Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Insomniac thoughts

It's almost 3 am I have to be up for work in a few hours and I'm wide awake. As I was trying to get some sleep thoughts just kept running through my head. I keep thinking about two subjects in particular, 1. How will my family react when I come out to them? And 2. What about my wedding! I've gone through the mental list of my family members and I've already predicted how some of them will react. My mom I think will most definitely freak out at first, but I'm pretty sure she'll come around. My Aunts and Uncles well that's another story, like many of my family members lived the wild life when they were younger and since then have found purpose, meaning and stability in their lives in God. I think it's great, but unfortunately finding God has meant insanity for some of my family members two of my aunts in particular. They've become fanatical, one of my aunts said that her grandson was a demon because he wasn't circumcised, yeah I know crazy. This is also the same aunt who is so against secular music that she beat my sisters Source magazine with her shoe as she yelled about it being possessed. My other Aunt is less crazy but what she lacks in insanity she makes up with conservativism. I'm going to go out on a limb and say these Aunts who I love dearly will surely say that I've been possessed, and am going straight to hell. All in All I think my mom's side will be okay with it, with the exception of my two Aunts. However, my father is straight out of the West Indies, and his side is ultra conservative, there was a HUGE controversy when my unmarried thirty year old aunt became pregnant. I know that when they find out then I'm a lesbian, well it's not going to be pretty. This makes me nervous I love my family even my father (who I have so many issues with it's not funny) and I don't want to be separated from them.
When I was wrestling with my realization what was hardest for me was dealing with my wedding. Since I was younger I've always wanted a big wedding, it was going to great huge bridal party, amazing food, location and just a great time for all my family and friends to come and celebrate with me. What is most important for me is that I wanted all of the people I love and care about there with me, and if I don't have family members there I want it to be because I didn't invite them not because they are protesting my wedding. Because like it or not I AM HAVING A WEDDING, and I don't care what George W. Bush has to say about it.
I don't know when I'm going to tell my family or the rest of my friends for that matter, I've told my best friend and for now that's good enough for me. Is it weird that I'm nervous about coming out to my lesbian friends? I hang around a fairly liberal and accept crowd, but I'm still soo nervous. I wish there was a handbook Living The Lesbian Life, I know that there is no guide, this is my life and it is up to me to decide how I will live it. You can't blame a girl for wishing can ya? I guess only time will tell how things will unfold and now it's time for me to rest my brain from all this thinking.


skyscraper said...

you know, i've found [like scores of other gay/queer people] that it is not absolutely imperative to tell everybody you know about your sexual orientation. fuck, there are some people who NEVER need to know, believe me [i.e. certain bosses, coworkers, neighbors, community members, professors and yes, even family, no matter how sad and unfair this sounds]. I understand that once you come out, you levitate in the clouds for a while (it’s like this *pink cloud* period) and everything feels so right that you wanna scream about it to the world. But after a while you realize that this world is also full of ignorant, jealous, insecure, biased and closed-minded people, some of them will go to any lengths to hurt you, just out of their own fear and hate. And this fact cannot be forgotten, overlooked or ignored. But a good thing is that you don’t need the whole world to know that you’re happy and why, to actually be fully happy. It’s like ‘quality, not quantity’ type of principle working here. Sharing with people who you know would understand and support, building our own safe communities and support networks, sharing the love with those who want to receive it from us no matter what sex we prefer to sleep with, being where we’re comfortable and surrounding ourselves only by people who care about more than someone going to hell or heaven… that’s what real happiness means to me.

and i think it's not cowardice or selling out, or being a chicken or hiding your real self, but it is rather a reasonable measure of safety and precaution, to be mindful of who you want to come out to. because it can be physically, psychologically, and emotionally straight-up unsafe to be "OUT" to the world.

and of course ideally it'd be great to have all your family and the world know and cheer for you and celebrate your gayness and freedom with you, but that's almost never possible. rarely will you have anybody's ENTIRE family be enlightened about their gayness, or be happy about it. such is the reality of life--our life in this fucked-up, mediocre, fake-value, vain, superficial, form-over-substance-valuing society.

i would love to have it otherwise but i can't, so i have to cope with it and live my life as fully as possible while realizing that some people, due to their ingrained prejudices and fears, will just never fucking get me. they will never understand that it is as legitimate and magical and beautiful for me to love pussy as it is for them to be attracted to the opposite sex. but it's their problem, and i feel like i have a moral obligation before myself to make it stay just that--their problem. not let it affect my mood, my self-esteem, my perspectives and beliefs, my life in any shape, size, or form. i absolutely may not internalize the fears, prejudices and insecurities of other people, i cannot afford to do that, otherwise i'd be in a mental institution a long while ago. and i must always consciously remind myself that what people think of me is none of my business. what i think of me is my business and i cannot ever let it be negative. if i don't love, respect and admire myself, how can i expect others to?

i feel sorry for them, i wish they'd be different and more open-minded, but i can't change that. not with a snap of my fingers, overnight, and not everybody. it is important that we educate and share in order to open more eyes every day, but it's a process and it is painful and slow.

with my family, for instance, my sexuality is never discussed. they know i have a girlfriend, they know i've had girlfriends and probably also know that i will have girlfriends and wives only for as long as i live, BUT i know they wish it were otherwise and they hope i will grow out of "this phase"... some of them i'm sure don't even know and that's ok. some of them still keep asking me when the fuck i'm gonna get married [to a man of course] and have the "proper" family, house, 2.5 kids, etc... whatever, right? i don't refute their expectations; i just ignore what they say. for all i know i'm happy the way i am and i'm not going to let other people's deficient values and beliefs affect me and my wellbeing.

at the end of the day what matters is that we still love one another as a family, but i have a totally separate, independent, my own life of which they are not an immediate part of, and if they want me to love and respect them, they know that they can't tell me how to live. and if they were to say something fucked up, they know i'll immediately cut them out of my life. entirely and with no regret. it’s not my job to deal with other people’s shit, and I can’t change them. what I CAN do, however, is to control who will be in my life and who won’t, in order to guarantee myself a healthy life. so I can rightfully choose to remove myself from a situation that is untenable and detrimental to my emotional health.

i don't care if it's family or be they even god(s), if someone is going to propagate hate towards me on baseless grounds, e.g. my sexual preferences, then i say fuck them. i don't need that in my life. i've already cut out one aunt (crazy, crazy aunt, akin to yours i think) from my life completely for that same reason. because she is so closed-minded and indoctrinated, so conservative and judgmental, that she can't stand gay people, doesn't understand why we are gay, is disgusted by us and thinks we're the biggest sinners in the world. the most ironic thing is that she, herself, is a latent lesbian, i swear. she's just never allowed her true self to come out because she's too damn righteous and brainwashed. so, instead of making herself happy by coming out to herself and others, and being with women, she has internalized this homophobia to such an extent that i'm sure she hates herself, thinks that she's a sinner and a loser... so I said fuck you. ’m not gonna deal with your homophobia and hate towards me because I don’t give a fuck. and you obviously have issues but I’m not gonna interfere because it is your responsibility to sort them out. I have enough to care about in my life. you give me a negative vibe and I don’t have to be around that. that’s it. I believe that people’s indoctrination, dogmatization and ignorance still doesn’t excuse their hate and prejudice. Whatever, we’re all adults and it is in the very least reasonable to expect that we make some effort to get conscious and open your eyes.

the only person i really officially came out to in my family was my mother. and yes, she was hysterical, confused, upset, blaming herself for my "pathology", etc., etc., but she did come around (though not fully. like i said of course she'll always be hoping that i change and 'get cured'). but that's not my problem, really.

sorry for this endless 'novel' but my point is that once you come out, your life literally turns upside down and it is often that we can't expect any of the same things we wanted/planned for ourselves, e.g. weddings, family reunions, couple outings, birthdays, other heteronormative social family events etc., because being gay is against the mainstream society's mores and postulates, it is perceived wrong and unnatural, it is chastised and hated and it sure as hell freaks people out and threatens their own sexualities and identities (mainly i believe because a lot of the biggest homophobes are closeted gays, who suspect their gay tendencies and are so fearful that their little, cozy, religious, 'moral', righteous way of life that they've always been taught and believed in, is going to crumble and fall, and that they'll be nothing else but same-sex loving, abject, filthy, shameless 'fags' and 'dykes').

so yeah, again i'll try to come to my point, which is that, just like you articulated so beautifully in your rainbow poem, it is a huge choice to come out or not, and it is a very important realization in one's life and that once you make it, your whole life changes immensely, you become a different person, and you experience things differently, and you know that your guts are gonna be hated and condemned by many, but you also know that you'll finally reach the levels of freedom and serenity that you've never had before, and that you will have a chance at real love, the one that you would have never experienced had you not allowed yourself to come out and be yourself, and to love who you wanna love... in other words, there are no longer prospects of the beautiful, romantic, and oh so heterosexist 'white weddings' for us in the traditional sense, not with the entire world and your entire family and friends because a lot of them will disagree and condemn you. and you probably won't even want them all to be there because you don't want anyone who thinks lowly of you and that you're a worthless piece of shit and going to hell, to be there and contaminate your happy day with poisonous, negative energy anyways, right?

on the other hand, there will be weddings in our lives -- different, alternative, underground, fuck-you-all, mainstream-defying, self-conceived, original, unique, beautiful weddings -- any way we want to have them, outside of any conventional “norms” and “rules” for what an ideal wedding should be like. and i believe it doesn’t have to be a white dress, a church, walking down the isle in front of weeping parents, blah, blah, blah, a ride in a convertible, honey moon, bouquet throwing and all that crap, for it to be a real, fulfilling and dignifying ‘wedding’ to connect you with your soul-mate and to symbolize the beginning of a long and spiritual journey of two souls who are in love and harmony. i mean, i think so. and no, your whole family/community/co-workers might not be there, but instead you can choose to be surrounded by people who love you sincerely and genuinely, who aren’t just there because you had to invite them because they’re some relative or your mother’s boss or whatever, but people who you really love and want to share this special moment with, people whose souls will be singing with yours on that remarkable day, and who will cry of happiness as you kiss your beloved one. that’s what my wedding will be for me, and i look forward to it, not in a rush, but in sweet anticipation, when i meet my beautiful ONE and ONLY and when we’ll decide to share our joys and adversities being together for the rest of our lives…

that is the beauty and freedom of being gay to me, among other things: that by nature of our sexual identities we already by default represent a resistance movement, against the archaic values, against prejudices, against the notions of a traditional *family*, against monolithic, one-dimensional, one-size-fits-all social standards, against the majority, against the conservative mainstream, against bibles and qorans telling us who to sleep with, how to get married and what kinda families to have. thus, by the same logic, we do defy everything that we are instructed to respect and regard as the only truth, because we are a contradiction and revolution by just loving our same sex whereas we’re told not to. therefore, it only makes sense to me that we make our own weddings in opposition and resistance to those formal ones that we have been indoctrinated to have since virtually our birth …

that's just something that comes with being gay, but hey, you knew it all along, right? there are going to be great challenges, but also great love and happiness.

so, that's my 3 cents. sorry for rambling and thank you for bringing up such critical topics and for letting me speak out.

in solidarity,

JrnyWmn said...

Well I asked for a handbook and you gave it to me lol, but it's MUCH appreciated. Your comment really gave me a lot to think about and I realized that I definitely am afraid of the inevitable change in my life. I was hoping that I could come out but keep my life the same, even though I knew that was impossible. I also definitely realize that there are some people that I'm never going to tell and will just find out how ever, if ever. With my family everyone will know as soon as I tell my mom, because that's just the way we are. I know I have a cousing who is out, but we don't really see her, and i'm not sure who's choice that is, but everyone knows her as the lesbian cousin. I guess I never wanted to be reduced to my sexuality. I was me before, there are so many ways that people described me before and I know that when they all find out, like I know they will that will be gone. Like I said I realized that it's more of an issue of me not being willing to let my life change, to let go of the conception I had of me at X age, and embrace who I really am, and the life changes that will follow. Thanks for the comment though seriously, you really helped me get to the bottom of some things.

“I remember how being young and black and gay and lonely felt. A lot of it was fine, feeling I had the truth and the light and the key, but a lot of it was purely hell.” ~Audre Lorde