I just got off the phone with my best friend, and we were just talking about life and some of our friends that we used to live with, and go to church with (way back in the day, pre-Mountainside).
“Do you ever talk to them?” she asked.
“No” I explain. And than I chuckle a little bit “I don’t know if they would want to talk to me if they knew… if they go on myspace at all.” Of course I am referring to my sexuality and my myspace page where in the about me: orientation box, it says lesbian.
“Oh, they know” she replied.
“Um, ok,” I said, “ how do you know they know, have they said something to you?”, I ask, my curiosity piqued
“Yea, Kelly brought it up to me at work one day… I told her you were a grown-up and you could make your own decisions.”
The conversation than trailed to something else. I wanted to say something, but I didn’t. I know she did not mean it in a bad way, but I was thinking:


Choice? Seriously? How I wish I had a choice! It would be so much easier to be straight. This only adds fuel to people’s fire, assuming that I somehow made a choice—whether out of rebellion (which I think would be the most thought opinion) or attention or whatever…. It just doesn’t make sense—why would I choose to have people argue with me and think I am second-class, why would I choose to loose friends and support? Who would choose to be left out all the time, and treated like they don’t exist? That’s crazy.
But, as I was thinking about it, I think maybe that is what ‘pride’ is. In the Duke newspaper awhile back (which is posted on this blog), the author mocks gay pride, and says that it is like having white pride, or pride in being tall. A friend of mine explained gay pride better than I ever could:

Well, I am proud to be gay. If people can be proud to have been born, through no effort of their own, into a large North American nation, then I can be proud of how I have learned to stand up for who I am, something that takes a lot more gumption: telling a professor of mine what my life is really like when he asks, “How are you?” speaking up to my two conservative roommates when they were ignorantly making my life a hell through their constant insensitivities and put-downs; coming out to my brother even through the fear that a person who I have lived with for eighteen years could turn against me in a second as the words slipped off my tongue…

Dumbledore says it best at the end of The Sorcerer’s Stone, when he tells Neville Longbottom that “it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” This is what gay people have to do all the time. Coming out is a process that takes a long time, and demands constantly being vulnerable and open, just to remind those you know that you are a person too. My roommates have known that I am gay for almost a year, and as if telling them in the first place wasn’t hard enough, I’ve just finished the heart-aching process of telling them all over again, having to explain myself again, letting them know that they can–not treat me the way they do.

Being gay, especially being gay and Christian, is hard. It means constantly having to explain yourself on points that straight people never get called on. It means having my roommate remind me not to bring people home for sex, a caution my other (straight) roommate never receives. It means having people assume the worst about your moral character. It means requiring of yourself the strength to stand up for your convictions or at least for your circumstances every time the topic is broached, because probably no one else will. (But when they do, it’s the best feeling in the world!) If putting up with all this and staying sane and fairly happy and remaining a pleasant person to be around (which I hope I am for the most part) is some–thing to be proud of, then I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of everyone else who’s gay with me. We rock.

So, maybe it is ok that Katie said what she said. While I do not choose to have feelings for women, I choose daily to admit those feelings to myself and not to hide them from others. So, yes, I am a grown up who gets to make my own decisions. And I have decided not to hide, from myself or from others.

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