I remember when I was in ninth grade, in an all-male (sexual) health class, we were learning about sexual identity. I indicated that I had a family member who was gay. Everyone around me, in one simultaneous moment, shifted their eyes to me.. some made faces of disgust, and one boy moved away from next to me as if my expressing of a family member’s sexual position had made me suddenly contagious of the ‘gay bug’. I was then asked, as you’d expect, “Are you gay too?” which was something absolutely uncomfortable at the time: of course I said “hell no!”. My position/relation with straight men / guys in general has always been a touchy thing to me because I’ve been othered from day one. By the way I acted, or the way I spoke, or the way I liked pop music, expressed “femininity”, or the way I tried to accept others when I saw they felt like I did. I found myself making friends with the unlikeliest of people (mainly girls, but with some great guys too) because it was always more comfortable hanging around with weirdos like me.. simply hanging with accepting, likeminded people. Feeling like an Other, it made me shy away from wanting to communicate with men. It made me vulnerable and constantly paranoid of socializing with: someone who I could be attracted to in a “wrong” or “unholy” way; or someone who could out me. This is something I still deal with today. Aside: It kind of makes me feel like I’m actually going to be forever alone, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I mean who knows me more than I do? ^_^
The reason I always try to push the identity/sexual agenda on social media is because being a social deviant has affected everything in who I am and how people treat me. It’s outrageous that it ever was a thing (and still IS a thing) for people to be treated as a LESSER because of love or race or body parts or WHATEVER. It’s unbelievable that many LGBTQ people like me have to feel all sorts of alienation and discomfort around people of the same sex. (An example: “Do I assimilate into male gender roles or try to be myself? What even IS “myself” anymore?”) It hurts me to see that a fourth grader today is insecure because they don’t act like all of their friends of the same sex, or some ninth grader feels embarrassed to discuss sex or sexuality because they know they’re the different one, or some twelfth grader blushes when their Societies teacher brings up gay rights and they know someone in the room is looking for a reaction and they mustn’t break their composure unless they wish to draw attention to themselves.
Don’t tell me to get over it. I’m excited the world is changing, but the faster we move towards equality and acceptance the better. Being “abnormal” has ruined my life, but I would never change it because I’ve learnt some amazing life lessons and I’ve become a person that sees something genuine in every freak. I’ve learnt over the years, in thinking through my situation and coming to terms with it, that being unsure of who “you” are (because you’ve shifted and changed yourself so much and for so long to “conform” and “fit in” that you have no standard of identity to go back to) is absolutely okay, and you’ll find ‘yourself’ in the things you love to do and the topics you are passionate about in life. Your identity is constantly shifting, so don’t be afraid because you’ve lost yourself in self-hatred.. just try to follow the love.
And finally, this is the time. If you are in the closet, you don’t have to come out necessarily. I personally don’t believe in it. When I did it to my close friends in grade ten, it was to get rid of the uncomfortable need to label myself. When I did it last year, it was because I was proud. But now I’ve recognized that you shouldn’t have to label yourself, because I think that nobody, not even you, can simply assume what you are. We are all of a species of fluidity. There will come a time where YOU will question some part of your identity, and some part of you will change. There’s no need to label yourself, because you are more than a label, and it’s more obscure/fluid than that. Don’t think binary, think spectrum. If you are still in the closet, I hope you’re preparing your #fierce style [hopefully there are some good clothing choices] and you’re about to emerge FABULOUS. You don’t need to label anything about yourself, and you don’t need to tell everyone if you don’t want to! Just feel free and be you. Tell whoever, or tell no one. Remember, it’s not about “coming out” or “leaving” the closet because there’s nothing wrong with who/where you were before. You don’t need to leave that closet: just leave that mindset that you are not allowed to live like everyone else, that you are lesser, that you can’t be an amazing person. Because you deserve to live freely. Just know it’s true within you that you’re not straight and that’s great.
I’m so excited for all of the people who are rejoicing in their right to marry. #LoveWins