Not What They Used To Be

Brosia's picture

My friend came to me with a bizarre request. She asked if she could use me as her hero in mythology class. Thinking it would be cool to have a charcter based on me, I agreed. It would be interesting to see which of my traits she decided to use, and what sort of challenges my alter-ego would face. And even if the story wasn't so great, it was still a major compliment.

She went on to explain the project. She needed to pick a real-life hero, a fictional hero, and a famous hero. As soon as she heard the assignment, she knew she'd be writing about me. Ok, I thought, It's not quite what I expected. But this was even better. It's not every day you get the chance to be a hero.

She explained why she picked me. See, I didn't step timidly from the closet door. I came out with a vengence. I saw no problem with being gay, so there was no reason to be ashamed. I knew there would be people who didn't agree with me. I knew I was bound to loose a few friends and put up with a lot of ridicule. But you know what? It's who I was, and I saw no point in trying to act otherwise to please people. I didn't shove my sexuality down anyone's throat, but I didn't try to hide it either. I wore my rainbows, my "I kiss girls" pin, and held my girlfriend's hand with pride. If anyone asked me, I'd be honest with them. There was no question I was afraid to answer, because you never know when you're clearing up a misconception.

I guess this attitude really impressed people, because I've managed to change a lot of minds. Friends who used to be blatantly homophobic have become gay rights activists. People saw how openly I was accepted, and found the courage to be themselves. I never once saw myself as a hero or activist. It was just how I was.

In order to appreciate this situation, you'd need to know a bit about my friend. She was brought up in a very conservative household. Her family had lots of money, and she got everything she ever wanted. To say she was sheltered would be putting it mildy. I was her first "diverse" friend, and that was only because I fell below the poverty line. To the suprise of all around her, she actually grew into a well-adjusted person. She got perfect grades. She found a long-term boyfriend who loved her as much as she loved him. She did volunteer work simply because she enjoyed it. And she still found time to spend with her poverty-stricken friends.

So now I ask you this: How is it that someone like her can look up to a social deviant like me? What happened to the notion that queers are supposed to be hated, feared, ignored, or occasionally accepted? What sort of world is this where a lesbian can be an inspiration to her straight peers? I'm telling you, the times are changing. Role models just aren't what they used to be.

Comments

wicked_torture's picture

That is very inspiring. I mea

That is very inspiring. I mean lots of us sit around and twidle our thumbs thinking we are nobody's and freaks. When we all can be proud of who we are and not be afraid of our learing peers. I mean when I first came out I was the same. I didn't care who knew it was no big thing but after going through everything I have being the outest lesbian on my h.s campus I sort of...lost it...but after reading that I have been inspired....why hide yourself and feel bad for yourself when you could be helping people understand and accept and maybe ever acknoledge everything. I don't know your friend but damn I sure am proud of her. That was a great thing she and you did. I'm glad someone opened her eyes.
Taste the rainbow!

Brosia's picture

I'm a shameless review whore...

I'm not trying to say that everyone should be open and fearless. I know I'm lucky that I can be out and proud without being disowned or anything. Some people don't have that option. But since I do, I'm going to make the best of it. Glad I could inspire you with this. Hearing stuff like that always makes my day.