Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finally a chance to post.

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of traveling and activity. I have loved it all, but it has exhausted me and yet relaxed me. A week ago on Saturday I traveled to B's house to surprise her for her party and it worked. That night I finally met people I had heard so much about and gotten to know over the internet (that's a shout out to J!) and I had so much fun.

I often imagine what my life will be like in Cincinnati when I'm down there, and as I sat in the living room at B's having this adult sometimes hilariously childish conversation I wished I could have that more often. It's something that I don't get a lot of around here anymore. I do have a couple of friends that help me achieve that, I just don't always have the time to get together with them.

What I felt so drawn to in that room was the fact that everyone there was secure. They knew who they were, they knew who each other were, and it was all good. I felt secure in saying things I wanted to say, I felt more like myself than I have felt in a long time. It felt safe, it felt good and it was damn hilarious. Some people I knew for a little while, others I had just met and yet it was so familiar, so comfortable. It's something I haven't experienced in awhile. Everything here seems so segregated, I have to watch what I say to who, I can't talk about everything to everyone, and it's all just so random. I feel like I'm living several lives at the same time and very few know the whole picture.

The whole picture, how strange. I'm very thankful I have experiences like that to keep me motivated into the future, to know that it is possible to be who I am, everything I am to the same people. To be able to speak freely or to not speak at all, sometimes there is just as much comfort in silence as there is in conversation. To me it's a great sign of friendship when every moment doesn't have to be filled with endless conversation, to feel comfortable enough to not speak and to just be with the other person.

I sometimes think that I spend too much time dwelling on these little things, but then I remind myself that dwelling on some of the small things is what helps me get a clearer view of the big pictures. After all the big picture is made up of all these little pictures. I find that looking back I can see myself growing and learning more about myself. There have definitely been some casualties along the way, but there always is. And yet I look into the future and know there will be more, there will come a time to change certain ways I have. There will a time to come where I will face my demons, I will try to concur the vices that are so shameful I don't even speak of them. The ways of the mind, but am I wrong in working on them one by one, in baby steps? I just don't think so.

This weekend I went and stayed with family that live out of town. They grew up in the same town I did, but have long moved away to bigger cities. He has met so many people and hung out in some very diverse groups of people, but this weekend I realized they might not have been diverse enough.

My friend F and I had a conversation late last week about if I was offended when people call things "gay". I had to really think about it, because sometimes it bothers me and sometimes it doesn't. I tried to explain it to him, but he didn't really understand, and to be honest, it's hard to explain. Until this weekend when my cousin used the terms over and over and over. Not always in a derogatory way, but many times he did. When it's used in a bad way, of course it's going to be offensive.

The night before I talked to his wife about it and nearly came out to him and his wife, I honestly thought it would be o.k. but something told me to wait, and I did. The next day is when it really started to get to me. He had just gone upstairs to get ready for work and I was alone with his wife and son and I had made a comment about the kid's favorite toy and how he needed another one. It was a green turtle that sang Happy Birthday, I told her he needed one for his second birthday. She said they made one but said it was a purple hippo and Andy wouldn't allow his son to have a toy that was purple. I just kind of stopped and stared at her and asked "Is he really that bad?" She seemed a bit concerned about it and said she really thinks it might be. She said she asked him one day if he would rather have his son tell him he was gay or was a Michigan fan (he's a big Ohio State Fan) and he didn't have an answer for her. He honestly and in all seriousness couldn't decide which would be worst. That combined with a few other things made me rather sad.

It brought me back to reality that not every coming out is going to be good. To know that it is a good possibility that my closest cousin, a guy I've always considered one of my best friends would turn his back on me for who I fell in love with, just shakes me up inside. That part of me that thought everything would be o.k. eventually, hid back in the corner again. It's a rude re-awakening to what my family could really turn out to be like when I come out. It's rather scary. I know that his wife would be totally o.k. with it, she told me she's trying to get him to see that as long as her baby is healthy and happy with his life it doesn't make a difference to her who he loves.

I don't know, it's getting late, I'm starting to ramble. All I know, all in all it was a fantastic weekend and what the future holds, it holds. Those who really love me will come to terms with it, and those that can't? Well they aren't supposed to be in my life.

Someone please remind me of that part of the post when I eventually come out to my family.

2 comments:

  1. So much to comment on... I'll never remember all the stuff in my head!

    You're right. Not every person you come out to will react positively. BUT, you might be surprised at how the biggest homophobes you know react once you tell them. Finding out someone they love is gay really rocks there world on a deep level, and it takes time and a lot of introspection, but you'd be amazed at what happens to their heart in the process.

    I'm not sure that you ever got a chance to read all my old posts from before we met, but there was one about my experience with a very close friend (oddly enough, also named Andy). Old posts are gone now, but he was a lot like you describe your cousin to me.

    Long story short, my heart was weeping while we were standing in a mutual friends driveway and he told me about how, even though it still kind of bothered him, he forced himself to pay attention to the news when something about gay rights was on because it affected someone he loved.

    That night is one of my most treasured memories.

    On the same side of the coin, people everywhere can surprise you.

    You mention the people at B's all being "secure". Looks can be deceiving, my friend. I know that more than one person was putting on a happy face that night.

    That's not to say we weren't genuinely having a good time; I know I was. But I was also putting all the troubling things off to the side to enjoy the moment with people outside of those problems.

    It's very much the same thing as what B mentions in her blog a lot about people at church who are miserable or somehow "less than" but put on their "perfect Christian smiley face" on Sunday morning.

    It may be dishonest of us to walk around with faces painted on, I will concede that point. What I'm getting at though, is people DO paint on a better face than they'd normally be wearing, and that's why it is SO important not to hold yourself accountable to any standard except the one's "prescribed" by God. We ALL fall short.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't learn from other people. But don't let the appearance they put forth fool you into thinking they're better at living life than you are and allow that to pull you down.

    Good Lord, I think my first cup of coffee just kicked in... sorry for the diatribe!!!

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  2. I agree with everything Jake said :)
    You read what I write and know that I don't always feel happy and upbeat, yet whenever we're together with few exceptions I'm mostly happy and upbeat. It's not because I'm puting on a show, it's because sometimes you just have to suck it up or you're going to miss out on the fun.
    Ouch, I just cracked my jammed finger...!

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