I have been reflecting on the posts I have written in the last month. When I shared my feelings about the character of Kurt on Glee, I was lambasted. I did receive (mostly private) support from individuals that shared my viewpoints.
The people most upset were those living in urban areas, many of whom are estranged from their own families. They are the ones who typically post Twitter or Facebook updates dreading spending the holidays with family. They also tend to be the ones most like Kurt.
I received a lot of flack, but I stubbornly stood my ground. The firestorm let me know that I had indeed touched on a hot button issue in the gay community. Who is right?
I have spent the last month soul searching for the answer.
It may have come from the most unlikeliest of sources. A tennis court rival, who I call "THE DEVIL", exchanged interesting texts with me recently. He texted, "I finally got u figured out". I wrote back, "Do u? So what's your diagnosis Doc?"
He then sends the following:
Your father constantly belittles you cause you suck cock so you try, in your best high pitched voice to act 'manly'. And you have to attempt to belittle other gays to make yourself feel better. And all of your negativity makes you an unpleasant person to be around. Will make for a lonely existence as you continue to age.
My response? "Wow. That's very true."
The reality of my situation is that my father does not directly belittle me. He does so indirectly. His favorite word to describe people he hates is cocksucker
. Just one year ago, he screamed at a nephew for walking down the hall like a girl.
The worst thing I can remember is when I first came-out to the family 13 years ago. My brother informed me that our Dad wanted me to stand up in a meeting with all of my co-workers and admit to them that I was gay. (A public shaming?) I was to ask permission if it would still be okay to work with them. Fortunately, I never had to do that. It does make me teary eyed every time I think about it.
Just recently, I went to a grocery store with a friend. While I know he would have loved to walk side by side shopping for groceries, I didn't feel comfortable with that. I found myself leaving his side to find things in the store we needed. No need to make rednecks gawk. Being from Louisiana (and now living in NYC), my friend knew exactly what I was doing. I got a stern lecture afterward.
When my friend Tim came down from Wisconsin this weekend, he placed his arm around me while I drove. I was okay with that until we were about a mile away from the farm. I began to panic. What if neighbors see a man hugging on me? My face felt flushed with heat and I had difficulty breathing. Either I immediately remove Tim's arm or I suffer in silence. I correctly chose to let Tim keep his arm around me. The last mile was so uneasy for me however.
When we went to my sister's house to play ping pong with my brother and nephews, I requested that Tim not hug and kiss me in front of family. He told me he totally understood and he complied. We had a good time there, but I did feel guilty about the request.
I have made great strides in dealing with my sexuality, but I am not quite there yet. Let's hope 2011 helps me get a little closer to figuring it all out.