Being gay in your teens is hard. Being gay in your 20s is complex. So, myself ten years ago thought that when I reached 30, my life would get kinda sorted much, much better. You would have time to hang out with a bunch of close friends; you go out and drink socially, listening to old bros’ predictable lame jokes. Life, in essence, would get simpler.
When I have to remember my dad my mind stops at the local bus station on a hot humid night in my hometown. I remember my dad getting on a bus and setting off for the Capital of Colombia. He was leaving us, for good. I was there with my grandmother (his mother) Romelia, hoping he wouldn´t leave without me. Squeezing my hands and face against a huge window glass that was keeping me from going with him.
For the past four years of my life I have known that I wasn’t straight, and it was only until two years ago that I figured out that “not straight” was simply “lesbian.” Now I knew that when I came out to my family it wouldn’t be bad – my dad’s brother is gay and my mom’s best friend is a lesbian. They already support the LGBT+ community so I was safe. The thing that kept me from coming out any time soon was advice given to me years before: Before coming out to anyone else, you must come out to yourself fully. That way, no one can make you feel bad about who you are.
This question has been weighing heavily on my mind for a while. I know there are various reasons that keep some folks from getting married. Some choose not to. Some are forbidden from getting married so they can fulfil their religious duties. Some are afraid of commitment. Some cannot afford marriage. Some have not found the one to settle down with. But as a queer person living in Zimbabwe- just one of the many other African countries where homosexuality is illegal, marriage only seems to be an esoteric concept reserved only for those who conform to (cis)heteronormative standards
I know that for quite a lot of us, this tweet really hits close to home. Sad to say! In both instances, it seems our families have this unwholesome need to “save face” and protect the family name from being tarnished should word reach outsiders that “immorality” resides in the family. Again, if we look closely at the reasons behind such doings we will see that the common denominator is religion. In the former case, the family usually believes they cannot condone homosexuality as it is a sin. If your family happens to have a theologian, one can only brace themselves for endless, taxing and unsolicited lectures on this,
Remember when we could go to the G & L center (Gay and Lesbian) holding hands? I do. This was in 1992 – 1995 in San Diego. The only center I knew until I went to Palm Springs and San Francisco. Gay men led the center and started it. As I got more involved, I faced the
harsh reality that gay men who were uber hot wanted only men who were just as hot (in their minds), the ads online would read “NO FATS, NO FEMS”. It wasn’t in to be a bear or effeminate. I felt excluded and ashamed of my sexuality. I did not feel a part of it all.
I identify as female and I grew up in a completely heteronormative environment. My friends and family were all straight (to my knowledge) and we talked about getting married and boyfriends and babies like it was all that simple.