I wanted this to be eloquent and researched with facts and figures to legitimize my pain. I wanted a weekend of three days to write this post to y’all but it can’t wait any longer. I’m in a 14 month program at Johns Hopkins University for nursing; and I’m being inundated with information and rules and patients with cardiovascular disease comorbid with obesity that beg some real empathy, the kind of empathy that everyone deserves and is lacking in our fast-paced system.
I thought at one point that yoga could heal it; or that I didn’t need therapy; or I didn’t need support; or my ingrained homophobia would just poof disappear. Because it seems so antithetical to be carrying around this deep shame when so many states and people are starting to finally realize that we aren’t child molesters.
And for the record, I used that term on purpose. I’m sick to my bones with the fact that even a teeny, tiny or maybe a bigger portion than I know associate me and the LGBT people I know with people who do awful things.
I am gay. I’ve toyed with the word bisexual because my sexuality is somewhat fluid, and I don’t know exactly where I’ll be in 10 years or so; and it just seems so nice to have a partner who can impregnate you, and then have a child who resembles you both.
But really I’ve toyed with word bisexual to avoid the bigoted stuff that lesbians face in large. The stuff that doesn’t go away if you chose to love the same gender.
For example, I’m sick of knowing that some people I love would rather have straight children than gay children; and that our bigoted society allows a lot of room for gay people to exist as long as we aren’t too loud or too demanding. I’m sick to my bones with opening a book and having my fear confirmed; LGBT people have four times a higher rate of Clinical Depression than our heterosexual counterparts. Of course we do, we’re survivors.
I’m sick of being invisible.
I’m sick of the search for the gay gene; I know that idea makes some people more comfortable, but what really is wrong with just two grown people of the same gender loving each other?
I’m really sick of having to prove that I’m just as moral and just as good as the most moral straight person.
The reason this got me for so long is that I’m not the most moral, puritanical gay person. But here’s the thing, driving drunk, as I’ve done is wrong. It’s wrong. You can point your finger, you can get angry, but being told over and over that, “I’m not judging you (your homosexuality) Renee; God will judge your sin,” is wrong on an essential level. There are things we know if we sit quietly long enough and everything settles and our eyes get soft. And I know that equating homosexuality with sin is wrong.
While I have no problem getting on my knees and looking into the eyes of a homeless woman with AIDS who is so lonely I can feel it pull at my eye sockets and the muscles in my neck; I have also slept around, and snorted coke; and done reckless things that involve cars. I have driven naked. I have shouted fuck you at my entire family for an extended period of time.
I know what it’s like to have darkness.
And I sure as hell know what it’s like to need forgiveness.
And good God am I sick of having to be held to a higher moral standard because I’m gay.
Because I know who I am deep down inside. I’m one of The Good Ones.
I’m someone who has survived sexual assault; years of my own alcohol-shade-to-fade-from-bigger-pains; serious Clinical Depression; semi-offensive statements about LGBT people and really, really offensive statements; and perfectionism. And instead of letting any of these things kill me, I have made art; I have learned modern dance and opera singing; I have gone to India by myself and walked up to little towns despite the ice alone; I have forgiven the Christian girl in the Himalayas who told me my gayness was a sin; and mostly, I have tried to listen when people are desperate to be heard. And if there is something I am thankful for amongst the shivering, sweaty, nighty Clinical Depression and the crying out to “Dear God, Dear Buddha,” if there is something I’m thankful amongst a decade of occasional “I’d rather not be gay,” I’m thankful that I’ve discovered that I am capable of extraordinary feats of forgiveness, and love and generosity; and I’m thankful for knowing what it’s like to be deeply misunderstood.
Renee wants more people to read and subscribe to her blog; she currently writes group emails or Mail Chimp-ies or things that come to your inbox because it’s easier for her to commit to a small audience at first, especially because she is currently attending a very fancy nursing school called Johns Hopkins University. She would love, love, love if you would go to her website and subscribe to her newsletter at www.blacksheepyoga.com, or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. She writes about science; feminism; queer women dating; and the connections between bacteria and love, or something like that. She recently went to India by herself where she took this picture.