Listen to yourself

"Being gay" is a scary thought. Society teaches us that to be gay is "wrong," "sinful," or "evil." But it isn't any of those things. It's simply another facet of the complex human being.

Sexuality, in general, has been thought by society to be "wrong," that to even think sexual thoughts is to condemn yourself to hell. And yet it is natural, for everyone (well, almost), to have and to feel sexual emotions. It's a part of nature. But, humans are special. We are capable of hiding our feelings, distorting them, and lying to ourselves and others about them. One of the hardest things to do is listen to yourself, because often times, yourself will tell you things that aren't accepted in our society. It can be a very good thing. It keeps us from doing stupid things, like picking a fight that we have zero chance of winning (although I've seen many times when the people involved in the fight refuse to back down.) It keeps us from killing each other (again, only sometimes) because we can predict the consequenses of our actions (if I commit homicide, chances are I'm going to be arrested and possibly executed). It also protects our emotions. When we REALLY like someone, for example, some people are too shy to tell that person that they like them. These people may be afraid of the emotional pain that comes from rejection, and maybe the embarrassment of failure. So our ability to control our emotions can be a good thing.

However, some (I would venture to say most) people take this hiding too far (this applies certainly to guys, but since I'm not a girl, I can't say how much it applies there. I would guess about the same). I know I do, sometimes. Rather than hiding our emations externally, it seems easier to hide them from ourselves, as well. And it is easier, much easier, to deny feelings you don't consciously know you have. And this is a problem. Everyone should know who they are, why they're thinking and feeling the way that they do, so that they can become content people. "Know thyself," after all. It isn't easy. Your feelings may conflict with your thoughts, or with society. And it's tough to go against society. It's like fighting the ocean's currents. But, it turns out that most of society isn't happy either. (I think the reason that society can be so intolerant is jealousy.) Most people want something else. A better job, a more attractive spouse, well-behaved children, a really expensive sports car, etc. Yet they are limited. They can't have a more attractive spouse because 1 they're already married and 2 they aren't attractive themselves.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone who wants a more attractive spouse should run out and try to find one. But, I think that most people become frustrated and then angry and they don't know why. That is where society becomes dysfunctional. They aren't willing to ask themselves the really tough questions, and, more importantly, they aren't willing to work at fixing the problem. Using the less attractive spouse example: first, what is so bad about your spouse? (The next question is really important) Do you still love your spouse? If so, why? If not, why not? What has changed? What are you willing to do? If your spouse isn't as attractive as you once thought because s/he's overweight, are you willing to work alongside them? If your children are so naughty, what are you going to do to help them not be naughty? What I think happens is people are scared of what they feel because they're afraid of their own failure. So they don't want to try, and so they bury their feelings.

So, what does all that gobbledegook have to do with being gay? Well, first, let me say that if you're gay, you're gay. If you aren't, you aren't, and if you listen to what you are telling yourself (no matter how hard or scary it is) you will figure it out. First, don't go jumping to conclusions, especially if you're going through puberty. It can take a long time to find out who you are and accept yourself. Some people never figure out who they really are. Actually, most people, being scared to listen to themselves, don't really know themselves. These are the people who are uncomfortable around gays. They are scared that they're really gay (or that they'll turn gay, what a load of malarkey) and being around gays will bring it out. You can generally tell when someone who knows who they are. They're confident, they're willing to deal with people as people, not as a stereotype. That doesn't mean that they'll tell you who they are, but they know.

Second, now that you've listened to yourself (and are continuing to do so) and are maybe wondering (maybe not) if you're gay, you're thinking, "What do I do? Do I have to change my way of acting, so that the other gays will accept me? Or maybe I should go the other way, so no one can tell that I'm gay." Don't. Don't change who you are or how you act. Just be yourself. It's far easier to be yourself than to constantly put on an act for the world around you. It's hard to do. You want to please people, to have friends, but if people can't accept you for who you are, you don't need them as your friends. That doesn't mean you should be mean to them or treat them with disrespect. They're people, too, and if you don't like them, then respect them and stay away when you can. (Which isn't always possible, but such is life. If you have to work with them, work with them, treat them with respect, then leave 'em alone.)

Alright, now the third part. You are a person. You have thoughts and feelings. You deserve to be treated with respect. You are who you are. You can't change that, and attempts to change who you are can be disasterous. They can disfigure your ego and your sense of self-worth beyond repair. If you're christian, you can remeber that Jesus loves you for who you are, no matter what those crazies who call themselves christians say. (I'm sorry, I don't know any other religions well enough to say. Insert your favorite diety here ;-) Just be a good person, the best you know how to be, and be true to yourself. You will make mistakes, but if you try, things will be okay.