There is about a million arguments to be made in defense of gay rights and why being gay is not a choice, arguments that most likely won’t make much sense in the minds of the terminally ignorant yet here is me attempting to make mine. Given that a large number of people somehow still believe that it is, it compels me to make this attempt. Maybe there are some minds that can be changed. One can only hope. One should always hope.
Growing up in the post soviet space I had no notion or whatsoever that there was a world in which it was conceivable for a man to be in romantic relationship with another man and a woman to be in a romantic relationship with another woman. Growing up I was sold on the hetero-normative concept where a man and woman, two polar opposites coming together, because you know, opposites attract, to form a couple and/or a family. For the most of it I didn’t question it, saw no reason for it, plus dodging bullies was taking a big chunk of my time and there simply wasn’t enough left to know that there is such thing as sexuality, let alone explore it.
Knowing what I know now some things from the past make a lot more sense looking at them in retrospect. Something worth mentioning before I proceed is, thank you for being here for me otherwise I would not have had the courage to be writing this down making it available to virtually anyone anywhere across the globe. For me personally, it now makes sense why I sang in a high pitched voice to Britney Spears songs, why I felt confident trying on my mom’s high heel shoes, why having female friends made more sense as they were significantly more behaved and respectful than boys could ever be and saw me as an equal as opposed to a mistake that needed to be excised from our society. A little bit overly dramatic? Sure, but then you kinda had to be there and walk in my shoes to see just how close to the real thing it actually was.
I was simply trying to be myself, I wasn’t trying to piss anyone off, not some dude’s definition of masculinity, not some religious fanatic’s definition of sin, not some ignorant mind’s definition of human. I am in a safe space now but that wasn’t always the case, for the most of my life my daily goal was to survive and come home and stay there for the remainder of the day, at home I was somewhat safer. Except for the times when both my parents were home then there would be screaming and fighting, that would lead to my dad drinking and then even more fighting. The daily life was filled with toxicity and negativity, often times I look back and I am truly amazed at myself that somehow I was able to survive all that and retain my childhood innocence, my beautiful naiveté, my inherent desire to see the good in people and in the world, my belief that good prevails over evil and wants to hope that at the end of the day people will see the light and start loving each other and be more accepting of each other.
Had things been different I wouldn’t have had to counter my post traumatic stress disorder at the age of thirty-two. It stems from my childhood to my teen years to early adulthood and the only way to end was to leave and start over and it has yet to be determined how, in a later article, but I was able to do just that. I had help but I also worked hard for it. There was incredible trauma I could not hide from, there simply was no space away from it, at home there were narrow-minded parents and violence prone brother while at school I was dodging bullies from being called a faggot and being laughed at every single goddamn time when being asked to present in front of the whole class, which also speaks to spectacular failure on behalf of teachers to prevent such awful displays of bullying by the way.
The hetero-normative concept, a man, a woman and their little ones sounds perfectly fine with me, in fact I remember saying when I was a kid that I would get married by age twenty and have kids soon after because I didn’t want to be too old to play with my kids as my dad seemed at that time, my dad was forty when they had me, by age ten he was fifty, living in a poor country ages you fast, my dad, my parents had no time for joy but plenty for the everyday struggle. I would’ve been happy with a wife and children, if you wanna believe this I want a family more than you know, I am a cancer, I am a family person, I take care of people, for a living too, I need people around me even though I love my solitude at times. I fixed a lot of the damage inflicted on me over the years, had I been straight I would have had less, I would have had a house by now, I would have had a family, I would have had everything I ever wanted. Instead I am only now making a significant leap in my self acceptance. Whether someone chooses to like me or not I will no longer give a damn, and that’s because I now know who I am and what I bring to the table.
I could have lived without being gay, if a fairy godmother, and yes, I see the irony, could grant me a wish, I wouldn’t wish for my blog viewership to take off so that it could be a success, I wouldn’t wish for my channel to become successful or for my radio station to have record listeners, I’d wish to be a gay ally than to actually be gay, I’d wish to have that part erased from my past, present and future. There are times when it hurts advocating for people that on any given day want me dead, in their eyes my life has no worth and that’s the part that will always hurt but somehow will find a way to live with. I’m much more together than I used to be, I have big ambitions, I am throwing myself into my projects and pleading for help with whoever I can, that knows me and trusts my intentions. But this should not be the happiest that I could be, there is more, I am gay, I had not damn choice over it, so with that being said I’m gonna make the best out of it, surround myself with enough supportive people whose voices will be louder than all the hate combined.
I hope this doesn’t hurt anyone, this is my story, this is not some self loathing crap, there is a lot of hurt, I had people reject me because of it, some didn’t want to be friends with me because of it, I had parents prevent their kids from being friends with me because people would think that their kids are gay too by simply being associated with me even though at that time I had no idea of who I was yet but now in retrospect it made all the sense in the world because I’ve seen it happen to others since which if you can, imagine what that does to an empath. There is a lot of pain to be processed, not only am I taking on the pain of others trying to lessen it for them but I have to process all of my very own. I am only five foot seven but I always carry luggage bags half my size filled with stuff I don’t necessarily need, that was a metaphor for me taking on more than I can carry because I’ve always thought I have a lot of catching up to do and this is like finishing college with the same class you started with even though you took a two year gap.
The moral of this whole convoluted story is that people don’t choose to be gay. Every instance of senseless cruelty hurts me more than you know, seeing it directed at the gay community, among many other groups would make anyone think that choosing to be gay would be absolutely insane, that would be the last thing that it would cross anyone’s mind. But it doesn’t work that way, this is how I am wired, this my brain, my heart, my body, my experiences, my upbringing and everything that makes me me and my very own version of gay, one gay that is not gay like the other, and while I identify as gay, that’s only one small part of everything that I am. If this prevents others from getting to know me that it is most likely their loss than not mine and I hate that it took me this long to finally realize this.
I am just learning to fight for myself, and I was able to learn that because I left but there are plenty of young kids like me who are still very much there and they could use someone to speak on their behalf. A big part of my motivation comes from the thought that this is bigger than me, however shaky I have a voice and I’m gonna use whenever my mental health allows us but hey, that’s improving as a result of constant work I am doing on myself so expect me to come out (giggity) out my shell more often and showcase some of the things I am capable of, some of them being making a video, writing an article, doing a radio broadcast. I hope this piece ended on a more positive note than it started, I can’t afford a spiral just when I made this much progress and to continue it I wanna know what thoughts have crossed your mind while this reading this.