called by love
I have been living as a Queer person for close to 10 years now. While I was in college there was little doubt that I was of an alternative lifestyle, based on my dress and activities etc. I was in Northern California where life is slow, I had a small group of queer friends and I was fortunate enough to have a supportive family. I had a soft queer beginning. I’m a fortunate one. There are so so many Queers out there that have had, are having an extremely HARD queer beginning, middle and sadly end. Up to this point in my life I have felt that being Queer is part of who I am, not all of who I am so I wasn’t eager to fight. I relied so much on my Queer physical appearance that just walking down the street was making a statement, taking a stand. I would get the recognition from other Queers, the ubiquitous head nod indicating “family”. And since it was so clear when I walked into a room that I was Queer becoming an advocate wasn’t high on my priority list. I felt that just living a Queer life was enough. When I moved to NYC I met Mylo and my queer eyes were widened once again. I have friends of Trans nature so I wasn’t new to that, but to love someone who is Trans, well that’s a whole new ball game. When Mylo started passing as male a different kind of transition took place. We were seen as a straight couple, still are. I find that as I get older, my appearance has become more middle of the road; my hair is long, and I started wearing skirts and more feminine tops, I took out my piercings and I rarely bare my midsection, so I have no visible tattoos. All things that helped the outsiders to identify me as queer without having to talk to anyone (I’m sort of shy, slow to trust), it was a cowardly approach. It’s almost as if our Queer identity, which has been consuming for many years, was just gone. Other queers looked right through us, no more nod. It has been this experience that has lead me to become more of an advocate for Queer rights. See, I am a successful Queer. I have goals and I live a positive life. I am in a happy, healthy, and thriving relationship and I even hope to start a family in the near future. I may be shy but I think the world needs to see more Queers like Mylo and I. Living simply, simply living and still thriving.
I have met so many incredibly inspiring Queers since I have lived in NYC. People working to make a brighter, less violent, life for another generation of queerness. I have been sitting at the table with my hands folded for too long. I believe the time has come to DO SOMETHING. I have grown into an adult Queer and I am proud of that, I may have had an easier path then those who are shunned from their homes and families, but I still look over my shoulder with a fear that someone who knows me not, hates me so and will act with that hate in their heart to hurt me or the ones I love. It’s a constant fear that may be quite but is omnipresent. Can we be free in America if we live with fear?
The American Dream; Be whoever, whatever you want. Do whatever you can dream up. Go wherever your heart leads you. Freedom. (unless you’re gay. please see fine print). The ‘fine print’ is always where they get you. It as if “they” are saying be free, but you shouldn’t love this person for this reason and you can’t marry them for this reason. This is where people filled with hate are finding their justification.
I can not speak for all the Queers in this world, but I can say with confidence that we aren’t queer to promote some political/social agenda, I am not pontificating as a form weaponry. I am simply choosing to stand up and help a world of Queer folk live free from fear; of hate, violence, rejection, persecution, humiliation, death.
If you are reading this and have never thought about queer living or if you know someone who is struggling I am keeping this dialogue open. I am no longer a silent Queer, we have come a long way, but there is still far to go.
“from the pain of rejection heroes are born!” j. cepek