I knew I was gay when I was five. In my family, it was the worst thing you could be. My dad called it the dark place. At the same time, he liked that I was good at sports, thought it was hilarious that I was constantly mistaken for a boy, and actively encouraged me not to be feminine in any way. He raised me like a boy.

It felt like a fracture in me: this pull toward girls. I told so many lies. It’s a terrible trauma to bury your essential self in lies. In my early twenties, I broke up marriages. Other people’s, and then my own. Nothing meant anything to me because it wasn’t allowed to mean anything to me. I wasn’t allowed to be gay.

Relationships are plenty difficult without pouring shame and self-loathing into them. I was fundamentally unlovable. That’s how I felt. I lied and hated myself. I hated you for loving me. I hated god for making me like this. I hated my self for believing a god could make me like this and want me to hate my self.

And then I met Mary. I was 35, and determined to change my shape. To be out every where, all the time. To be honest. And me.

I thought it would be hard. I guess it was in the sense that my family could not fucking deal with me being honest. But from the perspective of my own trauma, being out is a gift. The truth is so much easier to live than the crushing terror of shame. Hating yourself is all consuming. How can you really love anyone else? How can you reach out to people when you’re so certain that your heart is cancerous?

Being out was unimaginable to me when I was young. One of my favorite things about Pride is how many young people show up. How big community has become. It’s brave to be honest and open in any culture, but it’s especially brave in a culture where people don’t even want you to pee in peace.

What I will tell you from this side of it, is that the sooner you can see your beautiful heart, the more effective you’ll be at using it. There’s so much community out here, waiting to love you. To lift you up and celebrate you. To see you.

You in your one precious life.

Deserve to be loved in all your wildness.

1 thought on “Bows”

  1. Scary and so exhilarating to realize my own precious life. How much time did I waste trying to please others? What a gift to know my mother loved me just the way I am. I don’t have time for the people who don’t accept me.

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