This post has been a long time coming. I started it over a year ago and have been putting it off because, well, I'm not sure why. A recent post by a friend on facebook seems to have tipped the scales in my mind and I feel now is the time to just lay it all out.
I've been like this all my life. I've always known. Up to this point, I didn't feel like I needed to share this with everyone, as to some it's always been obvious, and others just assumed. I've never been ashamed or really felt any different from anyone else, but think now might be the time to say something.
But before I do, I just can't get this frustration, this heartbreak to loosen its grip. When my friend posted something like this, he was talking about the fact that he's gay. It was not news to me, even though he never directly said anything to me. His words, though, got me thinking. Why is it that people have to "come out" as gay and not "come out" as straight? Why do some people need to come out as male or female just because their outward appearance doesn't match who they are inside? Why does "different" need to be announced rather than "different" being just that - a difference. We are all different.
I guess it all comes down to assumptions. We assume people are straight unless they tell us otherwise. We assume that if a person looks like a man, he's a man, or looks like a woman, she's a woman. We assume a lot of things that might not necessarily be true. Can't we just assume that each person is unique and get to know that person for who they are, not how they appear or how we think they should be?
As a parent, I hear what if questions a lot. "What if one of your kids is gay?" seems to be a popular one. What if one or more of my kids is gay? I won't love them any differently, any more, or any less. One of my children has expressed that their brain has yet to decide if he's a boy or she's a girl. My response? "Wonderful! It's great that you have all the time in the world to see what your brain decides." This child will still be the same child no matter what.
So, back to what I was saying. I've been like this all my life. People I've recently met might not realize this about me. These days it's not really evident when you look at me. It is Winter, after all. You see, I have elbows. I thought you should know. They're not very evident under the layers of clothing I've been wearing to keep me warm, but they're there. Two of 'em. Thanks for understanding.
As I commented to my friend:
Praying for a time when being gay isn't something that needs to be announced or explained or grappled with any more than being straight or human or having elbows.
I'm also praying that being gay will someday soon be as acceptable to all people as having elbows is. And elbows are weird (have you ever looked really closely at an elbow?), so really, being gay is no big deal.