How do you tell someone you are gay? How many different people are there on this planet right now?
There are so many reasons for needing to say it that the “how” isn’t set in stone. Most recently I was thrilled to discover I didn’t have that emotional speedbump that I used to run into when it came to sharing that fact about myself. I was on a business trip back to the home office. I was talking to someone and mentioned my wife. I am pretty sure I was bragging about her, which is one of my favorite past times, while the group of us were talking about our spouses. One nice lady blinked for a second and asked if I’d said Wife. I remember nodding and saying, “Yes, my wife.” then going on with the conversation without pausing. It didn’t occur to me until later that while I live on the west coast in a very progressive city I was back in the upper midwest where homosexuals are still more of a novelty than part of the norm.
10 years ago I wouldn’t have been bragging. And if I was talking about her I might have changed a pronoun in that situation because it was unclear if I would be fired just for being gay or not. That kind of worry had me very protective of my personal life at work for a very long time. I am sure it made me seem standoffish to a lot of the people I worked with. They probably thought I was stuck up when really I just wanted to make sure I didn’t get canned because of who I loved.
We’ve come a long way. I don’t fear for my job with my employers knowing that I’m married now, thankfully. But there is occasionally that fear in the back of my head in a public encounter of is this going to turn in to a gay bashing or hate crime. I love where I live. I’m only a little bit more on edge walking hand in hand with my wife than I was when I walked hand in hand with my husband. It’s gotten better.
To get a tiny bit political Yes when Trump got elected I felt less safe. You see I am out. Publically. If the world becomes less safe for gay people I can’t just close the closet door again. I don’t think there is any place left in my life where at least one person doesn’t know I’m gay.
Yes I am one of Those gays. I want the same rights as everyone else. I want to be able to marry the person I love and who loves me. I want to build a life with them without worrying that someone is going come and take me away and put us in the hospital. Don’t tell me it can’t happen. It has happened, used to happen all the time. I’ve experienced that threat personally. Don’t tell me it could never be criminalized. Look at Russia. There are over 60 countries where it is currently illegal in some way shape or form and in 13 countries you can be put to death just for loving someone who is the same biological sex as your own. That knowledge is part of my everyday existence. I make decisions with that as always part of the equation.
And Yes I even thought about whether or not I would share that on this blog. It’s a risk with the troll climate the way it is. But then I’m a woman so I’ll receive hate mail just for existing and having a voice anyway so what have I got to loose.