Friday, September 12, 2014

My Weekend (Gay) Crush

So today, in the weekly The AfterEllen Huddle, we were posed the question, “Why are you glad to be gay (or however you identify)?” I hope you get a chance to read all of the writers’ responses, because they are interesting and telling and at times quite moving. I wanted to share mine here as well. Because it was a question I never knew that I wanted to answer until it was finally asked. Happy weekend, all.

When I was in grade school, the coolest thing was to sit on the back of the bus on the ride home and make fun of the other kids. I wasn’t cool, but I wanted to be. One week, everyone in the back of the bus decided it was cool to call this one girl – who was awkward and scruffy and different in ways grade schoolers despise – names. The only one that stands out to me all these years later is “witch.” Don’t ask me why, I really can’t recall. But, remember, I wasn’t cool – I just wanted to be. So I called her witch with them one bus ride home. It was a mean and terrible thing to do. And I regret it to this day. But I wanted to be cool, and cruelty seemed the fastest way there.

Years later, when I began to realize my own difference, the urge to hide the “not one of us”-ness of my very existence grew to an unmanageable din. I won’t be cool, I won’t be liked. I’ll be the witch at the back of the bus.

But learning to accept and own and honor that very differentness that is inherent in every single gay person is the reason I am most glad to be gay. For those who fit effortlessly into the back-of-the-bus crowd, coming to the realization that coolness or sameness or whatever-ness you hold dear doesn’t really matter often comes more slowly – if at all.

Being gay has afforded me a front-row seat to what otherness means in America. (So has being a minority, being a woman, et al – as it does for anyone outside the descriptors of the pre-prescribed societal norms.) But what it really has done is make me a kinder, more open person. It has made me realize for all of our so-called differences we are actually all terribly the same. We are just tiny humans spinning around the sun on this crazy blue marble for a ridiculously short period of time. So, really, what’s the use of being cruel?

Being gay also means I get to kiss girls. Which is awesome. So there’s that, too.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

well done.

Carmen SanDiego said...

Oh DS, you write so beautifully
Have a womderful weekend

Anonymous said...

So not so misanthropic! It can be difficult to grow up different in most places and cultures. But so worthwhile when you come to accept yourself. Love reading anything you write but this was very special. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite posts. Beautifully written as usually but this one in particular speaks to my heart in so many way. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

So beautifully written Ms. Snarker, I just love your writing:) And I'm happy to be gay because women are SO PRETTY, BOOBS GOOD!! What can I say I'm not the best writer:)

But I came out when I was 15 and was the only out lesbian in my highschool for the next 3 years when I then graduated. I'm so happy to be gay because coming out that young and being different made me realize I'm so happy just being me and who gives a shit what anyone else thinks. I realized this is MY life and I'll do whatever I want with it. Like wear all of the flannel and vests ever made, own 50 "rescue" cats, decoupage my house to look like Brandi Carlile's face, eat a lot of pussy. This comment is super long, and good day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for inspiring me to accept myself. I've been struggling with it since I came out to my dad. (like for 7 years) He said he'll pray for me. I'm like wtf??? I thought he was going to be okay with it because I thought he's the more "open" parent. I felt like all my confidence is gone when it comes to talking to other girls. I became afraid to be friends with out people. I became afraid of myself. Hopefully all will be okay. Again, thank you for inspiring me and others. Keep writing. You save lives. :)

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:49 I hope everything works out, I know acceptance can be such a hard thing to grapple with. But just know you have an entire community out here that backs you up and will accept you for exactly who you are.

Anonymous said...

goregous - thank you for this.

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Unknown said...

I agree with what Deepak wrote . . . haha j/k. Seriously though, this was lovely Dorothy and thank you. I've thought about this question, or a variation of it, before, and it's really interesting to read what others have to say.

Anonymous said...

And this... this is why I've been reading your blog for so many years. You rock, Snarker. Thanks for making my day yet again.