Friday, August 20, 2010

Let Me Out of Here Already!

Sometimes it's so frustrating not being out already. And yet coming out is scary. I don't want people to judge me or challenge me. I'm not ready for that.

I have a few friends I met through an on-line forum; it's a small community and we chat via AIM several nights a week, so even though I've never met them, I feel like we know each other fairly well.

I've been using gender-neutral pronouns to describe dating prospects or my future hopes (I'm looking for "a person" who..., "they," what I'd like in a "spouse," etc.). They know I've joined a women-only hiking club -- and that said hiking club had a singles party... at a lesbian bar. And yet only one of them knows I'm not straight -- the rest simply assume I am.

Three of them are fervent Christians -- I think non-denominational, bordering on evangelical. Kim and I got into a discussion about what the Bible says on homosexuality when she asked me what I thought about my brother being gay. I shared with her some links I'd found about what the original Hebrew and Greek actually say, and how monogamous, consensual homosexual relationships aren't actually addressed in the Bible.

This happened months ago, and I'd pretty much forgotten about it. But Kim brought it up the other night, saying that she'd looked the links over, but they hadn't changed her mind, because homosexuality's "not normal." She talked about how rare it was, as if this proved it's not normal, so I countered with "It's just as rare as being left-handed, which also used to be viewed as evil, but it turns out lefties' brains are just wired differently, and it's the same for sexuality."

She then said it's different because being gay doesn't contribute to promulgation of the human species (like being left-handed does?). I pointed out that it's present in just about every species of animal and hasn't been eliminated, so it must provide some purpose, and that not every thing that had evolved in various species contributed to reproduction.

Kim's response shocked me. "Cancer and physical deformities also happen in nature, but no one would try to say they're normal. Nature's not perfect." Wow. Just what am I supposed to say to that? I actually didn't have a chance to respond because she had to go, and neither of us has brought it up since.

I don't know what she thinks gay people should do. Marry people they're not going to really love, just to have kids? Accept that they're "mistakes" and so live singly and not reproduce so they don't pass on their "abnormality"? Honestly, I don't want to know. One part of me wanted to scream, "You're talking about me, you know." But the rest of me worried, "How will she treat me once she figures it out? Will she stop talking to me as a friend?"

It's easy to say I shouldn't care, but the fact is I do care. I don't have many friends right now, and I don't want to lose one of the few I do have. Then again, if she can't accept me for who I am, is she really a friend?

Since I made this post, I have come out to Kim; you can read about what went down here.

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