Sunday, March 27, 2011

Understanding: First Step of Acceptance

Often I find myself questioning the world in which I live. Now that is not to say that I quesition the person I am nor about the acceptance of my life. I often think of the lack of understanding from others as I live proudly in my authentic skin. I have found out that there are people who love me but do not understand me nor do they support my life. These people are so wrapped up in what I do romantically and their belief as to whether my love is right or wrong that the real support is non-existent. Even at a soon to be 51 years of age, it is disheartening. Many times we say to ourselves in a loud voice “I don’t care whether you accept me or understand me” when infact we do care and truly want to be accepted.

Now let me first and foremost state that I am very comfortable in my skin and am not shy about the fact that I attracted to men. I spent the early part of my life being ashamed and sad but once I accepted who I was created to be, I decided that no one would make me feel ashamed of who I am ever again. I feel that this confidence has allowed me to walk through the world in a kind of carefree manner. Well, just a few days ago, I began to question that confidence and myself. I recently was reminded that even those that love you could say things that are daunting and take you back to that child like place. People come to you with their own prejudices, ignorance and unwillingness to open their hearts and minds to understand something different. They come to you with all their own bigotry that even at 50 years of age I was taken back to that little boy that was made to feel unworthy of who I am and have become.

Just the other day I was having a conversation with someone who will remain nameless and she stated something to me that made me realize that while she may love me she does not know me. What is so sad about it all is that I do not think she even wants to know me. While I have known her all my life, she does not know my story as a same gender loving man. I would be more than happy to sit and talk with her if I thought it would help but at this point, I do not. I am not going to try to combat someone elses ignorance to extol the value of my existence. I remained silent instead of standing up and making it known that I did not like the response that I received and for that, I will take the hit. I should have stopped her dead in her tracks and took the time to teach, however, there are times when you are so knocked off your square you are dazed and confused. In being silent, I gave her the power to feel that her ignorance was okay to be laid at my feet. It is not okay and our relationship cannot continue on a level of respect without her knowing that. I am not going to revisit this.

I know that this happened to me for a reason and in it is a teaching moment. One that will have me learn a valuable lesson about not being silent going forward. Now I know that this will not happen overnight but it is something that I must work. God has been working with me lately and this is just one more thing that God is doing in my life to move me where he wants me to be.

Now I have concluded that I must say that if you cannot accept all of me then I cannot have anything to do with you. While you may not agree with my life, you do not get an opportunity to devalue it either. I have respect for those that come to me and say, “I do not understand the same-sex relationship thing, but I would like to understand it more”. However, I can respect the ability for open dialogue. I know that open dialogue is a bold step for most people but mutual respect is important.