Friday, September 24, 2010

Overheard: Just be yourself

I feel like today was a progressive day in how I view my sexuality.

Lina and I had one of our days when we just couldn't stop being in love with each other. We talked about our future and our life together. It was a great morning.

Then I had to leave to go into work at 3, and about half an hour before I left, I had an upsetting email from my mom. She emailed me a link with an article, and the article is titled:

Redeemed! 10 Ways to Get Out of the Gay

Life, If You Want Out

(Just like that. I decided to leave it in the annoying font so you could see how annoying it is.)

I called for Lina to come into the room, and I spun the computer around to face her. I was shocked. I would have expected my mom to send me this when I told her about mine and Lina's relationship back in April, and I was surprised when she didn't. But not now. Now, instead of feeling what I'm sure would have likely been exasperation, I'm feeling hurt and offended. The one catch point I have with my family, is that I want them to understand this is a real relationship. That I work just as hard at this relationship as any other. That I love her just as much (although, I always say more). That we're just as legitimate. But, no. It's always seen as something to change out of, something to strive against, something unwanted. Well, I want it, damn it.

So, this sent me to work in a bad, hurt mood. But on the drive there, I realized something important, and very obvious--I'm not my mother. She may want me to change, and it may hurt me that she wants me to, but well, I'm my own person.

At work, two of my favorite regulars were in, along with another bartender that I would be working with for the evening. She was talking to the two guys, and she pulled out the paper and began to read all their horoscopes. I walked over, and one of the guys goes, "Oh, read hers, read hers!" I've never been big into horoscopes because my upbringing effectively stamped out any interest when I was eight, but she scanned down the line for Leo and read, "Stop acting how others want you to act, and just be yourself."

This kind of blew my mind. I made a deal with myself that if one of the guys made any mention of any kind, I would tell them about my relationship with Lina. About five minutes later, one of the guys looks at me and says (already knowing that I don't have a boyfriend--he spends a lot of time at the bar just hanging out and being awesome and friendly), "So, you really don't have a boyfriend?" (how come this baffles everyone?). "Well, not a boyfriend," I replied. "Ohhh, really??" he said.

And this launched me and the two of them into a long discussion on sexuality, upbringing, family, and the church. One is Catholic and the other said he was Protestant, and when I said that I was raised Pentecostal, both their eyes got wide and they gasped. "So, that must be really difficult for you, huh?" said one. I told him that he had no idea, and then I told them about the email I received from my mom just an hour prior. They both looked shocked, and the guy who had asked me about a boyfriend looked me square in the eyes and said, "You are not a sinner." They both then launched into a full out conversation about how love and happiness are most important. They asked me if I loved my girlfriend, and if I was happy. I said yes to both, and one guy held up his fist, and said, "Pound it."

By this time, we'd spent about fifteen minutes talking, and while the bar was slow, I'd been neglecting some other guests. So, I walked around, and began talking to a guy a few stools over. He's a bartender at a store down the road, and he told me, "I couldn't help but overhear. I don't want to be prying or anything, but that was really brave of you to tell that to two tip-paying men." I said, "No, I know exactly what you mean. I wouldn't have done that if they weren't regulars." I told him about how I get asked all the time if I have a boyfriend, and how wonderful it is to say, "No, I don't," and enjoy the perplexed looks on their faces. He laughed and said he understood, and commented about how great it was that I didn't have to lie.

I might be a feminist, but if being a girl gets me more tip money, hey, I'm all for that.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously, it's completely messed up for your mother to send you something like that, but what's really bad about that stupid article, is that, because it's written by a lesbian, it makes you think about it more than if a stuffy Church of God preacher had written it. I don't want to make Jesus fit what I want him to be, but I know the Gospel is a story of love. And I have to believe that love, true honest love, can never be wrong. Love is a blessing.