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Be yourself. Never be afraid

Updated on October 21, 2013
Always be true to yourself
Always be true to yourself

Social labelling

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?


Oppression

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.

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    • alifeofdesign profile image

      Graham Gifford 5 years ago from New Hamphire

      CherriQuinn, I think your positive message here is commendable. It is difficult to remain positive and to encourage others to remain positive when faced with adversity. I'm a 46 year old heterosexual, so I can not speak to your personal trials with any knowledge or insight, however, what I can share is my belief that we are, each of us, multi-faceted and can not be fairly or accurately described or judged by a singular aspect of our personalities. It is, indeed, an enormous shame that so many people continue to label and attempt to catalog people in what I think is their pursuit to make the world definable and perhaps simpler. However, this world is not and will never be a simple place. It is a wondrous, complicated sphere that we should embrace.

      Best to you.

    • cherriquinn profile image
      Author

      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      Hi alifeofdesign. Your kind comments renew my faith in human nature! I am aware that many people share your views, however, I'm also aware of the many who are unable for whatever reason to simply acknowledge that every person is a unique individual just trying to get on in life as best they can. Dealing with daily pressures can be enough without the added pressures of prejudice and often contempt. Thankyou again.

    • embee77 profile image

      embee77 5 years ago

      Super article. I applaud your simple and basic belief that everyone is different and should be recognized and appreciated for who they are. I know a lot about learning and attention disorders and can say without a doubt that individuals who have them are discriminated against, whether it's outright bullying or more subtle, via attitudes and acceptance. Why can't we all just get along? Hard to do, yet a worthwhile goal. Thanks for generating this discussion.

    • cherriquinn profile image
      Author

      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      Thanyou for your comments embee77. It is definitely a worth while goal but unfortunately one which will not be reached in my lifetime! I also support vulnerable young people and adults and see this as an issue for them also.Thankyou for sharing.

    • profile image

      2loveu2 5 years ago

      I have an issue. I was single for six years concentrating on school, raising my two kids and establishing a career. It was in 2006 when I met someone-soon after become my bestfriend- it may sound crazy to most people but I feel it was love at first sight. I’m not gay or ever been with a woman but for someone reason I fell in love that day and have been ever since. She’s not gay and has a spiritual beliefs it’s a sin. When I met her she had a boyfriend at the time. From day one-I thought of her as my Angel. I revealed my feelings maybe two months after meeting her (which thinking back now was a mistake because at that point I become open to rejection). For the last 6 years I haven’t missed a day showing or displaying my love for her. At first-I thought I had a chance for her to like me because over the years I was able to get close a couple of times. Also, things were said over the years that I felt lead me on to believe I had an opportunity. But things or I was always put on the back burner. During this time she begin dating a guy-although I felt I was over looked-my love didn’t waiver-I still stood on the side lines watching and waiting. I’m not jealous or get upset because she dates a guy. It just hurt because my heart loves her the most but yet I’m the least. It’s never been about getting her in the bed-for me it’s always been deeper than that. I just always felt even though not gay that I still could have gotten to point to be special- where I meant something- Where I had value.

      In my mind, heart and actions I had her in every step and decisions I made. I put her and my kids first in everything I did-doing what you suppose to do when you truly love someone and you love them unconditionally. Being there for them, providing for them, making sure they're okay, etc...I always said it was a “we” and “us”because that’s how I saw us.

      One minute it feels as if we’re getting closer next it feels like a drift especially, within these last 3 to 4 months. I will admit I haven’t been able to control my emotions over the years and me not ever dealing with a woman like this is no excuse. But I just feel she should have told me a long time ago she didn’t want to be bothered. Thinking back-mostly all my actions have been “gayish” as she would say. I just wished I could wake-up that day and take the text back revealing my feelings.

      What advice would you give?

      What steps would you take?

    • cherriquinn profile image
      Author

      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      Hi 2loveu2,

      First of all thankyou for taking the time to read this article and for feeling able to share your experience. You know, being human and opening up to others is not a walk in the park, it can be a painful process at times as this also opens us up to feelings of rejection if it is not reciprocated. For me personally it is not about being 'gay' or 'straight'.This is completely irrelevant. The fact is you obviously have deep feelings for another person whom by your very own admission has become 'your world' and you feel and know that these feelings are not being returned in a way that you desperately crave.I am not an expert on the subject of relationships so what I share comes from within me, my own beliefs,experiences and convictions.

      Unfortunately, as I pointed out in my article alot of people are hung up on social labelling and social pressures to conform when it comes to relationships. For me this only serves to stifle our natural feelings towards others and our potential to engage in deep and meaningful relationships.

      I think we have all been where you are to some degree, although maybe not as long as 6yrs but sporadic times in our lives when we've yearned to be close to someone and not felt that this has been as important or the same for them. The way I see your situation is that unfortunately this person is also as you describe your 'best friend' which will make it even more difficult to look at the situation objectively and find your own reconciliation with it. If this were me then I think I'd have to firstly acknowledge that I'm never going to receive the same level of affection no-matter what I do,think,crave or feel. Even this acknowledgement will be a scary and painful step but I think a necessary one. Six years is a very long time to almost put your life on hold in the hope that something will come out of this, and in the meantime your despair will only deepen. You owe it to yourself to move on. I can't advise how, that is something for you to work out but I do understand it will be painful because you will be letting go of every hope,dream and desire to fully be with this person.

      I sincerely hope that you make the decision to move on from this in whatever way you feel is right for you. Believe me, only then will you set yourself free.

    • profile image

      2loveu2 5 years ago

      I appreciate your advice and I know it’s time to move on. The letting go is the hard part because bestfriends and business partners. Although, I have an emotional trait within me I have to maintain strength because it the past my emotions and a display of them have been out of control. I should have let go a long time ago.

      I have been doing things basically since day one-paying bills, giving money, etc…Just being there because of trait of always providing-making sure things get done and completed. You wouldn’t think she would get mad or think because she haven’t given me an opportunity if I suddenly stop when know she needs it? How do I not think of her best interest when all these years-anything I do for me-I do for her example: starting and IRA or creating a financial plan, etc? I’m just so confused because if love someone unconditional regardless -this would mean I’m putting conditions on my love?

    • cherriquinn profile image
      Author

      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      Im very sorry for your situation and I would advise that you perhaps seek some professional support.

    • calpol25 profile image

      Callum 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Hi Cherriquinn you have hit the nail right on the head with this hub, :)

      I write a lot about LGBT I am an openly gay man and have done a lot of work with activism and writing as well as many other things to promote equality and education away from homophobia.

      I think people have to label us because they cant cope not having an answer to something they dont understand.

      I guess its society's way of defiance to acceptance of all and need to feel superior in some way by refusing to see us as individuals.

      You keep fighting cherriquinn I love this hub x

      Look forward to reading more x

    • cherriquinn profile image
      Author

      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      calpol25 Thankyou for your comments! I think you're right about the labelling and I'm pleased you're living your own lfe and are not bound by the constraints of society Thanks again.

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      A deeply felt and well-written Hub, cherriquin.

      Things have gotten a lot better over the last few decades for us, but we still have a long way to go. I really, really look forward to the day when every human being just - is. No labels, no discrimination, no nothing!!

      Ian.

    • cherriquinn profile image
      Author

      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      alian346. Thankyou again for reading. Yes it would be nice if we ever witnessed that day, but you're right things have got better (slightly!)Thanks.

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