Thursday, October 31, 2013

Be Who You Are

It makes me very sad to think that there are people out there still in the closet, afraid to come out and tell their family and loved ones that they're gay or lesbian. There can be many factors why someone would stay quiet about their sexuality. For me, the people I surrounded myself in the past would make derogatory remarks, like, "Eww, gross! That girl's a lesbian," or "She's a lesbo," --those types of things. I even heard someone mutter out, "But she's so pretty, why would she resort to dating women when she can get any man she wants?" So being a "lesbian" meant that the person wasn't "pretty enough" to have a boyfriend. And in this case, if she was pretty, then it just didn't make sense. "She mustuv' got hurt by some guy." Here's the thing --- what a dreadful life to live if your life cannot be lived to its fullest. What a dreadful life it would be if you couldn't be...you. How awful it would be if you had to hide all of your relationships, in fear of your family and friends' judgments. If the people you surround yourself with truly love you, they will never leave you. What makes it so hard sometimes is when the people in your life say such horrible things about the gay and lesbian lifestyle. So why come out and have them mock you, right? It feels very intimidating and scary. You hear a lot more slang words and insults regarding the homosexual lifestyle when you only reveal yourself as a heterosexual. They think it's "okay" to bash gays and lesbians, because hey --- you're straight too, right? (That makes it okay.) I remember for me it got to the point where I heard so much crap about 'that lesbo' or 'that fag' that I said, "What if one of your friends were gay?" They just shut up and stared at me. After I came out, all of those hurtful words described for gay people disappeared. The fake acceptance was definitely an effort to salvage the friendship, but sometimes, it's not enough once those same people start disappearing from your life altogether.

The unknown.

It's scary for many people. I refused to live a life hidden from the world, "pretending" I liked boys. While everyone spoke about their relationships and marriages, here I was keeping my lips zipped so that I wouldn't make anyone uncomfortable with my relationship problems, or if I happened to have met a nice girl. It would have been a conversation downer for sure. I remember once while everyone was rattling off about their relationships, I said something to relate about my own situation, and I heard, "Well, that's different, you're gay." I'll never forget those words. She disregarded my heartfelt input and deemed it invalid just because my relationship was with another woman. I remember how hurtful it was to be dismissed like that. Worst of all, nobody said anything to the girl, or said, "Hey, Deb ---go 'head and tell us what happened." Once again, I shut up and let them go on talking about their lives. After all, my life was invalid. After time, it was ingrained in my little noggin that I shouldn't talk about my relationship to other straight people. They would feel awkward about it --- even if they knew I was gay. It wasn't like I was talking about intimate and sexual things --- just basic everyday relationship kind of stuff. But still --- too much for the fearful hetero to take in.

Pointing out the obvious.

It's a fact that most heterosexuals do not understand the dynamics of gays and lesbians. They understand it in derogatory terms. For instance, if someone is brave enough to come out to their straight friends who they have heard bashed gays at one time ---- they will feel hesitant to tell them anything more than just, "Hey, I'm gay." *Blink*  God forbid the female lesbian friend dresses more like a boy or the male gay friend dresses too feminine, a whole lotta' wardrobe suggestions are tossed out. I don't know which is worse: to be a gay man with the pressure of having a washboard stomach or a lesbian who is being pressure to wear girly type of clothing and a little makeup. Some people think that they're only trying to help when they make suggestions such as, "Lose a little weight," or "You should wear some makeup," when they're actually doing more damage. What they're really doing is making them more insecure --- they're already scared of the judgments of society. Let them be who they are. Each person in this world comes with a ton of beautiful imperfections, so why point out someone's 'thought-to-be' flaw, when that can actually be the one thing that attracts their future mate? There is someone for everyone and there are also people who don't wish to date at all. The stigma that you should be "married and settled down at so and so age" is complete and utter bullshit. That limited type of thinking is what makes me judge that person as an uneducated dimwit who doesn't get out often. And if you look at the people who do this type of crap --- they don't get out much. Think about the people in your life who do this. Now look at their lives.  Someone who is worldly, or at least has a social life beyond their home base and "comfort zone" would never pigeonhole a person into a web of insecurity issues.

The damage.

The damage is sometimes unseen, and at times, very much revealed. Someone who remains in the closet as a gay male or a lesbian female may have some consequences. First of all, a life lived in the closet is bound to approach a life lived in depression. It can trickle down to not caring about themselves, weight gain, social anxiety, panic attacks and even extreme behaviors to vent out their frustrations. They may even seek "religion" to cure them of their "disease" - pray your gay away type of crap. They'll always be seeking acceptance from others to validate that they're "okay". But they're not okay. I feel bad for those living under religious blankets in order to hide their true selves. Not only do they feel bad about who they are because of society and their loved ones, but they feel that God is angry at them too, so they seek refuge in a place they are terrified in --- like in a church or some sort of religious group.  Most run away from God altogether because of how other "Christians" interpret the bible, when in fact, being gay is not a sin. They are so misguided by the most shallowest of people that their lives become one big scary place. What's even worse is, some even resort to suicide since they feel they aren't worthy enough. This is what kind of damage a person can do if they aren't careful with a friend who is "believed" to be gay.

Liberate yourself.

I can't tell you how liberating it was to come out as "me" and see some of my loved ones and friends stay, and also, see some of them walk out of my life. Sometimes you think, "Oh, I can't handle my friends walking out of my life," when actually, that was the one thing you needed all along. You can be YOU without the belittling, without the gay bashing and without the suggestions about your appearance. Why would you want people in your life like that? God loves each of us the way we are. We are not a mistake. And whether our lifestyle is due to genetics or due to choice, we are who we are and we love who we love. It does not matter. Nowhere in the bible does Jesus say that being gay is a sin....nowhere. The Old Testament speaks volumes about how it's an abomination, but it also speaks volumes about how eating shrimp and lobster is an abomination as well. Those are the old laws, that some still go by. If you're reading this today and you happen to be gay and/or in the closet, just remember this: God loves you. If the people you surround yourself with truly love you, they'll still be there. Let the limited minded minions go and be. who. you. are!

“Does a clay pot ever argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you are doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be!’ How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father and mother, ‘Why was I born? Why did you make me this way?’” ---Isaiah 45:9-10

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!