How are you? (reprise)

the mouse that roared's picture

My other cousin, the sister of the cousin that visited last thanksgiving, is here for the week.

"So how are you doing?" She asks, trying to distract herself from the close friend/boyfriend she saw nonstop last week.

"Fine... Well, maybe not." I say at her don't-lie-to-me-glance. The pain and confusion in my eyes is more apparent than I thought it was, it seems. I was not in the best mood yesterday.

But I don't say any more. She's exhausted, as she got so little sleep staying up with her boyfriend last week, and the living room is not the best place for me to spill my guts to my cousin...

But I can spill my guts to Oasis, and I haven't for a few day, so I have a lot of thoughts running through my head.

Exam week was so lonely for me. I was only in school for two hours, and then I would study alone at the library till the bus came. I didn't make any plans with friends the whole week. Why am I doing this too myself? Is it because I am afraid of losing my friends if I come out, and something inside of me thinks it would be easier if I had already lost them? Is it because I'm too shy? Is it because I thinkthey don't like me? Is it because I'm too afraid and depressed and lonely to ask them?

I've been reading "Annie On My Mind" in secret at the library this week, and I finished it Thursday. I couldn't get Liza and Annie out of my head, though. That is a wonderful book.

Here's what I wrote in my journal on Thursday at the library when I should have been studying:

"I am so lost, so gone, so confused, so floating. Uprooted from my own self, from who I've been. I'm changing, and my self doesn't know what to do. Yet I am here, so undeniably, groundingly here, in a way I haven't been. Fiercely, achingly, angrily... am I still hiding from myself? Protecting myself? Am I still running away? Is this just another protective shell, a shell that hides pain and nothing on the inside?

My heart is an egg."

My town's newspaper has been taken over by homophobes, even though only 2% of the town is blatantly homophobic. This Thursday's paper contained yet another front page article about these people complaining about support for gays in the school. This one was about people having a meeting at a Catholic church in our town about ousting the school committee members for allowing the rainbow flag at the middle schol to stand and for allowing the pink safe zone triangles to stay on teachers' doors. The mother in law of a school committee member tried to attend, but they told her to leave and said they should call the cops. She stayed seated, and they left to go to a different room, calling her a spy with an agenda. The only quotes in support of gays were from this woman, and all the other quotes were abusive ones from parents. This guy cannot write a balanced article for his life!

I was so angry after reading it that I immediately wrote a letter to the editr:

"To the 'Minuteman:'

I am a questioning student at Bedford High School. I am almost certain that I am gay, but the coming out to myself has beena long, conflict-and emotion-filled time in my life. Nobody except me knows that I am gay.

I have been reading the letters to the editor and news articles with dismay at the bigotedness and comfort at the heroism in this town. Thank you for all those who bothered to write in in support of gays. As for those who say homosexuality is immoral, I must tell you to think of the children in this town--not the parents--for just a moment. One in every ten people is queer. This includes one in every ten of your children. You are speaking so hatefully about your children. YOu are breeding hate.

The pink triangles on teachers' doors have comforted me. I know that if I need to, I can safely talk to that teacher. When I first began to question my sexual oriendtation in middle school, I felt so alone. Now I know that there is a safe place for me.

All the articles, all the condemnation filled with hate and lies and ignorance tumble around in my head. I am so filled with indignation I can barely write.

We are talking about love here, love. Why has love turned to hate and fewaqr and anger?

Of course, I didn't send that one in. I didn't even send this one in, the more rational one I wrote later:

"Issues to address in edifying ignorant town members:

1. GLBTQ people do not choose who they love any more than any straight person. They do not choose their gender or sexual identity just as any heterosexual person does not choose it. It is the way they are and it it natureal for them. It would be as unnatural for a GLBT person to "turn straight" as it would be for a straight person to "turn gay." Being a sexual minority does not change how natural it is.

2. There is nothing wrong with queerness; the wonly thing wrong is peopels prejudices and misconceptions. Sexuality of any kind is about love. Love is universal. There is nothing different or inferior about any person's love for another person.

3. People begin questioning their sexual orientation--if it is not heterosexual--at a diverse range of ages. Some children as young or younger than ten know they are queer.

4. GLBTQ people do not have any agenda, unless one counts the "agenda" of wanteing to be treated like a human being. "Do unto others..."

5. The pink triangle stickers have been on teachers' doors for at least six years. Why is theis an issue? Why is it an issue for GLBTQ students to know that there are unprejudiced people to talk to them? Why is this an issue now, ehen these stickers ahvae bheen there for six hyears and therea re many othe important issues to discuss, like the school's budget cuts?

Now that these basic facts and questions are established for anyone that seemed to have a question or who did not know them, why would anyone protest any type of love after knowing the facts? We should be able to stop fighting over this.

One in every ten people is GLBT or Q. These people can be found anywhere, in any group, including the group of the children of bigoted people. Please stop arguing so hatedly about and breeding hatred for your children.

Forgot to say:
--teen suicides 1/3 gay: disproportionate amount
--Front page coverage?? Coverage at all??"

And, yes, I pretty much have decided I'm a lesbian, though I'll leave that to another post, as this one has grown way too long and I need to go eat lunch.

Sorry for the typos in this--my cousin needs to get online after me and I didn't have enough time to edit it.


KieBem81's picture

right on --my heart goes out to you sister :/

"If you love someone, tell them for hearts are often broken by words left unspoken"

1 in 3 women think of having sex or experimenting with other women

"Should I smile because we're friends or frown because thats all we'll ever be?"

cnn* :)

Andrewgirl3's picture

hi-its kyle. im sorry i haven

hi-its kyle. im sorry i haven't been writing my computer had been messed up, my email isn't working and things aren't so great at home. I like your proposed letter. You should send it in. And you really dont have to decide about your sexuality now. it will work itself out over time. I think thats reasonable advice, but it is so much easier to be at peace with yourself if you can define it. *looks at contradicting sentences, shakes head and looks puzzled*

p.s. i see you got around to reading Annie on my mind

*Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen*

the mouse that roared's picture


Oh, good. I was getting worried about you. It's nice to hear from you, though I'm sorry things aren't so great at home.

Yeah, I talked to my cousin about how I'm questioning, and she told me probably the most valuable thing I've heard: "I've given up trying to figure it out and am just going person by person." That makes the most sense to me. I was having trouble making blanket statements about one gender or the other. Though I think my need-to-decide mood has served me well, as it has gotten me to accept myself a LOT more...

And I did get around to reading Annie on my Mind. In snatches at the library when I should have been studying for exams. It's a wonderful book. :)