Choosing To Be Gay

A closeted man told me that “coming out” isn’t a thing, and followed up by saying you “choose to be gay.”

I’m going to repeat that, in case you thought you heard wrong…..

A closeted man. Told me: “coming out” isn’t a thing. And then said people “choose to be gay.”

Where does this come from and why did I just hear it roll off someone’s tongue in 2015?

Conservative media? Religious outcry? All of the above.

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There’s something still wrong with what learning centers (child’s home, churches, schools, etc) are spouting to open minds. The underlying theme is to hide, pretend it’s not a thing, that these people don’t matter, that they will go away if we don’t give them attention.

And to all these people, I ask if they have a child, or own a dog. Have you ever kept your dog in the house too long, or shut the door to your child’s room too long? What happens? Do they just sit there and wait? Or do they scream louder every second you choose to ignore them?

That’s what happens with ANY group that is neglected in society for long amounts of time. The longer we pretend “they chose to be gay” or “they chose to be different,” the longer we have to deal with the repercussions of this — as a whole population.

I know it’s gotten better. I know people have paved the walkway I can now stroll and powerful voices have cracked the stained glass windows of religious communities that only know how to spout a verse from the Old Testament.

I know it’s gotten better because when I decided to muster up the small ounce of courage I had to come clean about who my authentic self is, it was widely received by friends and family, and no one really gave a shit. Like it should be.

I know it’s gotten better because, on June 26th 2015,  I cried like a bitch upon hearing the news that maybe someday I could get married to someone I really loved and my country would finally recognize it as legal.

I think I mainly just feel bad for said closeted man. Because I know him, not really personally, but I know the Future Him. I know Him as the sad man who has a beard-of-a-wife (who probably has some type of addiction that plays to his favor because she will never bat an eye at his “late night work things”), he has two beautiful kids that think their Dad is the coolest guy there ever was, and he has the job and the house. And they go to the park, and play catch, and bake cookies. But I learned that every family has their secrets, especially ones that sound too good to be true (thanks, Desperate Housewives). I know that Future Him will maybe hit up a gay bar, befriend someone who’s just in it for the sex, and that’s the end of it. I know that Future Him will be a sinner on his knees Saturday night and a saint on his knees Sunday morning.

Because this is the life Past Him was taught. Somewhere it went wrong, because these things aren’t just thoughts. These ideas are spread, mass-produced, falsities, like flavored soda, but worse for the soul.

This poor guy had the balls (ish) to tell a gay man that he believes I chose to be this way, and he said it with that good Christian boy smirk that makes me want to rip his dick off and feed it to a pack of wolves. But behind all of this negative bull shit, I saw a blank face and sad eyes, almost like he knew what he was saying was wrong, unintelligent and regrettable. It was sad because he had already given up on it — he just wanted the marriage, the kids, the house with the picket fence, and the secret file on his laptop called “Tax Refunds 2018” with all his wildest fantasies.

I didn’t know what to do with him. I lost my cool and told him how wrong he was, but if I had the chance to do it over, I would tell him that he could have the marriage, the kids, the house with the picket fence and he wouldn’t even need the secret file on his private computer.

There’s this misconception about the institution of family…because family is really wherever you feel most at home. And I desperately should have told this dude that he would NEVER feel at home if he was planning on carrying all these boxes of secrets into that house with him and his “family.”  

I was mainly just flabbergasted that someone my age still thought like that and had it in them to tell someone. I’m still not sure if it was to get my exact reaction or if he’s actually seriously convinced you choose to be gay.

I guess I should’ve been better about all of this, after all, you only know what you know, and all he knows is Leviticus 18:22 and his grandfather’s obsession with all things fishing and Fox News. All I know is my mother’s talk about how we can never expect anyone to love and accept us fully if we don’t fully love and accept ourselves.

And that’s the only choice I made. To be me, to let the world hear my voice, and to try and make this place a little easier to navigate.

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