Coming out is hard, its the hardest thing a person could do. I came out as a lesbian 2 years ago. That was easy for me to say… ‘I’m seeing and sleeping with another girl’, well woman really. However for those around me it was a hard shock! Understandably, I was the hetro-girl who had a hetro-relationship for years. I met a girl and fell in love and really the rest is history (sounds so cheesy but that’s how it happened).
The hardest thing for me though in this process has been the attitude of some people who I use to call friends and family. The most significant was a ‘friend’, of 11 years, who told me that my ‘acts’ behind closed doors were ‘wrong’ especially in the eyes of The Lord but yet they’re not religious. Hypocrite anyone?! The need to bring up my past history, that I’m ‘confused’ and that its a ‘phase’. Bearing in mind she asked how my love life is and I don’t see the point in lying to friends. At first I understood the need they had to understand but then almost a year later it became unbearable. It turned almost toxic. No! It was toxic and that toxic attitude has stuck with me almost 8 months now since I decided to end the friendship.
Now, you may wonder why I’ve written about coming out and why I’ve included that little story. Its to highlight how hard and sometimes how easy this process can go. I felt good to say what was going on with me because it was good for myself. There were a few supportive people and I’ll love them forever. However with the negative reactions it felt and still feels like [at times] who I am and what I do needs the approval of those around me and to be honest that puts me on edge. And I think, more importantly I’m 90% certain, that many other LGBT people feel the same way when they tell someone else the ‘secret’ part of themselves. Especially if they’ve had negative reactions or they have that hate towards themselves for being gay/les/trans/bi etc. I had that hate towards myself until I realised that its about their reactions and not my own actual feelings.
The worst thing that can be done, when as a friend/family member etc, when this piece of knowledge becomes your business is to get highly defensive with someone who is being so open. What are you defensive for?! I mean, really is this persons sexuality and lifestyle gonna stop you from functioning?! Or is your lack of growth stopping you from seeing past your own nose?! Plus the need to get overly religious and bring out all this bible speak as though you’re a walking talking King James Version of the bible. Sorry I may sound a little rude but these are some feelings that have been bottled up.
With my ‘friend’, of 11 years, I realised her problem with my sexuality isn’t the fact that she thinks she’s gonna lose a friend, that the bad things in my past have affected me or all the men I’ve been with, who have apparently ‘let me down’ in her suggestive questioning [to which I answered ‘no’ with clear reasoning to then be met with a dismissal of ‘well I think you’re confused’], have anything to do with it. Its more the case of not having the courage to actually live outside of what is ‘normal’. There is no such thing as ‘normal’ in the real world! Sorry I had to break the news, its sad to know but its somewhat true that ‘normal’ doesn’t exist. So cry a river, build a bridge and get over it.
You see my past is full of heartbreak, sob stories and pain and when someone gets used to hearing how bad your life is, more often than not, they enjoy you being there. They get to look tall whilst you look small. That’s a lot more sadder than the actual heartbreak and pain of my actual past. I lived my past no need for the reminder, I know my feelings… I don’t know what brought me to be a lesbian from my past but I’m damn sure comfortable and happy now. Doesn’t that matter?! Or do we live in a parallel universe?!
By the time she was able to accept it, a year and a half later, the damage had been done and no amount of my regulatory damage control could turn back time. I had already distanced and cut myself off the last time she called. I cringe at how much time I actually gave it but it shows I actually have compassion and a heart.
Its been a hard 2 years and I’ve felt that pain even knowing who’s for me and who isn’t. I’m telling you now… That if you wish to keep to a friend/family member etc, when they come out to you try your damn hardest to not allow your prejudices to get in the way and ruin what could be a greater, deeper and more meaningful relationship with that person. As long as they’re happy where’s the issue?!
It isn’t about YOU. It isn’t about how YOU feel, its about how THEY feel. See, understand, recognise and respect that. They’ll thank you for it in the long run. Allow a person to OWN their sexuality, its fluid anyway and its personal to them not YOU.
Peace out. xx