First, a bit of housekeeping. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, but allow me to say now for the record that This is a Safe Space. We don’t all have to agree with each other here, but we do have to play nicely, share the toys, and not make me come down there. If you have hurtful opinions that you want to express, I’ll just note that it took me approximately 30 seconds to set up my blog here. You are welcome to go make your own. Capisce? Good. Onward!
Today is National Coming Out Day (Happy National Coming Out Day!), and it occurs to me that I should really say something about this. Unfortunately, all I can seem to muster is a pretty resounding “Ok…so?”.
Here’s the deal: I do not give even one solitary crap about the gender of the person you love (or people–I don’t really care about the number, either, as long as everyone involved is totally down with it). What I care about is whether you are being treated with love and respect, and whether you are returning that love and respect to your partner(s). I care about whether the relationship is making everyone involved feel happy and nurtured. I care about whether the relationship makes everyone involved work to become their very best selves. I care about making sure that everyone involved feels safe and stable and sane. I care about knowing that there is honesty and communication and support.
What I do not care about is who wears the pants in the relationship, or indeed, whether any pants are worn at all.
But I get it that not everybody feels this way. I get it that LBGT rights are still a hot-button topic in this country, and I get it that there are people who are alternately pushing to keep the closet door closed and fighting to deny that there’s even a closet there in the first place.
So for those of you who are not yet able to live as honestly as you’d like, please allow me to assure you that It Gets Better. I can tell you firsthand, for a fact, that there are people in this world who would not freak out even a little bit if you came out to us, and if you’re not aware of any of those folks in your current surroundings, then hang in there–we’re out there, and someday you’ll find us. Stay strong.
And for those of you who are already out, congratulations! I look forward to the day when we can sit around and grumble about how Kids These Days Don’t Understand the strength and courage it took for you to speak your truth because to them a person’s coming-out is a complete non-event, noteworthy only insofar as it means that they have to think about their aunt or uncle or parents kissing somebody (ewwww!).
In other words, I look forward to a day when National Coming Out Day is just another blip on the calendar, maybe commemorated by a handful of “special” commercials or possibly a program on TLC or the History Channel. And I admit: I’m kinda already there.
So happy National Coming Out Day to those of you who will celebrate it, and happy October 11th otherwise, and for what it’s worth, please know that there’s a shaggy Buffalo Lady in the middle of nowhere who loves you either way.
P.S.–I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to the first openly gay person I ever knew, who also happened to be my first boyfriend (he hadn’t come out yet at the time). I love you, C–always have, always will–and I think about our first slow dance every time I hear “Unchained Melody”. I’ll always be grateful to our middle school guidance counselor for introducing me to you, and I thank you for teaching me that once you love someone, their orientation becomes pretty irrelevant pretty quickly. *hugs’n’smooches*
P.P.S.–I would also be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to the first girl I ever loved, whom I never dated but who captured my heart and revised my view of my place in the universe. I love you, S–always have, always will–and I think of you every time I see purple wildflowers by the side of the road. I’ll always be grateful to Nerd Camp for introducing me to you, and I thank you for teaching me that once you love someone, their gender becomes pretty irrelevant pretty quickly. *hugs’n’smooches*