Lessons Learned From ‘She Called Me Woman’ (Entry 2)

Lessons Learned From ‘She Called Me Woman’ (Entry 2)

[Click here for LESSON 1]

LESSON 2

From the chapter, ‘Love Is Not Wrong’, OF says:

“I don’t have any close friends I am not out to. It is not worth it. I feel like I have to pretend to the world and at home, so why add the people I choose to be around me? All my close friends know.”

 

Whenever I think about this quote, I think about how the saying “No man is an island” takes on a whole new meaning here. The largely understood meaning of that saying is about how nobody can go through life alone, that everybody needs a community. People often use this to suggest that asking for help is not a bad thing. In this context however, yes, nobody can or should go through life alone. And if you are an LGBT person, there is nothing lonelier than being a part of a community of friends and family to whom you are not out to. To surround yourself with people who you have to keep up a false front with. There is nothing lonelier than not having at least one or two persons before whom you can be yourself.

Family is who we are born into. Family is a circumstance we cannot help. They come as prepaid part and parcel of our lives. So when LGBT people have to lead double lives when it comes to family out of a fear of losing them, it is quite understandable to me.

But friends are who you choose. Friendship is a circumstance you orchestrate. And so it is very baffling to me when LGBT people tolerate toxic friendships or friendships with heterosexual people where they have to hide, and make it like something they cannot help. You hear things like: “He is my best friend but I don’t know how to tell him I’m gay”, or “My close friend is homophobic, and so I can’t come out to him.”

First of all, it says a lot about how “close” that friendship is if you feel too silenced by it to be yourself in it. It says a lot about the validity of the friendship if you feel that coming out to your homophobic friend will not make a difference. If you were so good a human being as to draw a homophobic someone that close to your life, what does it say about him that you believe that if you came out to him, he would look at you (his best friend) and his reaction to you would be one of hate and rejection? What does that say about you that you believe that and have decided to hide who you are because of that?

If we cannot help the kind of family we have when it comes to tolerance and acceptance, we should at least help the kind of company we keep. Surrounding oneself with people who know your truth and have nothing but love and understanding for that truth goes a long way in helping to take away the loneliness from life.

Written by Pink Panther

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2 Comments

  1. Mandy
    July 20, 16:34 Reply

    “Surrounding oneself with people who know your truth and have nothing but love and understanding for that truth goes a long way in helping to take away the loneliness from life.”

    Word!!! 👍👍👍 This is why those who have more straight friends that they are not out to and those who distance themselves from gay people are more prone to be internally homophobic.

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