|5 years ago :: Nov 08, 2010 - 4:16PM #1|
Obviously many people have regrets about coming out. Usually this would be not doing it or having been able to do it sooner. Anything else that ever gnaws at you? I'm often wracked with guilt over my homophobic behavior.
I was a very intolerant Christian. Not only would I condemn gays to Hell, but because of what my parents had told me I believed that being gay was a deep, dark level of depraved and wanton evil. In my idiocy I perpetuated that lie.
Now when I hear stories of suicides I think of the times I was suicidal as a teen and the attempts I made on my life. I struggled even as I perpetuated the lies, but I can't help to wonder if I might've caused harm or death with my hateful words. I certainly almost caused my own.
I'm convinced I led a life that was harmful to others, even while convinced I was doing God's work. Ironically, my husband found out about me after our divorce and was relieved. "It makes perfect sense! Why didn't I see it?!" We're even re-building our friendship, which had been the only basis of our marriage in the first place.
I know that I was essentially brainwashed into believing such stupidity about "spiritual warfare" from as young as I can remember. My wife tells me it isn't my fault, but it doesn't make it any easier. How many of those bullies who caused suicides may come out in the future as well? How many of them will share in my guilt?
I was worse. I wasn't a bully that taunted or mocked. I never used the f word or any other slur. No, I accused people of being evil incarnate and that they'd burn for eternity without being saved from their depraved mind.
Sometimes I think it's a miracle I survived being a teenager. My own condemnations affected me so strongly too. The only solace for me now is to speak out against bullying. People are irritated at what I take offense at. I'm being "politically correct" and it's "hogwash". I don't really care. Life is fragile and precious at all ages, but is even more so among children. Now I know that when I challenge an offensive statement, word or stereotype that it isn't trivial. It might save someone's life.
The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.
For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gloaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword. - J.R.R. Tolkien
|5 years ago :: Nov 09, 2010 - 12:36AM #2|
I don't remember ever being in the closet. I "came out" first in church. I was told I was wrong and was asked to pray about this. I did, 'course god was wrong . I am a female and HE would never talk with me anyway. So I was excommunicated.
So I joined the military, never lied. Was asked directly if I was a lesbian. I answered "yes sir". Got discharged , had to call my dad and tell him. I was officially out. I was 19 at that time. I faced prison for getting caught kissing another woman.
I became an activist then.
Pre coming out? I always knew. I may not have had the words , but I knew I was gay. I never "straightened up" for anyone.
I refused to believe I was depraved and un natural. I refused to believe I was less than any one. I refused to believe being a woman made me "just a woman". meant for only 2 things.
This tenacity helped me survive under very rough conditions. Being OUT comes with responsibility and at times can be very dangerous.
I do not know the word regret. I would do it all again. I live a life based upon integrity, I fail sometimes, yet I learn and move forward.
I am 48 now. Yes I have scars, and am disabled because some felt/ feel threatened by little old me. I still have no regrets.
I say come out! It is worth it and will teach others we are as odd as anyone else!
Yavanna, you speak of "pre coming out". You make a very good point in the self hate end of things. Those who yell the loudest against are hiding something deeper.
The internalised homophobia can really screw up a person.
I am really glad you have found yourself.((Yavanna)) .
Just a side note, my partner was married to a man for 27 years. the last twenty empty ones, when she came out, he was relieved too, and their friendship has grown. She also said "why did I not know sooner?" Her entire family also said, "finally!" She has regret. Years lost. Picking up the pieces, one chunk ata time. Now she can't even park straight. :)
Living a lie, even unintentionally to "fit in" is not worth the energy.
imo and experience.
|5 years ago :: Nov 09, 2010 - 8:38PM #3|
Hey there Yavanna thanks for sharing your pre-coming out story, I am glad you did live to see the day you "found" yourself!!! and I believe we are all struggling imperfect human beings in this world and whoever God is, loves us as is and forgiveness is ours as soon as we are able to give it to ourselves, anyhow your story just tied right in with a poem i wrote today over on the poetry board, it was really addressed to Christians who ascribe to the kind of beliefs you were taught. The nice thing about the past is, it's past, we learn from it, share it when we think it will help another and we live better today because of what it taught us!! However, sometimes something will keep coming up for a person & it's a good indicator that the person should pursue some active role in the world like finding some way to paticipate towards ending the bullying and it's more subtle forms (religion. . .) and preserving the fragile lives of adolescents and teens who are struggling with the issue, just a thought!
in case you're interested in reading my poem here is a link:
|5 years ago :: Dec 27, 2010 - 5:31PM #4|
Yavanna, your story is so sad. It is sad that you spoke out against gay people. I think the way that I was as a young person made me more tolerant of others. I always had sympathy for the underdog. I guess I understood somewhere inside myself that human sexuality wasn't a black and white issue. But until the last few years, I never really discussed it with myself. It is funny though because when people would make fun of me because they thought that I was gay, I would never deny it, I would just play stupid. I suppose I protected myself in this way. My feeling was pretty much, "Who are you to judge me?" But I also felt that it wasn't really anybody's business. I don't know if this was the right way to feel. It is just how I felt. I have learned a lot from hearing the stories of others here. Dar, thanks so much for your witness. On a personal note, I hope that all is well with you and your family and that you are enjoying the holidays.
Peace - Mark