May 6, 2015


(YouTube link is here, if you for some reason can't watch the video embedded above)

I am reminded of quite a few things on a daily basis. Perhaps none so much as the fact that I'm not like you because I'm gay.

It's not one thing you do—you, in this case, of course being straight cisgender people, allies or enemies or anything in between. You don't, like, bother me, at least not most of the time. I can't point to one specific thing you do, and I can't say "stop doing these general things" because I don't know what the general things would even be.

But I'm not like you. I know this because I have always known this, like I've always known things fall down, not up. You remind me of it every day, too. Not on purpose 99% of the time.

You remind me out loud that you're trying. You remind me with your implications that you have only good intentions. You remind me with your actions and your facial expressions and your body language that you might be telling me the truth.

I remind myself, as I always have since early September 2014, that I should be appreciative that somebody cares enough to be trying.

You remind me how lucky I am to have a supportive mom. I remind myself it doesn't matter that she told people my sexuality when I told her not to, because she's supportive and some people don't even have that. I am lucky.

I am lucky.

You remind me when you're my best friend in the world and we're driving around nowhere in the low light of spring dusk and you're telling a story and you say "gay" as a slur. You remind me you don't mean anything by it. I am the cool gay friend, so I laugh and shrug it off, maybe even throw in a self-deprecating joke so you know no harm was done.

I remind myself when I'm home alone that it's okay, I can cry now.

You remind me when you're my brother and you say these things about queer people, these things that cut me so deep you can see the knife on the other side of me. You remind me when we're watching the Bruce Jenner interview and I'm an emotional mess behind a mask of calm, cool, collected, concentrated on not showing any emotion, and you're laughing outright at everything he says. You remind me that I can never tell you.

You remind me when you're my mom and you give me a pointed look and you say "He's going to have to know someday."

You remind me again when we're watching the Bruce Jenner interview and you're my brother's girlfriend of six years. You remind me when you say "I can't keep the 'he, she' thing straight. I'm calling this person it."

I remind myself I love her like a sister.

You remind me when you're an acquaintance at school. We're teamed up together for golf in gym class (we both suck at golf and also gym class), and you're telling me a story about your "gay best friend." You remind me with your context that he's great and you genuinely love him. You remind me with your syntax that he is gay first and your best friend second.

I remind myself not to come out to you like I was considering.

You remind me when you're my therapist two weeks ago and I tell you, "I didn't want to say this right now, but it's going to present itself at some point, so might as well." You remind me when you say "Oh!" and make a small face. You remind me that everything I say is confidential unless I'm going to harm myself or others.

I remind myself to make a better effort to notice necklaces with crosses on them.

You remind me when you read this and you think, "There's nothing I can do, then. Being an ally to the best of my ability obviously isn't good enough for him."

You remind me of myself. You remind me of thinking at seven years old, "There's nothing I can do, then. Being straight to the best of my ability obviously isn't possible for me."

You remind me of the times when I wanted to die in large part because of this; when I couldn't bring myself to go to school because of one student who reminds me at all times of his strict devotion to the Christian version of God and his belief that He will send me to hell, all of this in one class for forty-six minutes; when I can't walk from one classroom to another without hearing "gaaaay" or "f*g" or cringing when I see my high school's one gay couple hugging each other before class while other, straight couples are making it somewhere past first base in front of a hundred passing students and no one bats an eye.

This is how you remind me.