Because I know I’ll be seeing many of you over the next several days I thought I would write a letter explaining a few things.
It’s been 4 years since I came out to my family. A lot has happened in those 4 years that many of you have no clue about. Much of that is my fault, because I spent the last several years ignoring you. I feared rejection from those who had been major players in my life so I saved myself from the pain of it by avoiding you guys. I know it wasn’t really fair, but I was having a hard time accepting myself at the time. Sorry.
I just wanted you to know that I’m doing great! I’ve learned a lot over the last 4 years, and I wanted to share some of it with you. When you see me, don’t be afraid to talk to me and don’t wonder who I am. I am still the same person you knew before. That was the hardest lesson for me to learn. I thought I had to be someone different, because I was gay. I went to a gay club a couple of times, and it was so not me! I hadn’t ever been to any kind of club before, so I’m not sure why I thought a gay club was something I’d enjoy! It wasn’t. The music was too loud, and the patrons were packed in so tight I could barely breathe. No thanks! I haven’t shaved my head or gotten unusual piercings to proclaim my gayness. I do, however, think bald is beautiful and if I looked good with no hair, I’d be all over that look, but I would have done that well before I came out. Oh well. I still haven’t ever done drugs. I wouldn’t have done them before, and I have no plans to start doping up now. Not interested. I did go to a drag show a year or so ago, but considering the male youth leader in my church in high school dressed up in drag to play Vanna White in a skit once, it really wasn’t anything new to me. And I’d watched enough episodes of MASH and Bosom Buddies as a kid to know what men dressed up like women looked like.
Remember that girl who loved climbing the big magnolia tree in her backyard? That’s me. The one who rode her bike all over the neighborhood…me. The girl who cried when she didn’t make the drill team her sophomore year in high school and was thrilled when she made it her junior year…me. The girl who alphabetized the books on her shelf and made library like cards so when friends borrowed a book she knew who had what. Yeah…that’s me. The girl who moved around so much as a kid that she practically knew half her college freshman class because she’d gone to school or church with them at some point…still me.
I still love to camp and fish and dance around my living room. I can still devour a good book and a good cookie! I struggle with my weight and what to wear just like I always did. I have always been indecisive because I don’t want to miss out on something great. I love to cook, but hate to clean it all up. I do it though, because as much as I hate to clean up my mess, I can’t stand to walk into a dirty kitchen even more. Yep, that’s me. I’m picky about my stuff and organize my closet by color. I love my computer, my file cabinet, and my shredder. My kids call me a neat freak, and I just wish that more of it rubbed off on them!
I’ve been married and divorced, had kids, been room mother, baked cookies, patched skinned knees, spoken in front of crowds, and prayed in the quiet of my room. I’ve lived in the good ol’ US of A and a country on the other side of the world. I’ve laughed, cried, spoken in anger and showed compassion. I loved and lost, felt great joy and deep anguish, and still, I’m the same person. I’ve definitely become wiser with all the wear, but deep down…that girl that you knew, the one you were friends with, the one whose faith in God meant everything to her…she’s still here. That’s me.
The only thing that is different is that someday I might fall in love with someone who is the same gender as me. I can assure you that I won’t be able to help it, and I won’t apologize for it. And hopefully, if I’m lucky, she’ll love me back. That me that I’ve described up there, because that’s who I am. I can’t be anyone else.