Be yourself. Never be afraid
In terms of social labelling I am a 'gay' woman or a 'lesbian'. In terms of how I view myself I am just me. To my friends and family I am Linda. So why does society refuse to embrace the latter two and feel it has a right to put me and many others into pigeon holes? By putting individuals into exclusive catagories of "sexual behaviour" society takes no account of the social context in which individuals can develop long and lasting relationships. I find this ignorance scary and even somewhat offensive. To my deep dsapointment most of the literature I have read on being gay is fairly damming and regard this as a problem in need of a 'cure'. How dare people look upon my fundermental makeup as an 'illness'!
'It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories, only the human mind invents categories and tries to force facts into separated pigeon holes' (Kinsey)
It is a fact that as a direct result of society's failure to accept another's life choices, a person's identity can be compromised within the hostility of their environment. I am a Christian first and foremost and the values I hold are simple,respect, compassion, empathy and acceptance.My beliefs have never been in conflict with my sexuality since I know my God to be loving and accepting of the person I am. I have never felt the need to question the foundation of my faith. It was Jesus Himself who told us that God gave us His only son so that whoever believed would have everlasting life. He did not add "except for homosexuals" There are however, many in my position who unfortunately and sadly develop a self image characterized by terms such as 'sinner', 'dishonourable', 'abomination'. As far as I am concerned I do not impose my lifestyle on others, nor do I judge anybody else for their life choices, after all, who am I to judge? who is anyone to judge?
Our society makes hetrosexuality and homosexuality its chief distiniction viewing those who are gay as a 'type' rather than an individual. I remember "coming out" so to speak and despite the fact that I come from a very open, caring, loving family I was still afraid of this not being accepted and feared the reactions of those closest to me. Why should I have been made to feel this way simply because of social pressures. It is not surprizing then that gay people have so long been demanding their rights.Discrimination and persecution are real issues for many gay individuals today .I have been very lucky, although the fact that I even have to acknowledge this tells me something is seriously wrong with societies attitudes. However, my family and friends are, and always have been in total acceptance. They see this as just a tiny part of who I am and embrace the full person.
Always be true to yourself
"so here we are. Who am I? what am I?....I am what I am, and fully embrace that. I am human- much to the amazement of some people" From Being Different: The autobiography if Jane Fry.
I have never felt the need to question the foundations of my faith. Being open about my own sexuality has meant that I have been able to reject society's definition and perception of who I am. This makes me proud and realize the full success in resisting the pressures of society. I am now 44 years old and it has taken me the majority of these years to finally be true to myself. I feel for those who have not even begun to reach the starting point of that enlightening path to self to self actualization.
We all have contributions to make
Today, although getting better society is still fraught with uncertainties and fear around the subject of homosexuality and this further complicates the process for many to truly be proud of the person they are. My wish is that we will eventually live in a society where self acceptance rather than submission are no longer an issue, and where all people are seen as individuals with their own contributions to give.