I’m really excited about a shift I’ve been noticing in society recently. My excitement is related to feelings of hope because I’m seeing expansion and acceptance.
Growing up gay in Oklahoma during the 70’s and 80’s was challenging and confusing for me. I understand growing up at any time with differences of any kind can be challenging. I also understand, everybody is weird to somebody because none of us are exactly the same. Growing up and trying to figure out where we begin and our parents end is a challenge for everyone.
I have given and continue to give what I feel is the very best I am able to give my son. Looking back, are there things I would change? Sure. I’m certainly not perfect and I’ve grown quite a bit over the years, but I still stand firm on my belief that I’ve always done the best I could.
I’ve always wanted him to know my love is unconditional. I wanted him to have a strong sense of himself. I taught him first and foremost, yes, even before he is my son, he’s his own person. There would lots of things in our lives that we would disagree on, but one thing would never waiver and that is my love for him. I was able to provide this for him because this is what I learned growing up. My mom’s love for me has never wavered.
We’re lucky. Some people are shunned from their families and I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to manage the challenges of life when your own family casts you aside. It breaks my heart and that is exactly why I am so excited for the expansion and acceptance I’m seeing in the world around me.
In a society where children are discouraged from a freedom of expression as simple as changing the color of their hair, because “You’re just fine the way God made you”, can you imagine feeling you were born the wrong gender? I felt this way for years. I thought everything would be so much easier if I was a boy, but then I realized, I was just fine the way “God” made me, a lesbian. This is just my story though.
There are lots of people who disagree with the gender assignment they were given, but if anyone is foolish enough to think that a being greater than myself would cast a person aside simply because they have a different opinion than their creator regarding gender assignment is, well,… foolish.
I don’t understand the complexities of feeling I was born the wrong gender any more than a straight person understands the complexities of being born gay, but what I do understand is the feeling of being excluded or looked upon as strange. I have felt the eyes of others in the past trying to make sense of what they were seeing. I have been looked straight in the eyes and was alerted by a woman in the restroom I was walking in to, “This is the women’s”.
I was offended. I grabbed my boobs right in front of her, stated, “I know! I’m a woman” and kept on walking. I understand, now, that wasn’t intended to be a personal attack, but I think it’s a good example of perception and misunderstanding.
My wife snapped these pictures in a church in downtown Portland, Oregon to share with me because she knew I would be excited to see signs of expansion and acceptance. She was right! Thank you Keri.
This is exactly why I am so excited to see signs popping up confirming that change is happening. Society is broadening it’s spectrum. I’m happy to live in a time that’s growing more accepting and compassionate. There’s plenty of room and plenty of love for everyone to live they way we all were intended to live, Happy. I identify as happy.