It’s the last week of Pride month, a time where we can celebrate where we came from, the struggles each of us have endured to claw our way to accepting our true selves, and to celebrate our history that has given us our place here, where we are now. It is important to honor our past but equally as important to stand true to who we are for our future. After all, that part hasn’t been written. If this was your first Pride month being out, welcome to the light child, you are beautiful in your very own way and our community needs you more than they may realize. If this is another Pride month in a string of ones since you came out, remember your first one and celebrate it with those who are looking in childlike wonder at our community and what it may be. Shelter them, guide them, and be there to help them pick up their pieces when they need it. You were there once; you know the struggles.
For those of you coming out now, I congratulate you. It is easier for you, in many ways, now than it was in the past. There are more role models you can look to, more information at your fingertips, and a wider range of networks to help you in the dark times. What hasn’t changed a lot is the examples we have for dating. We don’t get a class in high school talking about sex ed for the LGBT. We don’t have people who can give us advice on dating in our community and the strains that come with it. Our examples are the heteronormative assimilative romance stories that surround us. The ones that tell us all that we can only be happy if we are married to someone and working towards a house and children. The fairy tales that feed us that a romance has to have either column A or Column B. We aren’t supposed to consider any other columns.
To this very day, that is a concept I still struggle with. I still have that little princess in me that stares at the fairy tales in hopeful glassy eyes waiting for my prince to ride up on his stallion, profess his love to me, and sweep me away to a castle where everything is perfect. It is probably why I have such a dislike for Disney to this day. Oh, I can hear the chorus of gays shrieking in horror as I say that. I have done many hurtful things, to myself emotionally, in the hopes of love. I have suppressed my very nature to try to appear that I am a specific type of person in hopes of winning over someone I have feelings towards. I have done many things in the darkest of hopes that they would see how attentive I am and realize that I am exactly the person they want in their lives. The problem is that love can sneak up on you out of nowhere. Most recently I had started a friendship with someone I had a small attraction to . We both agreed that we wanted friendship, but somewhere along the way my feelings grew before I realized the development. How does it work out? HA!! I know you already know that answer.
We all have flaws and not a single one of us will ever be a perfect something to someone. We can only ever be the best person we are and offer them our truest self. If you have to change who you are or how you act in order to gain someone’s attention, it is a venture that will not end the way you hope. And none of this is even touching sexual interactions with people. Speaking of, truth time here, the last sexual experience I had was in the front seat of my car in a bar parking lot when I was too drunk to drive home, and I had someone drive my car. The whole thing lasted approximately five minutes and I doubt either of us truly enjoyed it. To the other person involved, I’m sorry for saying that but I feel you know its truth. That awkward moment aside, it has been two years since there was sexual activity for me and it was with a married couple. The last real experience I shared with a person, that was more than a hurried awkward hookup, was over four years ago. His name was Angelo, it happened on a night that I had been drinking and my inhibitions were a bit lower than normal. That being said, it was liberating and one of the most amazing experiences I have had to date. The point of all of this is that there are not many in my life that I have had emotional attachment too and when I fall, I fall hard.
Navigating our sex and love lives is difficult at the best of times, the fact that there is no real play book for what we will encounter makes it even more awkward. And it is even more awkward because we work with a playbook that we are forced into believing we have to adhere to. Those boxes do not define us, they limit us. You are not wrong for wanting a fairy tale romance but know that our very existence is contrary to the society we spring from. If it doesn’t feel right, that is your innate nature telling you that you are not meant for that box. Love comes in many forms and not even most of them are sexual. We don’t have to follow anyone’s specific ideal of what love, romance, and sexuality should be.
The point I leave you with is that coming out isn’t just about expressing your sexual identity, it happens every time you are with someone. What you feel, want, and hope is a coming out. Communication is a MUST in navigating these turbulent waters. Make sure you both are sharing with the person what you are feeling. Feelings hurt, but they have to be shared for each of us to know where we are coming from and how to respond to them.