Hi. We need to talk. I want you to imagine something with me. You are a baby. You are loved and treasured and feel pretty good at home. You grow and at some point you start to feel different. Not sure what’s different exactly but there’s something. You try to forget about it and just pretend that something isn’t there.
You go to school and as the years pass you learn about the social part of school. What’s cool and what’s not cool. How important it is to fit in. How to shun or make fun of those who don’t. You feel bad but not enough to stand up for him/her/them or yourself. You love your parents and your extended family. You cousins are the best and you can’t wait to hang out with them. Every once in a while though you see or hear or feel things that don’t fit with the status quo.
As you grow in life and patterns shift and change you become aware of the different part of you. It grows and takes shape. It clouds your awareness, you become sure that you must make sure no one finds out. You wish and pretend with all your might but it doesn’t change. You want to be like your cousins and friends but you are not.
Imagine hard now my friends. Close your eyes and feel how that would feel. So so scary. To have a secret so big that you aren’t sure if your loved ones will still love you if you told them. When I imagine that I feel panic and dread and I feel so alone.
You are almost done growing. You can’t keep this lie. It’s too big. It’s eating you. You start to acknowledge that part of you. You give in to it. You mourn what could have been.
You meet people you identify with. You see they are not scared or ashamed. You decide that telling people and dealing with the outcome has to feel better than walking around with this secret. You know that some don’t make this choice.
Imagine how much bravery you would need to muster to say something to your friends that you know will make some of them leave or hate you. Imagine looking your parents in the eye and saying something to them that you know might make them reject you and stop loving you.
That’s all. I just wanted you to put yourself in the shoes of an imaginary gay person. I wondered if you had ever thought of what that might be like. You make jokes and say hurtful words and I don’t know why.
If the thought of loving a member of the same sex sounds appealing you might be gay. If the idea of loving a member of the same sex doesn’t sound appealing you probably aren’t gay. I don’t know a soul who chooses one way or another.
The idea of caring what another person does in their bedroom, straight or gay, is weird to me. If someone being gay bothers you I think you should try to identify why. It’s kind of the same as someone telling you they are diabetic, in the sense that it really doesn’t change your life at all. You might worry about them and hope they make good food choices.
So, you, I wish you could know someone gay and get over it and just be able to see them. They do weird things just like you. They have jobs and car payments and pay taxes. They get hang nails and stub their toes and walk their dogs. They have families and friends. If you are judging them based on your religious beliefs then leave it to the man (or whatever) upstairs.
I wish I could understand your need for the comments and hate, even if it’s veiled in humour. Are you scared? Do people different than you make you nervous? When your family member or friend comes out are you going to realize how ignorant you sound making your comments? You know the people you talk to have gay friends or family members right?
The story above could have been or could be you/your child/your sibling/your friend. Your words have an impact on the world. Chose to spread love instead of hate tomorrow. Don’t pass this on to your kids it will not serve them in any kind of positive way in their lives.
To people that have or might come out my hats off to you. I feel like if we drew straws on the path of life you kinda got the short one. Only because of the way society works though, It’s like being left handed and all the scissors and gadgets are built for righties. Be patient with your people. You’ve had time to get used to your news and they might need some too.
Namaste – or some shit.