I’d like to discuss Jason Collins coming out. He’s in the NBA. I find it strange that it still has to be so significant. I’m glad being LGBT is now acknowledged, though the fact it is only now becoming ‘normal’ to come out annoyes me. why does it have to even be a ‘thing’?
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s amazing and courageous. Though I’m not gay myself, I find it so very beneficial to so many other people struggling with the same thing. Especially young people, who in the last few years seemed to either bully others or take their own lives because of the way others treated them based on their sexual orientation. I’m so glad there is someone who is able to share his story with so many people to let others realize that they’re going through the same struggles. That they aren’t alone.
I’m going to take you back to grade school. When I was young, I was ‘Mean Girled’ by a group of other girls. They went around calling me a lesbian and telling everyone to run away from me. I didn’t even know what a lesbian was (the specific word, I kind of understood what being gay meant, but didn’t know it pertained to a gay woman). Maybe I was too busy playing to care, just sheltered and innocent, but I didn’t even have the birds and the bees talk yet. I thought all people did was kiss. (When we watched things with sexy time, my dad fast forwarded through those scenes. lol) This was the early 1990’s and there wasn’t much on TV regarding sexual orientation unless it was straight, nuclear family stuff. The big deal then was that there was an interracial kiss on 90210. Sexual Orientation was still kind of undiscussed about until Ellen came out later on in that decade. I was so confused, because I knew I liked boys, but didn’t see what the big deal was if I did happen to like girls. I thought who cares? We all like different things. Your favourite colour is different than my favourite colour but we don’t fight about that.
The reason I say I find it strange that coming out still has to be a big deal is that this is 2013, not 1923, not 1953. People, get over it. I’m saddened that it STILL has to be so difficult for LGBT to have to come out. I don’t see why it should matter if someone is just being themselves and wanting to be happy. I didn’t chose to be straight and never had to come out as straight…so why should LGBT people have to? It shouldn’t be a big deal…but sadly some people make it one. Apparently back in 1980’s being gay was thought of as a mental disorder….seriously WTF?!? ( I don’t know whether to laugh because it’s so dumb or scream because it’s ridiculous)
I got to see what things were like around 2000. My best friend happened to still be in the closet, but was friends with my old babysitter who happened to be out. We went to the gay village and partied in gay clubs. When he finally found the courage to come out to me a year later, I told him I loved him and that I already knew we weren’t just there for the music. He had been dragging me to gay clubs all summer, just the two of us. I told him that I often went to go sit because ‘my feet hurt from dancing’ so he could frolic without feeling pressured that I was watching since he hadn’t come out yet.
It made me sad that he was so terrified to tell me even though I had shown I was accepting of the LBGT world. It’s just different strokes for different folks. I knew it was because of past experiences growing up and other people like his father making negative comments. It still made me sad to see it had to be such a scary experience for him instead of just joyous or a nonchalant experience for him.
The next friend who came out to me was my friend from the Netherlands. He didn’t come out to me directly. He told our mutual friend to tell me. I found it sad he had a little trepidation and was too scared to tell me himself. When we talked about things later he told me growing up he was very religious and confused when he realized he was gay. He said the pastor at his church was telling the youth group that gay people were evil and that they should kill themselves and he thought about it for a while. I told him I didn’t care what he preferred and was attracted to, but glad he felt safe enough to share that story. We celebrated by going to the gay village.
My old babysitter’s story was also negative. He lived with his family and his father found some adult magazines. His father beat him and cursed him and kicked him out. He went to stay with his best friend for a bit.
(I know alot of men have issues with their sons being gay. All that should matter is that you taught and showed by example of how to be a good, kind and responsible human being. I’m sure there were things that other people wanted for you that you didn’t fulfil, but they didn’t disown you. My mother wanted me to become a nun…and my dad wanted me to become a doctor…I am neither and they still love me. Really, it is THAT simple)
One of my dear coworkers came out to me a few years back. She had been forced to live the straight for about 20 years because coming out wasn’t an option for her back then. The only thing I cared about was that she was happy and finally had the weight lifted off her shoulders, one she carried for 20 years. The only thing we should care about when someone finds the courage to come out is that they are happy.
It makes me sad to see the fact that so many people have had negative experiences that coming out has to be a scary experience for people. I like hearing stories where people in the LGBT community come out and have a positive experience.
That co-worker of mine, was on the bus last year. She heard a high school aged girl talking on her phone to a friend about how her family reacted negatively that she was a lesbian and being kicked out of her family’s home. She told the girl that it was going to be ok, after all she was living proof. That girl cried…because sometimes that’s exactly what we need when we struggle with big things: to know it’s going to be ok.
This is the way I see it, some people like apples, and other people like oranges. It really is that simple. People just complicate it with their bullshit and try to throw the marriage and babies card into it.
(For the record, for people who think LGBT people should not be allowed to get married or have children, look at all the shit straight people do…cheat-Donald Trump, beat-Ike Turner and kill-Casey Anthony. They disgrace the sanctity Marriage and Parenthood, exactly what are we doing about people like them? Sexual preference should be the least of our worries regarding these matters, whether these people are good people and/or ready for responsibilities all that matters)
We all are just trying to live our own lives and struggle with the same things: to be happy, to be loved and accepted. We shouldn’t be judging or trying to make it harder for anyone else who’s just trying to live theirs. We have choices in how we treat others, either positively or negatively…but just remember how would you feel if you were on the receiving side of your own actions? Would you like to be welcomed with love and acceptance or condemnation and hate for any life choice you make? Just remember though, society is made up of you, I, your mom, that guy sitting next to you…so realize your attitude counts in these matters because that’s what shapes society.
Congratulations to Jason Collins and anyone who’s ever come out it is a very brave thing to do. I’m sorry you have to though, that is tell people who you are and hope they are ok with it. One day though, people will understand the enormity that you went through to make it better for all.
I hope that one day, it will just be a nonchalant thing like whether you like apples or oranges. Personally I’m an apple kind of gal…and if you like apples, that’s great lets bond over our love of apples. If you like oranges, well lets bond over our love of fruit because we all gotta eat!
TL, DR: no one should EVER feel embarassed regarding their sexuality to others who are not prospects. The only time one should feel any sort of slight shame in a situation regarding their personal life- is if their sexual or romantic advances were rejected by a love interest, NOT about what or who they’re into to their loved ones and peers.