My Name Is…

Well I’m finally getting my life together in Houston, and all it took was two years! Everyone thought I was crazy to pick up and leave New York City for Houston, Texas in all of 24 hours, but I’ve landed a fantastic job, I volunteer in the community and I even have a column in the Montrose Gem. I’m proud of me…though it seems like I’m the only one who is.


Recently I was asked by my own Mother to stop using my given name for fear that someone, somewhere would find out that – gasp! – she has a gay son. All it took was a one-line email to plummet me from cloud-nine back down to Earth. That got me wondering; at nearly 30 years old, why would someone, over 1,000 miles away, have such an effect on me? Are we all, underneath all of our superficial charm and wit, just aching for the unbridled acceptance and love of our parents?

Before you turn the page or leave my blog disgust, hear me out. So many of us – in fact a great majority of us – faced harsh criticism or in some cases outright rejection over our sexuality from the very people who were supposed to love and nurture us. So what is my point? What is to be deduced from something that may have occurred decades ago for some of us, or just months ago for others? It all depends on the maturity of our minds but one only needs to read a list of issues suffered by gay men to understand where this rejection often leads us: high rates of smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and eating disorders.

What’s the one thing all of these diseases have in common? They’re all self induced methods of destruction. If you ask any logical person if they would choose to destroy themselves you would receive a resounding “No!” So then, why this overwhelming epidemic of  gay men destroying themselves over the rejection of a few closed-minded fools? Why do we choose to give more value to the words of our family then to the crazies of the Westboro Baptist Church?

It all comes down to two words; supposed to. Our family is supposed to accept us, the Westboro Baptist Church is supposed to hate us. Really? Who made those rules? It’s nice if things fall into our supposed beliefs, but they’re our beliefs, not everyone else’s. My mother isn’t supposed to ask me to hide my given name, that’s my belief but it’s not my reality. So this supposing on our behalf only causes us to create a lot of frustration, anger and disappointment that our supposed suppositions didn’t succinctly coincide.

So what are we to d, rejected by family with a propensity to self destruct? Well one answer would be not to self destruct, we’ve seen where that’s gotten us. The other would be to realize that by having those suppositions, we are doing to others exactly what we’ve asked not to be done to us; assuming we know all about someone. There are a million different nuances that go into the creation of a human being, and just because we share DNA with some of those humans doesn’t mean that they are required to be like us or to even to like us.

There is no difference between the people on the street and my mother or yours. Families and streets are filled with thousands of different ideas and ideals just like our world. If we expect tolerance in society perhaps we need to learn, first, to tolerate the microcosm of the world that is our family.

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2 Comments

  1. I think Mom’s and my concern is that this my effect you when appling for a job. We do accept you for what and who you are, we love you and are concerned. Please do not take offence for the wrong reason. You should know that there is alot of closed minded people out there and in the future thay my effect you.

    Love: Dad

  2. I agree that there are a lot of closed minded people out there, but I also don’t need my family constantly reminding me of that. I’ve dealt with it all my life, I’ve gotten pretty adept at handling it. If someone chooses not to hire me because of my sexual orientation, then what makes you think I would want to work for them? I’d rather surround myself and fill my life with people who love and accept me then pretend just so I can make a few extra bucks. What you or Mom want, is not necessarily what I want.

    I’d rather be poor in dollars and rich in spirit.

    And lastly; the idea that I may not get a job because people assume my sexual orientation is a fallacy on your behalf. I hold 3 jobs, one with an HIV/AIDS Research Team, another with an HIV/AIDS Counseling Clinic and a third with a gay newspaper. None of these jobs could care less about my sexual orientation and low and behold, I’ve happened to get them

    So, I’m sorry, but I don’t believe your assertion that Mom fears I won’t get a job if people know my sexual orientation.


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