On Being GAY

Friday, October 8, 2010

When I was in Middle School, my goal was to fit in. My blond hair, blue eyed friends wore blue/green eyeshadow. I did too. They hair sprayed their bangs 3 feet high. I did too. The fact that I was black and they were white was of no concern to me. Middle School was about blending into the crowd. My crowd consisted of mainly white friends. I didn't want to stand out. I didn't have an ounce of individuality and I was fine with that. I was constantly teased and bullied by the other black students at my school. I was hated because my skin was light. I was accused every day of "trying to be white" with my correct grammar, lack of Ebonics and "good hair".

In High School I was still trying to figure but who the hell I was. I went through the mandatory 1990's grunge phase. I wore all black. I dyed my hair purple. I didn't know where I fit in. Or who I wanted to be.

Throughout those 7 years of school hell, bullies, identity confusion, depression, suicide attempts, and an abusive father, I kept one thing to myself.  Hidden deep inside my unconscious mind and kept repressed was the knowledge that I was gay. Even though I was aware of this information, I had no idea what to do with it. In fact, I had no desire to deal with it. I didn't know what it meant. I had enough problems in my life. I wasn't going to intentionally add something else to the mix.

I had a few friends in my latter years of high school who were gay. I can remember meeting them through other friends and finding any excuse I could to be around them. It felt right. It was comfortable. There was never any judgement. I wasn't too light-skinned or not pretty enough. I was just me. In the midst of feeling relaxed around them, there were a few times I wanted to tell them my secret. To whisper in their ear, "I'm just like you." I never did. I was still scared. I didn't know what would happen to my life once I said those three words.

Until I came out to my husband in 2004, whenever any feelings arouse about other women I quickly pushed them out of my head. I was active in my church and kept busy being as a stay at home mom. I made sure I kept busy so I wouldn't have time to think about being gay. At this point I knew I was gay. I knew I was miserable and unhappy in my marriage due to the fact that I was gay. Yet I still forced myself to suffocate my feelings. In the end it became obvious and unbearable. With the help of my husband I faced the truth. It wasn't so scary. I had a support group of other married and gay women. My family and friends were not shocked when I told them. I'm out, in a relationship with a woman I absolutely love and adore. I'm finally happy and at peace. My kids are amazing and wonderful. It took me 27 years (give or take a few, I'm horrible with math) to muster the courage to say,


When I think about Tyler Clementi and the three other kids who committed suicide in September, I'm devastated. I know without a doubt that could have been me. I don't think of myself as closested at the time. I was in plain denial. I can just imagine if the mean, horrible, cruel kids I went to school with found out. The teasing. The incessant name calling. I think the reason I'm still here, alive and breathing is because I didn't deal with it. It's hard enough to be a pre-teen and teenager without harrassment by your peers for your sexual preference. Which is frankly none of their business.

I'm in awe of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender kids that come out in their pre-teens, teens or early adulthood. They have something I never did. Courage! Courage to say fuck you and stand up to the bullies. Courage to be out and proud. I never had this courage and I deeply regret it. Starting now I'm committing myself to finding a way to encourage, support and do whatever I can to help kids who are struggling the same way I did. If you're not gay, join your local PFLAG organization. Show your support. Tyler, Seth, Asher, Billy and countless other bullied gay kids deserve it!

It's okay to be gay. It's okay to fall madly deeply in love with someone of the same gender. It's okay to be queer. It's okay to be a-sexual. It's okay to bi-sexual. It's okay to be born a girl but known you should have been a boy. Or vice versa. For the love of all things good in the world, it's ok to be gay.

If you're struggling with any issues related to your sexuality, or have thoughts of suicide, please visit The Trevor Project.



8 Responses to “On Being GAY”
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I'm happy to read this and know you are who you are, even if it took so long to feel comfortable with it.

Think of all the heartbreak that could have been saved if every young adult was as brave as those who accept who they are.

Even though you came out late, I'm glad that you did and feel comfortable with being you.


I think you are awesome and you should be proud of this post. Sigh. I think what happened to that boy, what happens all over the place is so dam not okay.

Beautiful Chan. Just like you.

Thank you. This issue just breaks my heart. I can in no way understand people not accepting honest love in this day and age. There's not enough of it to go around, we can't discredit the love that is there, just because it doesn't fall into the acceptable boxes that some people have.
"For the love of all things good in the world, it's ok to be gay."
Yes, just that...a million times, THAT.

I have never been more proud to be your friend. Beautifully put, Chan.

i adore you and i'm so proud of who you are... a remarkable woman who is leaving such a beautiful and true impression on all of those you interact with.

bravo woman!

I'm proud of you for writing this. I know I'm late but I love you and I'm glad you are able to now be proud of who you are. xo

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