13 August 2013

Yes, it was worth it.

For those of you who have come to my blog thanks to the link-love from my heart sister Dana, welcome! I hope you'll decide to stick around!

I want to talk about something I've discussed here before, but I think it's worth repeating because of a few conversations I've had lately.

I'm gay. I was born gay, but I didn't realize it in myself for a lot of personal reasons I'm not going to discuss in this sort of forum. As a result, I only recently came out to myself and others, and am at the end of a divorce from my husband (the father of my children).

There is something I need to emphasize: I was born gay, even though I didn't realize it until recently. I am not newly or recently gay. I am gay.

I had a talk with a friend recently about what coming out has meant in my life. I had a pretty good life as a straight, married mother of two. My friend asked me if it has been worth it to walk away from all that by coming out.

Yes. Wholeheartedly, unreservedly, yes.

Here's the thing. Being gay isn't something you choose to be. You either are or you aren't. And while I had a pretty good life with Monty, it wasn't real. It wasn't who I was. And it wasn't fair to either of us, or to the kids, for me to continue living that kind of lie.

So yes, it has been worth it. It's been hard. I've lost my marriage, and I risked losing half of my family when I told my dad. (I could still lose family over it, since many of my extended family members don't know.) I could have even lost custody of my children (though I would have fought that fiercely).

Coming out is not easier in most people's lives. They lose their support system at a time they need it the most. They face bullying, ridicule, harassment. People tell them they're condemned to burn in hell for eternity simply for accepting the person they were born to be (which, if you believe in god means that they were made that way by the being who is supposedly condemning them for the rest of time).

I've heard so much from intelligent people that being gay is a choice. "Why did you choose to be gay?" or "When did you choose to be gay?" Aside from the fact that it has been proven that being gay is biological and formed in the womb, why would someone choose that for themselves? Why would people lose everything they hold dear if it's a choice? Why would people choose a life that gets them killed either by their own hand, or at the hands of others?

No, it's not a choice. It's either who you are, or it isn't. And if you are, you choose whether to accept that in yourself and live authentically, or keep it to yourself and try to live a life many people think is "traditional." That is your choice, and you have to do what's best for you.

For me, there was no question about whether I wanted to come out or not. For myself, I couldn't live like that. I had to be fair to myself, and to Monty. And, perhaps more importantly to me, I want my children to live their own lives authentically. How can I teach them to be proud of who they are if I couldn't do the same?

It has been hard, sure. I loved Monty very much. And making the decision to not fight for our marriage because I'm gay was heart-wrenching for me. I hated it. Still do. But the right thing is not always the easy thing, and I had to do the right thing. As hard as it was, I know that, in the long run, it's best for everyone.

So, yes, it was worth it. That doesn't mean I like that I had to do it, or that I liked how things progressed once the decision was made, but it was worth it.

This is who I am. I'm not ashamed of being gay and it's not something I'm going to hide about myself. I have to be who I am, proudly, and that's what I'm doing.

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