Not saying that I am gay. Or that the man that I am with, the one that my eyes follow everywhere, fascinated, enraptured, that my heart lights up to when he dances in a freedom of freedoms, that that man is my man and my lover....
Gosh, how complicated that thing is. To be, and yet not to be. To hold out to myself, and others, those who know me deeply, significantly, and are yet unwilling to completely accept me for who, what I am. Are not ready to accept me for what I am.
A few weeks ago, I told my mom that I might get married. She was happy, beaming. She told me that I had wasted enough time as it was.
Wait a second.....
OK, I clarified. I would like to marry a man.
That took the joy out of her like air out of a bubble.
But, she is my mom. I came happy to share this wonderful news with her. And, she was simply not happy enough to acknowledge my happiness.
I was hurt. Like all kids, I expected my mom to understand. At least she would understand. But, she didnt.
Hurt, I left her. We were too far apart for us to try and bridge the distance. I have not seen her since.... LOL... ok. I will correct that. Because she remains my mum.
But, why should I omit my source, my depth of happiness from her?
Sadly, at least for the short term, it might have been better if I had ommitted telling her that I wanted to marry a man, and not a woman. Here is George Ayala on the politics of omission for the gay human.
I love the meaning behind the meaning in these soaring words. Omission, not coming out has a price that we pay. We may pay it little by little, or at once. But, we pay it. And, it takes courage to pay that price. Here is the quote, albeit in a different contest...
Many gay men and women have a deep and complicated relationship with the concept of omission. The choice to leave out information about our sexual orientation can be a useful strategy when faced with the potential for an awkward, painful, or violent situation. It placates sensitivities, prevents discord, and in some cases it saves our lives. However, it also preserves the status quo.
With such compelling reasons to bite our tongues, many of us choose silence as homophobia takes its toll around us. Lips sealed and hands tied, we watch in quiet pain as abuses are inflicted on our more visible kin. We become unwitting accomplices to those who wish to erase us. Realizing the effects of our own inaction, more and more of us have come to feel that this path of least resistance is not worth the violence and injustice it allows – and we speak up.
You would say that I am being nostalgic, but, here is another, a testimony from a place far away in Asia.
Abuse traumatizes gay community
VietNamNet Bridge - Researchers call for greater public awareness about the consequences of homophobic discrimination.
The gay community is looking for more tolerance from the society.
A 20-year-old homosexual in Hanoi told researchers that discrimination from his classmates and parents had driven him to attempt suicide three times since the age of 14.
"The only thing I could think of doing was to die," he said.
He made his first attempt in the 8th grade, after his classmates mocked him and his parents beat him.
The young man told researchers that he ingested rat poison but recovered from the effects the following morning.
"I did not know anyone like me and was so lonely and hurt because of what my family and classmates did to me," he said.
Next time, he tried sleeping pills, he said, — only to vomit them all up.
In his third and final attempt to take his own life, the young man went to a quiet spot near the Nga Tu So underground tunnel. He took sleeping pills again and hoped to die alone.
But someone discovered him and took him to the police who later transferred him to hospital assuming he was a drug addict who had overdosed.
Cases like his are not rare in Vietnam.
How common are they in a country like Uganda?
I remember a kuchu, a guy of 22 who came to talk with me. Just wanted to talk.... And, he tells me that he used to act gay, but no longer does now. That he attempted suicide once, but would not do it now...
He is deeply religious. A pentecostal Christian that I have to remind again and again that I am a non-believer who does not take well to being preached to or at.....
And, he is still a believer. And kuchu.....
Sigh.... my solutions are not other people's solutions.
And, in case you want to know, my dear mother will be blessed by another son, my husband, whether she likes it or not.
It is her challenge, my privilege. She is my mother. That carries the usual blessings and curses... if you call them that. Yes, I know, she is a Ugandan mother to a kuchu son. But, if I was to believe that that absolved her from acknowledging my love and happiness.... I would be a lesser son.... or at least so I believe.
Soon, I hope, very soon, my mother will be blessed with another son, in her old age.
And, I hope it will be a time of rejoicing, instead of pain......