Being Gay

Let’s start with what being gay doesn’t mean. Some of you don’t seem to understand this. It doesn’t mean I want to convert straight people; I don’t care who you love or sleep with, as long as you love that person or enjoy sleeping with him or her. Really, it doesn’t matter. Secondly, being LGBTQIA doesn’t automatically make me a political radical. I do that well enough on my own. Nor, thirdly, does it make me an atheist; my understanding of a deity is nuanced and yes, you’re welcome to ask me about it, but ultimately I believe in a benevolent deity.

Now to the point itself; the fact that I’m gay means one thing and one thing only: I am emotionally and physically attracted to men. Nothing more than that, which is a pretty small thing if you think about it. And all I ask from people who are emotionally or physically attracted to the opposite gender is equality. Really in 2013, why should gender matter? We all know that different individuals can be attracted to different genders. This isn’t a big deal. Things like marriage equality (not “gay marriage,” mind you) are basic and fundamental rights pertaining to equality.I want to be able to walk down the street in any town in the USA and kiss my (eventual) boyfriend without feeling like the strangest person on earth. Is that too much to ask? Or to have church leaders not call for my death because I dare to be who I am? I think not.

So being gay is a pain in the ass. And no, that doesn’t mean what you think it means. Coming out is still scary — I didn’t until I was 24 and in a long-term relationship with a woman, and only then because I couldn’t delay it any longer. My parents are evangelical Christians and don’t 100% accept who I am, though given their beliefs about sex and sexuality, I’m quite proud of how accepting they’ve been. Still terrified about introducing a future fiancée to them, but that will come in time. In small town Illinois (and by small I still mean 350k municipal), it can be hard to be queer. We manage as we can, knowing that we’re an often-invisible minority without any sort of influence or clout. But! we’re here, we’re queer and we’re not going away.

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~ by Benji on 12 January 2013.

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