"It's who you are. Doesn't change anything."

I wrote this whole post last night based on a whole lot of feelings. Feelings about going against my nature and trying to put myself out there to make new friends with little success. While, I felt every feeling in that post and cried most of the evening, I decided to sit on the post and edit it tonight. This morning, I got a tiny (and I mean TINY) sign, that maybe things are paying off. So, while that post was true, I have decided to keep that post to myself for now. And after that tiny sign came another great thing, and that is what I want to share with you...

Actual text messages between me and my cousin, J. :

J: Have a question for you, if you're willing to hear it?

Me: OK

J: Have you known this about yourself for a while and sure this is what you want or is it an experimental thing? And I'm not trying to get too personal. (This made me giggle just a bit.)

Me: I've known. I didn't want to bring shame to the family so I tried to be straight. I failed.

J: You didn't fail. It's who you are. Doesn't change anything. When the time is right, our family can know. If it doesn't feel right, then they can wait. Don't ever feel ashamed.

Me: Thank you. I'm not anymore.

I should explain something about my cousin. A long time ago when I dreamed of getting married (OK, fine, I still dream of that sometimes.), my dad told me that if I ever tried to make him wear a tux, he wouldn't come to my wedding. I'm not sure, but he may have been serious. When I told J this he said, "Then I'LL walk you down the aisle."

When I tell people about my family, I say I grew up with three boys. J was one of those boys. He's like a big brother to me. When I was dealing with a bully in junior high school, J drove to my house, marched me down to the kid's house and asked the older boy what his problem was. It's a funny thing that after that, the boy's problem with me magically disappeared.

When I came out to him back in the fall, I asked, "Do you still love me?"

He said, "Of course I still love you."

This? Is my biggest fear when it comes to telling people I'm closest to. J and I were raised in a family whose beliefs are that being gay is sick, not acceptable, gross. Horrible words are used to refer to people like me on a regular basis. Hearing these words over and over my whole life makes it hard for me to use anything but the word "gay" to refer to myself. (Gay was never used.) While I know that the core of these beliefs is ignorance, it still hurts. Sometimes, it hurts a lot.

The second that J told me that he still loved me, I knew that it was going to be OK. And most of the fear left me. I know some people I am related to will not change, and that's a shame, but if they can't love me because of who I love, then they don't deserve me anyway.

"You're an awesome big brother," I told him today.

And he is.

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8 comments:

Bari said...

Sounds like J is pretty special. Just like you. ((hugs))

Nichole said...

I want to say so much, but I don't think it would be right to put it all here. Maybe I will make a post of my own sometime soon.

You seem like a very strong woman. I'm glad we met, and while I don't know everything about you, I still want the best for you.

imadramamama said...

I'm so glad that you have him.

You should not be ashamed of who you are. Ever. EVER. EVER. EVER.

With anyone. Period. The end.

Bacardi Mama said...

"but if they can't love me because of who I love, then they don't deserve me anyway" So true!!! and J sounds like a keeper.

Joanna said...

Just like Nichole - there's so much I want to say right now.. but maybe I'll send you an email or something.

I will say this: When a parent brings a child into this world, they sign an unseen contract...a contract of unconditional love. A parent should love their child NO MATTER WHAT their decisions in life are.

Sounds to me that J believes that.. and he sounds AMAZING.

I haven't known you for very long - but I can already tell that you are smart and wonderful and awesome.

You hit the nail on the head when you said that the beliefs of your family is ignorance.. it usually is. Not that it makes things any better.

Just know that even though it may be hard to talk to your family - you have a family, here, that loves you, respects you, and is always here for you if you need us.

OK, I speak for myself - I can't speak for anyone else... but I know that's how I feel. :)

Please - if you ever need someone to talk to... I'm here. :)

Mommy Mo said...

J sounds wonderfully awesome. Please, no shame for who you love, at all. You cannot control other's feels/emotions/reactions- you can only control yours. I want to reach through this screen and give you a big hug.

Heather D said...

I am so glad you have J.

Never be ashamed. You are perfect, just as you are.

AnnG said...

A TRUE family is one who supports you no matter what you do or are...It's called "unconditional" love.

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I'm a walking contradiction. While I love to draw, paint and read, I also love all things gadgets, science and even science fiction (I know). My animals (two dogs and two birds) are my heart, and if I could figure out how to legally own a giraffe, I would. That all said, I have my BS in Mathematics. :o)

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