into work? Would I sign into a grocery store?
We in the United States are a far cry from Tanzania.
The threat to publish the names of suspected homosexuals in Tanzania has been defended by [Hamisi Kigwangalla,] the deputy health minister, in a fierce row on Twitter. Homosexual acts are illegal in the East African nation and punishable by up to 30 years in jail. Those who advertised homosexual activities online would also be targeted, the politician warned.
Tweeters accused him of homophobia and infringing on the right to freedom of expression online. But Hamisi Kigwangalla argued that homosexuality did not scientifically exist and was a social construct.
In a tweet written in Swahili and English he said: "Have you ever come across a gay goat or bird? Homosexuality is not biological, it is unnatural."
The 42-year-old, who is a medical doctor by profession, argued that homosexuality could only be associated with an urban lifestyle. He said that in the small town in central Tanzania where he came from, there were no homosexuals.
Earlier this month, Dr Kigwangalla ordered three men he accused of being gay to report to the police for "spreading" homosexual activity through social media, in violation of the law. It is not clear whether they have been charged. – bbc.com
Would you sign a registry stating that you are gay?
Would you mind if a list of known homosexuals was publicized with your name on it?
Of course, unlike in Tanzania, you would not suffer jail time or like in some nations, death. Most likely not much would happen at this time.
When I was coming out, the going thought was that we were 1 in 10 of the population, or 2 in 20 so it doesn't sound as lonely. Now some statistics say we are 4% of the population. What percentile do you say we are? Should we really be way Out and Proud and make our names and numbers known?
It's just a thought.