Friday, BoiseBlue posted, "If I could take a pill to be straight..."" and it has to do with the issue of Coming Out over and over again. It is an excellent diary. Earlier this week I posted a diary about the music I used to express how different I felt before I could actually Come Out. However, I want to talk about why, if there was a pill, I would not take it.
Why? Because being gay made me think outside of the box of my life. I was twelve when I realized I was different. I knew the root of that difference, but could not articulate it then. However, without that crisis, without that pain, without all the questions I would not have broken out of the thought processes I was locked in at the time. In other words, I would have been a Reagan-loving Assmunch.
Back in 1984, I was buying the city on the hill crap that Reagan was selling. I listened to the older kids who parroted their parents thoughts on the evils of liberals. I was a very good Catholic boy. Life was already planned out in my head...but a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. Something in my head started making me question...things. And one question led to many. It was like a dam breaking. My dad was a union guy, we got into it many times since unions were supposed to be what was holding back the economy. I toned that down by the time I was in high school. Once I took a US history class, I was open enough to listen to what history had to say about WHY unions formed. But I had to be open to listening.
As a good church going kid, I followed church doctrine until my very being was at odds with what was being said. I started reading more about Church history. I continued to attend church until college, but I was no longer devout. I still enjoy sitting in a church and soaking in the peace and tranquility I felt when I was younger, but I don't listen to the Church at all. I was forced to think about things I might never have thought about otherwise.
Concerning so many things, the slow realization I was gay and being forced to articulate it, I always related it to metal being forged - strengthened, helped make me a better person. Make no mistake there is a terrible amount of pain in Coming Out both internally and externally. Admitting it is hard. Trying to change, wondering why it is happening to you...all of that is traumatic. And yet, I would not change that now. Being gay woke me up to differences of opinion. It helped make me an empathic person.
Over time, the changes I underwent allowed me to process information and actually learn when I was in college. I think it allows me to listen to people first before saying, "yeah, but..."
I very much like who I am. I can look back and see where that train was heading if I wasn't gay and forced to do lots of thinking and soul-searching. So here I am a mostly well adjusted intelligent gay man who is happy. On the other hand I could have been a Reagan-loving assmunch who would probably very angry right now. I very much like the track I am on now.