It’s time. After almost 49 years you’d think I would have done this by now – but I wasn’t ready.
I am now.
I am straight.
You’re probably wondering why I chose now, of all times, to make this announcement. You probably think I’m doing it to somehow make myself relevant, or because I think I’m special.
Damn right. I am special. And that’s not up for you to decide.
You’re probably also assuming that I’m making this announcement just to be able to shove my sexuality in your face. You’re right, again, because I have nothing better to do with my time.
Let’s be honest. I came out because I had to. Aside from the fact that I was tired of feeling ashamed for who I am, and getting angrier at myself for my own self-denial, at that each day of feeling like that chipped away at the very essence of me, my spirit, my soul – you don’t care about that, I know – I had to because you insisted that I do. You wanted – no, needed to know. You asked with every comment you made about me singing in choir, dressing a certain way, and not having a girlfriend. It was in the whispers I’d hear about me behind my back, or in finding out that when you mentioned me to someone you’d always say, “I think she’s straight.” Then there were those sideways looks I’d get when I was out with my boyfriend. The snide comments when we held hands – and when we kissed? You were mortified.
You also needed to know so that you could determine if I was allowed to be in your group, play on your team, join the military, attend your church, be friends with your children, or even be a part of your family.
Do you really think I wanted to announce my sexuality to you? It’s none of your business, but I had to because you just had to know – I was frozen in your mind under the question, “Is she or isn’t she?” You couldn’t decide if I was to be included, otherwise.
Now we have a new word in the dictionary. Heterophobic. Because people are afraid of me. They assume that my heterosexuality can hurt them in some way.
(You really do give me too much credit. You’ll mess up your own life faster than I can.)
You did let me help plan parties, though. Thank you. That was fun. And I love doing your hair. And you never got jealous when I hung around with your girlfriend. (I wasn’t a threat then, was I?)
You made me part of a separate community made up of other people like me, while the rest of you ‘normal’ people got to decide if we were allowed to live as you do, marry as you do, do business as you do.
Then you got angry when we all banded together and began to support each other, and even fight for the right to make our own decisions – acting like a true community. You say we are segregative when we have hetero functions, hetero businesses, hetero marriages – but you are the ones who labelled them as such by your exclusion of us from yours.
We would have had no need at all to band together on our own if you didn’t separate us from the pack.
You aren’t fair to us; you pretend to be, when you say it’s okay for us to live our own lives (thank you so much for that, by the way; your permission means a lot), but then you still react in horror when you see my boyfriend and I doing the same things in public that you do with your girlfriend.
You can be you, but don’t let me see it?
Then there are those of you that are angry that I’m straight. It’s not normal, you say. And you look for ways to force me to be your normal, or to eliminate me altogether.
Nothing is ‘normal’. Normal implies constancy, and the only constant is change.
Take a look back. Change is the only thing close to being normal. There is also nothing about me that hasn’t been around since the human race began. You’re only hearing of it more because of our normal technological progression, and if you understand that, then I actually fall under your definition of what is ‘normal’, because we’ve been here just as long as you have. If you hadn’t been so busy for generations trying to get everyone to conform to one idea, this would not be an issue.
I am now openly admitting my sexuality to you, because you forced me to. And I am now going to be under attack for doing so, because I’ve upset the apple cart you told me to tip over. You’ll hate me because I support my fellow heteros. Because I’m proud of them. I’m proud of me. I’m proud of us.
How ridiculous is that when we turn it around? And we think we are right? Who are any of us to think we have the authority to tell someone else who they should be?
I’ll tell you the real truth, now:
I am straight. I decided I was going to be straight when I was a kid, because of what I learned in schools and churches, from books, movies, television and music, and from my parents. (Yes, the fact that they are divorced now does send some mixed signals, I admit.) I was too afraid to go against what everyone told me I had to be. I didn’t have that kind of courage. Like most children, I was told I was allowed to be different … just not that different.
So, I conformed.
(That is the way it works, right?)
Of course, now that you know about me it would be wise to keep me away from your loved ones – I may try to convert them. Or, I could be the doctor that helps them beat cancer, the teacher who believes in them, the stranger who saves them when they are being attacked …
I could even be the one to hand them toilet paper under a bathroom stall when their roll is empty.
Fine. It’s still not your call to make.
I will not be ashamed of my sexuality and who I love (except my exes), and I will love you and support you in you being true to yourself. Love is Love is Love. And Love is never wrong.
Unless we are talking about anchovies. BLECH!
*In a funny moment of synchronicity, I’d written that part about the anchovies not five minutes before a friend of mine posted on Facebook about how much he loved them. When I mentioned that to him, he reminded me that I couldn’t love a Caesar Salad without them. He’s right; even if they’re not in the salad itself, they are an unseen ingredient in the dressing. HOW RELEVANT IS THAT?
I don’t care if he’s right. I may have to unfriend him. 🙂