I have never been that way, especially reflecting the fact that while I can function at work as asexual, that I have made it impossible for me to be anywhere else in my life. I'm still learning to reconcile the public and private parts of my life and that can be very disorienting to most people.
I keep looking back at relationships that I helped to control and destroy. That my friend who would have rather not have me hit on her those many years ago would appreciate not having my 'gay agenda' (albeit a short lived one) not rammed down her throat. That my short lived on/off/on/off/dead on arrival relationship with the first woman in my life would have benefited from me not disappearing in days and being hyper focused on things that I felt were important.
But all the relationship dysfunction aside: I understand that I am probably more important to myself than anything else. I have always known that but it wasn't appreciated by another person. And probably never will be. I would have loved to have someone in my life that would understand that I have to work to get what I want and that I'm not just eye candy, despite the fact that I don't really believe that I'm all that physically attractive.
But I can't be in both places (in and out) at the same time. It has come time for me to choose. And that'll take some more time.
I know I've let the community languish for a while, but I was thinking recently about what it means that I'm not 'out and proud'.
And then there's the ever important 'when do I tell?'.
Proponents of coming out have this on their side, that simply being out means you don't have to worry anymore about not being yourself. And I will tell you, when I'm with someone I can be out with, my life is happier and I'm more relaxed and all I want is that time for us together. It doesn't matter if I'm attracted to them or not. It means I can be accepted for who I am.
But life doesn't work that fluidly all the time. Case in point: I'm not out at home with family. Even close family. So, whenever a 'gay issue' comes up on the TV, most of my family says, "I don't want to see it!" and changes the channel. I'm not allowed to protest. I'm not sure what they don't want to see, whether or not it is anything that they might see a gay couple kissing or otherwise being platonic affectionate, or just the ideas that go into their minds when they hear 'gay' is solely based on the idea of sex. And the difficulty lies deeper when I'm not allowed to question the difference.
It is frustrating many days when I sit back and hear the dismissive command and all I want to do is start the argument that will end up outing me.
I don't want to be the kingpin of more family drama. Everyone has their own issues and frankly, why should I change my family?
In the perfect world, it would be awesome that I would know that the members of my family would be supportive. But the silence that I hold is just very simply silence. And it's hard.
Questioning isn't so black and white. Once you're past the "Am I?", you have to face the fact of who you want to tell/need to tell.
To be honest: I'm still not 100% out, though I think the rest of the world has figured it out. It's a left over part of 'Don't Ask, Don't Speak' (No I'm not using this wrong, I assure you). If you never admit it to someone, then you are just neutral. You don't mean anything to them. You're not "that" and you're just simply you. It's a topic that isn't spoken about.
But today is Father's Day. And I don't have any children. Yet. That's a different topic for another day.
But I am a godparent/guardian to several children all from different families. My role is pretty much this, with the exception of a few, their parents are good friends of mine and their parents value my understanding of their child and have bestowed upon me the responsibility of making sure their child is well looked after in the case of their sudden death. Most of the children will actually move in with family. But I have a moral responsibility that has been dictated in wills and trusts. Some, it's strictly religious. Other's it's mentoring. But being the responsible person I am, I am at major birthdays, major family events, major milestones. And for the religious roles, I have discussed the role of faith, self respect (sexually and otherwise), and been that third neutral adult in family lives that doesn't dote, but isn't an authoritarian.
But while I'm certain the oldest 5 have 'figured it out', today, I get to sit down with the group aged 14 to 5 and tell them. I'm a lesbian. That I am not allowed to get married, so please stop asking. That maybe one day, they'll get to meet someone who will be more than just a friend. I will hold her hand. That I don't bring this up all the time, especially when we have church events. That they may notice that I may not take part in certain events because I am gay.
But why on Father's Day, not on Mother's Day?
Because I want them to understand that hard choices are made by everyone, every day. Because I need them to learn the sort of silent resilience that has taken so long for me to learn to deal with. That because I'm neither a 'mother' nor 'father', and I'm never intending to be either to them. The difference is minute. For most of them, I'm not the first gay person they've met. But I'll be just about the only gay person they will have recognized.
Fathers define. Dads love and nurture. I'm going to define this tiny segment of their lives. And answer their questions, the ones today, and the ones in the future. I'll always be the rock that they can turn to without judgement, without harm because my priority in their lives is simply just to make sure they can get through the hard parts in life with just enough ability to read their own moral compasses.
I'm prepared to understand that they may turn their back on me one day, even today. That won't change my role. That won't change the fact that I'll handle their lives fairly should I be called upon. But it's time they knew.
Part of the reason I started writing here, in this blog, was because I hadn't really come out.
Why is it a bigger deal for me to realize I am gay and to come out? I mean most of my friends and coworkers totally knew before I ever did. So when I share there isn't the swallow of "Oh!"
But it's still a big deal to me. I wish I knew why.
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And then the obvious (most choice for most out) is to be out so they can have not a true sense of self but a reason for their goals in life, more specifically what the life goals look like and who they are with.
And I still don't know that answer myself as I start tripping on this first relationship that appears to have taken off with my feet still at the gate.
I don't know where to start.
I think the part of this coming out process I'm totally unsure of is that simply I've always equated being "out" with my fragility of being who I am.
Okay, first of all, yeah I did. But I knew before I had invited myself over to her new place in Washington, DC, I would have to find a part of myself and check those feelings.
One: because my gaydar is wacky. Turns out I was lusting after a straight woman.
Two: because I loved her friendship, more than wanting a personal relationship.
And so, after that trip, she asked me not to contact her again. And then on Sunday, I got an email from her. She claimed she needed help. She wasn't too concrete in her "help" quantifier. I did reply instantly to her. It turned out she needed design help.
I have to admit, I turned into a tad bit of a bitch over the 3 days of emailing her. When one of her emails said she wanted me to move to help her, I kinda laid things out. I was not sure she would want me as she had asked me not to contact her again.
She replied that she hadn't recovered over feeling like she was comfortable with me.
I then laid it out back to her.
I had to think about this for a while.
I'm someone who values friendship, loyalty. That's why I've been replying since you've re-opened the door. What we shared in college was what I had expected to continue to share with you throughout the rest of our lives, no matter what happened in our lives. I was hurt, it took quite a while. For the better part of the past six years, I've had bits of my life that I would have loved sharing with you--the only person who knew what an edge our education and general similar interests shared. I'm not going to lie: my life has not been a giant bowl of sunshine, but there have been several instances that a friend, you, would have enjoyed sharing with me.
However, your inability to feel comfortable around me brings up an issue that's a little near and dear to me that I can't ignore. I can't change that fact about you. I can only imagine that my email showing up in your box makes you roll your eyes and embolden a desire to make sure that any email from me gets sent to your spam folder. This issue is what I struggle with as I construct replies to you, how can you be a friend/distant acquaintance to me without feeling comfortable?
I can accept that right now, you wouldn't want to see me in person.
I can accept that right now, you want this to be email.
Do I accept you have only interest in me as a friend? Yes.
Do I respect that you have the need for a friend? Yes.
Do I want to help you? Yes. I do need more concrete directions in which you desire help.
I am willing to help. I've dealt with my issues. I think you need to get used to who I am, find out what I've done. Let me know your terms and maybe we can come to agree on the way things can continue.
I haven't heard back from her. I won't contact her again. But I miss her friendship. I just wish she could come around.
So there was this friend I had 6 years ago, who was upset with my overprotective nature. It appears that she felt it was like I was protecting her that I wanted her.
Adeptus Major. In the book, the fictual country of Atlantis, marriages openly took place between men, women, multiple partners in a given marriage.
So I've been watching HBO's Big Love. And within the first season, the proclaimed prophet of the fictional polgamist sect that the Hendricksons come from is quoted in the LA Times as saying, "We're just like the homosexuals."
Keeping well in mind, outside of the Greenes, the Juniper Creek arch rivals, I really doubt anyone who has homesexual tendancies would survive in their required values.
But they're not wrong really on one point. They are at least in this portral. The Hendricksons work hard, they apparently are not on foodstamps, and they are not interested in pressing anyone else to live their lifestyle. Certainly there are things that go on in this fictional account of a polygamous family trying to live a modern life that aren't even possible, but from all accounts, it appears that this family is working, however different.
I want to get married to a woman who wants me in her life. Maybe we'll raise kids. If I can do that, it means I've achieved something in my life that isn't just about being gay. It's about being human at its most basic level.
So I sit here and ask myself, what's wrong with polygamy? It's allowed by the Muslim faith as long as the family can sufficiently provide for every additional wife added to the family. Polygamists have a right to their values, they don't expect me to drop everything and become a polygamist, I don't expect anyone to drop everything and be gay.
I do draw the line on the under 18 marriages that most FLDS appear to partake in. And it would be reassuring if there were some "quest" to know that polygamy was what you really wanted and not because that's the only thing you knew. I can't see this being any different than when I chose my political party or took my confirmation.
So if I accept this as being true, at what point are we ruining the concept of marriage? Is it when we forbid people marrying animals? How about close familial marriages? These are the pictures of main arguements against gay marriage to begin with.
Religion aside, marriage is a recognition that two people are willing to slug this thing called 'life' out side by side. In the US 1800's it mean going "west" and beating off the elements and wildlife, and diseases. Today, it means battling finaces, doing what both want to do to get a desired result. One will be strong when the other cannot, and sometimes through all of the trials and revlations, you stop and enjoy those moments that you accomplished with someone else.
Maybe I'm old fashioned. Maybe I don't know what it's like to be married because I haven't been married. Or maybe, I'm not wrong in the big picture and it's time that everyone stepped back to see it. Who knows?
This concept had been shown to me once before in one of my favorite books,
I don't hate men.
I hate certain men for things they do, but as a whole, I see their validity and they have a right to be on the planet as long as they don't try to hump my leg while I try flirting with a girl.
So for a facebook status recently, I wrote up, "I hope my co-worker gets better soon so I can play video games with him."
And my co-workers, new and past wrote, up "Him?"
As if I don't associate with men.
I admit, I am intimidated by some men. And I probably do a fair share of intimidating other men. I have many aspects of bullying ingrained into me. Perhaps because I have created a false self-image but that's a whole other topic. But these are separate from the fact that I truly do have many male friends, gay and straight. I enjoy their company, I don't flirt with them and I hope that they enjoy what I bring to our friendship.
Now, like many women, I did try to date men. There were a few in my past. At this point actually, the number of men I've attempted to date is higher than the number of women. Did this mean they "turned me away"? No, I was pretty lucky that all the men I associated with really did treat me well. Other than being emotionally intimidated by one, I don't think there was an instant I can recall that 'turned me'. I have always been friends with boys growing up. That's the part of "tomboy" that is pretty obvious.
So, in summation: while I wasn't pleased about learning I was a lesbian, turns out I was already pre-programed that way.
It's a strange concept to keep whapping people over the head with.
The yellow shirt with bright aqua letters will read as follows:
Be An Ally
Be The Change
So I came home and wrote the check. I just need to give it to a co-worker.
And wear it next Friday for a picture on campus.
This is a big step for me. I'm not sure I'm ready for the implications, but I believe in the message not only as someone who is gay but someone who is not pregnant and can wear the shirt as a symbol for even things for my department.
But can I deal with the stigma attached? Am I ready to be "out" at work? Granted one teacher on the team is not gay. She's very happily heterosexually married.
Don't know what to say. I don't know if I'm ready for this step.
So today at work, I got an email from one of the GSA coordinators offering up Ally shirts for the Ally Week next week.
There were comments about a certain member of staff who was not there. There were also comments about adminstration not doing their job.
And then I found out one of my co-workers is trying to send her son to a local Catholic school. I was a little taken aback as I had been under the impression that she had renounced her Catholic upbringing. But what really blew me out of the water was her comment, "I had two kids go through [local high school] and it was awful for them. I figured this would be better for the last one. I'm not doing it again."
And one of my other co-workers who happens to be a mother asked the question, "Why?"
"Well, we're conservative, not crazy conservative, but the things that happened. For instance, in Taylor's class I felt that 'Day of Silence' was rammed down their throats."
Okay if you've read my other blog, I probably shouldn't defend Taylor, but it is hard not to right now.
"My son did some research and he found this group called 'Day of Truth', he made a shirt, I saw it, I didn't think anything was wrong with it. He wore it and she ordered him to take it off. When I asked my son about what 'Day of Silence' was, he said, 'teachers don't have to teach on that day if they support Gay Rights.'"
Well I remember the incident that involved Taylor suspending the student. I also remember gettting the email explaining what Day of Truth is too.
Nothing is ever rammed down student's throats. And perhaps this family is sensitive to the issues of Gay Rights just because they don't discuss it in their lives. If we asked 100% of the student body to participate that would be one thing. But the students who participate volunteer. A large party does particpate mostly out of support for 2 teachers who are openly gay, leading the way for students who are questioning and otherwise.
My town is conservative-liberal. Which is an odd mix. Outwardly, we think the sun shines out of everyone's butt and we should kiss it as often as possible. That the minority who yelps is the minority in truth, they are just crackpots in my town, yet they get the grease.
But there I sat. A bystander. Unable to do anything. I am begining to understand the price of my silence. Sadly, I wish to share this with Taylor. And I cannot.
Well, at work today we were having an out and out b*tch session among the ladies.