Put Your Paws Up

So I’ve moved back into my mom’s house and I’ve been here for about a week so far. Today is my 21st birthday and I’m feeling pretty low. That’s mainly because my mom is now back on the Christian train. Right now, I don’t have the energy to attack Christianity the way it’s attacked me and anyone else who has the courage to embrace who they are.

But in a rare act of serendipity, Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way, is released today, May 23, my 21st birthday. I’ve known this for a while, but it wasn’t until just now that I realized that I think the universe set this all up just for me.  I think the universe brought me back here to experience what I have in the past week, like having my 9-year old little sister tell me that I’m wrong for “choosing” to be gay, hearing my mother say that we’re not allowed to say the word “transgender” around my sister, and that I can’t talk about my sexuality because it would be detrimental to her.

This has been a heatbreaking experience for me, more so than it ever has before, because for the last few months I’ve been away from my mother, and I’ve been surrounded by acceptance and freedom, but now more than ever, this place has become a breeding ground of resentment and hatred. I’m not even mad. I’m just… sad. I’m truly sad, because my mother, who has within her the chance to be an incredible person, because she’s filled with love and compassion, is allowing herself to become a part of something that oppresses and hurts people, like me, her own son. I don’t hate her anymore. I feel sorry for her, because she can’t love herself enough to find happiness and peace within, but looks to some idea of a god in the sky to validate her. She believes these silly, fairytale lies, and she thinks she’s happy.

But she’ll never know for one moment the fulfillment that I have in being free, and loving who I am. She’ll never know what it’s like to embrace yourself, every part of yourself, all of the sticky, gooey, hot, dark, dirty, smelly places within yourself where your anger and your fear and your love and your compassion all exist, and you accept them all, because they’re all good, and they all of them make you whole.

And so, the Universe set this all up, not just for me, but for everyone who is surrounded by people trying to throw shame on them. Today, I embrace who I am, I put my paws up and I proudly declare, I was born this way baby. I’m sad, but that’s okay. I love myself. And I know that I experience life on a level she doesn’t, every day, because I love myself.

I still have resentment in me. I have a lot of resentment in me. That’s okay. I think I’m starting to understand that a large part of my resentment is just sadness. Sadness that I’ve been treated wrongly for who I am, and sadness that so many people have been pushed beyond what they can humanly abide, because the people around them wouldn’t accept them who they are. On this day, when I celebrate my life, I celebrate all of who I am.

I was Born This Way 🙂

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Pride and Prejudice

The gay community.

Where to begin? For most of my life, I’ve had a pretty negative view of the gay community as a whole. This isn’t because I have a problem with people who are gay (obviously), but I have always felt that they’ve misrepresented themselves. Gay pride parades were the biggest thing to elude me. I couldn’t understand how a group of mature people could behave in such a ridiculous way.

The gay community is comprised of human beings, just like every other community. I have to believe that most of these human beings are sensible to some degree, and that plenty of them are intellectuals. So why do they parade down the streets of San Fransisco in assless chaps and biker hats, holding a leash attached to men crawling before them dressed in leather with a collar around their neck? This may be an overdramatization, but I have a feeling it isn’t.

But my point here is that the image of gay pride that circulates is one of shirtless men in leather pants, trouncing down the streets and behaving like whores. The image the gay community in general portrays isn’t one of dignity, self-respect, and a desire to be recognized as equal to everyone else, but one of promiscuity, perversion, and a quest to be accepted, regardless of how freakish their antics may be. And that is ridiculous. If you don’t want to be called a perverted community, don’t act like one.

I am gay. This is not a personality trait per se, it’s simply a part of who I am. Straight men (I’m only using men in this example because most of my experience has been with males) are just as much defined by their heterosexuality as we are by our homosexuality, when you get to the truth of it. The gay community presents itself as being just that: gay. Nothing more. Not people with opinions on subject other than sexuality, not human beings who feel every emotion that every other human being feels, not people who ponder the mysteries of the unvierse, just gay people. It’s the only aspect of ourselves that we a community show. Gay pride parades are really only benefitial to the people the parades are focused on. How many homophobic people would go to a gay pride parade, and walk away a changed person? If the image gay pride parades presents is EXACTLY the image of gay people that homophobes fear and dislike, I’m thinking not many.

Gay men are almost entirely defined by sexuality, and that’s wrong. As a community, homosexuals seem to have a problem seperating the personal from the sexual. If you’re gay, your entire identity as a person isn’t made up of that one fact. A good example of this is the “classifications” gay men have for themselves, based entirely on pornography: twinks, bears, etc. And there are twink and bear conventions, if you can believe it. Now, a pornography convention is fine, but I get the feeling that the people who go to these conventions don’t consider it a porn convention, they just consider it a gathering of people who consider themselves bears and twinks. The core of your personality should be “human being,” not “bear”, “twink,” or anything else.

Sexuality is a huge part of being human. Sexuality dominates a whole area of your life as a person, and that’s okay. But it’s important to understand that being a person isn’t just about being sexual. I am gay, and I am indeed a sexual person. I also enjoy swimming, playing trading card games, reading fantasy novels and manga, listening to music from many genres, playing video games, Greek food, and I like cats. I also have anxiety problems, I struggle with panic attacks, I have obsessive compulsive disorder, I believe in God but I think organized religion causes more problems that it solves. See? I am a person with many facets, opinions, and feelings, and I present myself as such. Sure, I like sex just as much as EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. It doesn’t define my entire character.

These are the matters in which I find the gay community to be at fault. There are many other matters, however, in which gay men and women are needlessly blamed and persecuted.

Many people, including some in the gay community, feel that gay men who are flamboyant present a negative image of their community. While I see the logic behind this, it’s still very wrong. Gay men are flamboyant because they are, not because they choose to be. I was a flamboyant child, and now I am a grown person with a good head on my shoulders, but I still love being whimsical and childlike, it makes me feel free and happy. So gay men speak with a lisp, so what? You can’t expect gay men to act exactly the way straight men do, because it’s not a matter of “They’re both men so they should act the same way.” Gay men really are a whole different breed of man than straight men. We don’t act the same because we’re not the same. While being gay means that you are a person who happens to be attracted to members of the same gender, it doesn’t mean that you’re exactly like every heterosexual man, just as no two people are alike. Certain behaviors, like flamboyance, are more common within the gay community, just as certain behaviors, like a love of sports, are more common within the straight community. Over time these examples have become stereotypes, and of course not every gay man is flamboyant and not every straight man loves sports, but these are two behaviors that are prevalant within their respective communities, and not because either of them are wrong. It’s not wrong for a straight man to play football, and it’s not wrong for a gay man to play football. It’s not wrong for a gay man to be articulate, dramatic, and a musical theatre performer, and it’s not wrong for a straight man to be articulate, dramatic, and a musical theatre performer. Straight men actually suffer from almost as many stereotypes as gay men do.

The message I want to get across to everyone today is that to be human is to be human. Some humans are attracted to men, and some are attracted to women. Some are attracted to both. All of this is just fine, and natural. If anyone disagrees, take a good look at homosexuality throughout the course of history; it isn’t something new, it’s been around since the times of the ancient civilizations and well before. It happens within nature. Homosexuality is natural. This is something our society has yet to fully understand, but as a community we have to peacefully and reasonably help them to. Presenting ourselves as being defined by our sexuality isn’t going to help.

The answer to just about every social problem is to calmly and rationally think about it, discuss it, and find truth. Things are not so black and white as society would have you believe. In many cases, problems in society are merely misunderstandings, perpetuated by people who want control, and this most definitely includes the religious community. In a democracy there is compromise. The campaigns against what some perceive to be immorality are unnecessary and formed out of spite and ignorance, but you can only add fuel to the fires of their movement by presenting yourself as one-dimensional and perpetuating the stereotypes that drive their efforts. In the end, society only has hope when people are willing to be reasonable, and most importantly when a situation is approached with a necessary amount of objectivity, but a greater amount of compassion, and love for those who share this journey of life with you, and who live in the same human body you do. We really are all in this together, and discord among family only serves to break it apart; humanity can only progress when it comes together with a common goal, and my hope is that that common goal can be peace.