Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stand up

I want to be like Del Martin... I want to be so proud of who I am that I am willing and able to stand up and speak out about who I am without fear of reprisal, regardless of what that might be and without fear of shoving my wife out of my life by alienating her with my actions.....

I want to make a difference. For someone. Somewhere.

I wish I had known about Del in the late 80's. I didn't have that role model growing up. There was one woman I thought was gay and was my friend, but when I broached the subject she shut me down so hard and so fast, I was scared to pieces to mention it to another living soul for a long time. My actual coming out experience, when I finally did begin to share with others, was mild. I only lost one friend, that came back to me later. But my struggle was horrendous. I fought it. I hated myself for so long. Now, I look back at journals and OH MY GAWD I was a DYKE, but I would NEVER admit it even there. It took silently melding myself into a group of lesbians I tripped over at 18 to make me realize that it was really okay to be gay. It was simply a facet of who I was and it was okay. I just wish I had had someone in high school that could have said to me, even if only privately and hypothetically, that being gay was okay.

Yes I know my experiences then helped to shape who I am now. But there have been so many young people that have had that miserable experience and instead of surviving it, killed themselves over it, because that was the only way out of their closet that they saw. I know that feeling. I tried that exit route. Luckily I was saved, but no one then knew the why. And really... they didn't even try to find out the why. They assumed I was a 'normal' teen having 'normal' teen issues....

I want to make a difference. I hope I can.

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2 comments:

Dr. Cason said...

I always knew. Or at least suspected and it was never anything I ever even thought about. It was just you and I adored you. I remember when you called me when I was living in Sac and called me "Came Out".

I didn't know what to say. It was great that you told me but so didn't matter to our friendship. I was just happy that you were comfortable enough to tell everyone.

I make a point of asking all my teenage patients about boyfriends and girlfriends or interest in the same or other sex. It's such a point of depression for kids and if I could help a kid out that would be great.

T. J. Hand said...

Sheila
Thank you. You were both hard and easy to come out to. You meant a lot to me (and STILL do) and my fear of rejection was great, but it was still easy to tell you. I am glad that we had reconnected at that time in my life so that I could share that with you. Thank you for being a rock solid friend.

And thank you for opening the door for your patients.... one of these days it will be a lifesaver, I guarantee it....