Monday, January 31, 2011

Coming Out of the Closet...Or Dressing Room

You could imagine the look on my face when I heard a mother telling her teenaged daughter, “That looks just awful. You look like a lesbian.” The young girl walked out of the dressing room, swirling in front of the mirrors, hoping the black buttoned down dress shirt fit properly. The mother kept on, “They’ll think you’re a lesbian, between the short spiky hair and a man’s dress shirt.” The girl just sighed and then rushed back into the dressing room embarrassed. The mother shot me a look to see if I was listening. Our eyes connected. “Right? Doesn’t she look like one of those lesbians?” I smiled and said, “Nothing wrong with looking like one. What does a lesbian look like anyway?”
“You know, those girls who cut their hair really short and wear men’s clothing. It’s awful for a woman to do that to themselves.”
“Ah well, if they’re happy, I don’t see a problem with it.” I said, not looking straight at her.
“Being a lesbian is no life to live, especially for my daughter. She was raised right.”
She said, almost as if stating that if her daughter were to be a lesbian, that it would be her fault. That’s how I took it anyway.
“I was raised right.” I said, while fumbling through the clothes rack.
“I’m not surprised. You look like a nice woman and I see that you’re married by the ring on your finger.”
“Yes, I am married,”
I said pointing my finger toward Madelene, “to her.” Her eyes widened as she stared me down as I kept flipping through blouses nonchalantly.

Out of nowhere, a voice from beyond yelps out, “See ma!? See?” The door crashed open, hitting the wall with a loud metallic clank. The girl came out with a fierce rage I have never seen before.
“You think everyone has to look a certain way, dress a certain way and act a certain way. I’m ‘me’ and you can’t accept it! And another thing ---I’m gay too!”
Well, that was it for me. My job here was done. Instead of trying to figure which blouse to buy, I grabbed Mad and headed out of the store. Before I could even open my car door, the woman runs out of the shop frantically.
“Wait, wait,” she yells out, rushing over to us, “I just want to apologize for what I said back there. I just want what’s best for my daughter that’s all. Maybe I am judgmental but I want her to have a life full of children and happiness.”
I look at her and said, “She still can. Just give her your blessing and be there for her when times are rough. She’s still very young, but trying to forcefully mold her is only going to make her rebellious. Being straight doesn’t always guarantee a happy and blissful life, neither does being gay or lesbian. But having a mother, like I do, who is understanding and supportive works wonders in my life.”

She grabbed for my hand and squeezed it. “Thank you.”

I’m not sure why these types of things seem to happen to me more often than not, but it's definitely a reminder of how hard kids have it today, as they did yesterday. Though it may be more “accepting” in society these days, there is still a long way to go. To add insult to injury, it’s not just the bullying that goes on in schools for those who are ‘seemingly’ gay or out of the closet - it’s the parents making the homosexual lifestyle out to be a dead end road with no hopes of happiness. They give them this false illusion that there is no way to be successful or to live a life full of family, children and love. Instead, they fill their heads with negative thoughts of how they’ll never make it in life if they are gay or lesbian. A lot has to do with the reflection of the parent: the ‘where did I do wrong’ syndrome starts flooding their thoughts - as though they weren’t good enough parents. That’s not the case. Your kid is gay. Their orientation has absolutely nothing to do with how they were raised. And don’t get me started with these psychotherapists who insist that a child is gay because he or she was sexually abused when they were younger, but they just blocked it out. That’s utter bullshit. There are many heterosexual people who were sexually abused when they were younger unfortunately, but that has no impact on what gender they’re going to choose to be with later on in life. In fact, I went to a female lesbian psychologist who said to me, “We’re all gay because we were sexually abused when we were younger.” I disagreed with her and told her my thoughts on it, as well to inform her that I was never abused when I was younger. She then replied, “Then you’re repressing it.” That type of thinking is worse than some people saying, “Well, since she couldn’t get a man, she turned into a lesbian.” Years ago, this woman from my past, a friend’s mother in fact, said to me, “You’re so pretty, you can get any man you want. Why do you choose this lifestyle?”

Why get “any man I want” when I have the woman I want?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com