You know, it’s funny. I read back on my posts so far and you’d think that I do nothing but contemplate my gayness all day, every day. It’s like 24/7 Lezzie Lifetime channel around these parts.
And sure, this is the one place that I really come to vent on this whole coming out process that I’m mucking my way through. It’s *supposed* to be the topic of conversation.
But in real life, this is just a small slice of who I am. If asked to define myself, I think: good friend, runner, responsible employee, talented smartass, occasional triathlete, wanna-be chef … just another person, with my own unique set of baggage to trail along behind me, making my way through the world as best I can.
Because I feel that my sexual orientation is just a part of who I am (not insignificant, by the way, but certainly not the whole enchilada), I often wonder how people can stereotype so quickly based on just this one thing.
True story: I had decided awhile ago that if anyone were to ask me straight out, or otherwise put me in a situation where I’d have to lie about myself, that no matter what, I’d tell them the truth. And, that situation came up.
A friend of mine – not a close friend, but a friend nonetheless – was really pushing to set me up with a guy friend of hers. To get her to stop that foolishness, I admitted to her that I was gay. Now, this girl had a double whammy going: ultra-conservative and very religious. I’m not entirely sure exactly of her politics and faith – and that doesn’t matter, really – but she firmly believed that homosexuality was a sin, plain and simple. Not only that, but a sin that was a conscious choice and for that reason, if you wanted to, you could change your orientation.
Bullpucky. That’s what I call that belief. Well, at least that was my view of the whole situation.
Her and I, well, we drifted apart after that. She attempted a few times to get me to acknowledge that all I needed to do was see the light, and I could be saved (she was terribly worried about my soul… I told her that even as a straight girl, I was pretty sure that the handbasket to hell would have me riding shotgun).
She couldn’t see that I was exactly the same person that I had been before I had told her about me. That my values hadn’t changed and my morals weren’t any more or less pure. The only thing that had changed was not even that I liked girls, but that she now KNEW I liked girls. I asked her if it was possible that she could overlook that and we could just be friends. She was all “hate the sin, love the sinner” and such, but until I finally let the relationship fade, she never stopped trying to “fix” me.
And I’ve got to admit – that really hurt. And honestly? It made me even more reluctant to come out to people in my life if I even kind of suspected that they might not be receptive. I mean, if this person couldn’t see past the fact that I thought chicks were more fun than dudes, was this what I get to expect from a lot of people out there?
I don’t get it. Liking girls is such a small facet of who I am as a person. Yes, it affects me in some very public ways – ways that make it a bigger deal than it is to me personally – but fundamentally, I’m still the same person I’ve always been. Why does it matter who I want to date? Why is it that now, after nearly 40 years of fitting in, that this one thing can cause people to summarily dismiss me, as if this one little footnote about me completely defines my existence.
Because, really – I’m so much more than that.