There were levels to my slavery that I did not comprehend. I was released from my handcuffs and found relief. I attempted to move forward, but was halted by shackles at my feet. I cut my feet off and crawl towards my pathway. I was bleeding out in pain, but I could not live another second under somebody else’s name. I would rather die having barely anything, then continue to live having nothing.
I did not become a different person like I thought I would when I came out. Quite honestly, I moved on fairly quickly. I waited patiently after I posted my first blog officially coming out, hoping afterwards I would finally understand the lyrics to Katy Perry’s plastic bag song. However, what I was left with was a feeling of deep regret. I do not regret coming out, I regret not coming out sooner. What would life have been like if I came out earlier? It is unwise to dwell on such things, but I find myself dreaming in the hypothetical. People were not meant to hide themselves from the world, they were meant to live out in the open.
For so long I imagined life going in one particular direction, loving only in the ways the world has allowed me to. I have come to realize that love is not binary and exists in many different forms. Love cannot be limited by an individual’s understanding. There is an obsession with sexuality and a need to police others on who they can and cannot show love to. People are told from the beginning what they are. They are assigned pink and blue and later given special regulation as to what those colors mean. Young girls are given dolls to play with and boys are given trucks. Truthfully the labels do not matter, but if you are caught in the in-between or directly opposing society’s framework you are assigned to the “other” category.
The queer community did not invent the words faggot, dyke, or tranny. These labels were given to them when society realized they were not acting in accordance to social norms. They were deviants to a system that wanted them to stay within the lines. They wear their labels proudly because if they do not the world will use their labels against them. It is for these reasons that I boldly share this area of my life. Perhaps those in hiding will find their voice in mine. Perhaps young bi males after me will read my words and realize that they are not alone.
I remember whispering to myself lying down at night, “I like men.” I knew my feelings were a reality, but I struggled to admit it. It was only when I was completely alone that I could admit it. I remember when I first said the words; it felt like the first time I knew myself. I hated the reality I encountered and the feelings of isolation that came with it. I looked at my sexuality as a curse that I could not shake and a sin that I could not bare. I prayed that God would make me straight and I would find peace, but nothing changed.
I do not blame Christianity for not curing me of my queerness. Maybe the maker of the universe made me this way. I never wanted to be different or to stand out, but now I embrace it. There will always be people who judge me for being different and living my life. I cannot change everyone’s perspective but I can change my attitude towards them. No one is owed conformity from me. I hold the power and direction my life goes even when the world tells me something else.
There will always be doors in front of me preventing me from living in the freedom that I know I can have. I honestly wish my story were viewed as normal because it is, but to those who have been told so long that it is not I write for them. I wear the colors of my flag proudly on my chest so that those craving acknowledgement and safety can see it.
We live in a world where parents will disown their children and leave them on the street because of whom they love or whom they identify as. Although I hope the queer youth would have the strength to share without shame I recognize that for some coming out is not just about social ramifications, but also a safety concern. As much as I want queer people to live their lives open and without fear, I recognize that on a global scale many queer people do not believe they have the ability to do so. It is a privilege to have the freedom that I have. I will use the freedoms that I have been given to advocate for those without it. People were not meant to hide themselves from the world, they were meant to live out in the open.