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LGBT rights -Zoe

April 15, 2011

I’m bisexual.

….Ah, you’ve got to love a good opening.
Anyways, that wasn’t actually a big dramatic moment. I’ve known since I was…10ish? 11ish? Decided not to come out to my family till a bit later. That happened around a year ago. It…really didn’t matter. I told my friends, who didn’t really care all that much. In the end, I’m pretty open about it. I’ve yet to make myself a cleverly slogan-ed t-shirt and wear it (although that may be coming), but when it’s relevant to a conversation I mention it. I’ve never, ever lied about it.

I know that out of all possible situations, I’m in a pretty lucky one. At some point in my young(er) years, I asked my mom why people seemed so proud to not be racist, and yet were happy to discriminate against gay people. Yeah, I was a pretty cool kid like that. Anyways, her response was basically “that people are stupid.” Not exactly in those words, but…yeah. And then LGBT issues just became the thing I followed in the news, and talked about with my friends, and what not. When I was old enough for it occur to me that A) I had a sexuality and B) it wasn’t particularly straight, I didn’t really angst. At all. It was more of an “oh, that’s cool” and then “if I say something now and it changes later, it’ll be annoying, so I’ll wait a few years” and then a “huh. I wonder what’s for dinner.”

It was easy. And all my life, I’ve had it easy. And it’s an issue that I was all prepared to stand up and yell about, except that it was so freaking easy.

Not that I was complaining. I mean, hey! Canada’s a pretty liberal place! People are pretty cool with life! What am going to do, tell people to be more prejudiced so I can fight to make them….less…prejudiced….yeah…

No. That’s stupid. Why. Would. I do that. Just no.

So  this year I organized Day of Silence for my leadership project, because hey, why not? And for the most part it was lovely. Teachers were supportive, people signed up, and it’s all just been great.

Except for the little things.
The person who told me they can’t participate because their parents would freak. The person who was interested until I explained what LGBT meant, and then rolled their eyes and walked away.  Someone telling one of the participants that if they didn’t say anything, it would be assumed that they were gay and then they couldn’t look at them anymore because ‘faggots made them sick’. One of my friends, who asked me for advice on what to say to one of their friends, because they thought they might be gay and couldn’t figure out how to make that jive with being Catholic.

(Man. The hardest thing I had to do today was peel duct tape off my mouth to eat lunch. Hurts like a @(*&^$%#$%%.)

I have it easy, because if someone has a problem with me I’m willing to let it be their problem, not mine. I’ve never been put down for who I am, I’ve never been challenged, and the few times the smallest things came up they rolled off my back.

But it’s becoming more apparent to me that even in yay-for-everyone-we-never-discriminate Canada, not everyone has that. Maybe it’s not the biggest issue compared to things like global warming or national homelessness, but you know what? Even if homophobia’s only there in little moments, from a few people, it’s still more then capable of making a different few people absolutely miserable, and I don’t understand why it ‘s even there, and the fact that it exists just pisses. me.  off.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2011 9:06 pm

    This is such a fantastic and brave post, Zoe, mostly for the fact that you don’t make any reference to it being anything fantastic or brave.

    “LGBT issues just became the thing I followed in the news, and talked about with my friends, and what not. When I was old enough for it occur to me that A) I had a sexuality and B) it wasn’t particularly straight, I didn’t really angst. At all. It was more of an “oh, that’s cool” and then “if I say something now and it changes later, it’ll be annoying, so I’ll wait a few years” and then a “huh. I wonder what’s for dinner.””

    I love it. Basically: “I am me. What else could I be? Why would I be bothered about that?”

    Which is happily, gratefully, maybe not the biggest thing on your days’ horizons, but as you allude to, “it’s still more [than] capable of making a different few people absolutely miserable.” I think reading posts like yours could go a long way toward making them, if not less miserable, then less alone.

    Kudos for putting yourself out there in such a powerful way. Great post!

    Mr. J

  2. Ms. Ruhr permalink
    April 28, 2011 3:07 am

    “I have it easy, because if someone has a problem with me I’m willing to let it be their problem, not mine.”

    Zoe, I don’t know if you realize what a tremendous skill/attitude/way of being this is. There are many, many adults (myself included) who STILL have difficulty letting other people’s problems be THEIR problems…without having them affect me on a personal level.

    I can’t speak to the LGBT thing in the same way you can, but I have several friends and a family member who have come out of the closet in the last 10-15 years, and I know that most did not have an easy time with it. They could have used people like you and your friends when they did.

    Amazingly honest and touching post: thank you for sharing.

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