Tonight I saw this tweet about the Macy’s day parade and two girls kissing and how that broke the innocence of the kids watching. At first, I was pretty disgusted and ready to rage tweet to @foramerica about their bigotry and sexism. Their hatred is the same patriarchal bullshit that kept me from admitting I was into women. It’s taken me to 40 to admit just how queer I am and to finally feel comfortable (and proud) of that. So I was ready to take this jerk on and give this person a piece of my mind.
Funny thing though, when I got there, there were already 26k tweets and most were defending the kiss. There were comments on inclusion, on parents being blindsided by trump’s talk of grabbing pussy, tweets saying that children’s innocence is shattered when they have to do active shooter drills every couple of months starting at the age of five, and then there were these below:
Out of every fifty or so tweets, there was someone having a freak out session and going on about being forced to accept homosexuality—which, btw, is totally a sign you’re in the closet, just sayin!—but aside from that, everyone was supportive and inclusive. I decided I didn’t need to go to the mattresses. Everyone else had already done that. It felt good. I felt validated and like I mattered. I thought about my teen self and how I’d have felt if I’d seen so many people jump to the defense of those being attacked over who they loved. I thought about how that might have helped me not hate myself and feel like I was living a lie for much of my life.
I also saw a friend post that queer people exist, and putting them in the media is accurate, not an agenda. Pushing that hetero ways are the ‘true and right’ ways is an agenda, however. Her post got me thinking as well…
I’ve never once told someone they needed to like the same sex/gender, the opposite sex/gender, or anything of the like. I’ve only told people to love who they love and to enjoy who they are. But heterosexuality has been pushed on me my entire life. It’s in everything. Not only were words like lesbo and dyke used to shame me but on top of that were the constant pushings about finding a husband and having kids and yada yada yada.
Heterosexuality is even pushed in sex ed. It’s only recently that sex education has started to include types of sex that are not heteronormative and solely about intercourse. Even marriage wasn’t possible until recently.
This is the shit that makes coming out so hard. I was fortunate because I’d mostly experienced secondary attractions to people. That meant that I could grow attractions to men and put off that I was hetero for much of my life. For a long time, this was super convenient. But I always knew this was a lie. And the more I lived that lie, however misguided I’d been in doing so, the more I hated myself. I had been in a losing battle much of my life, which meant that what once seemed fortunate ended up being unfortunate.
Today, I also listened to NPR’s interview with Denice Frohman about her coming out. She brought up so many things that resonated with me. I’d never really thought about why there needed to be a ‘coming out’. Why it was such a big deal. But I understand now and seeing this tweet today solidified things she said. I don’t want to ruin it for folks, so I suggest listening to the podcast instead if you have interest. But suffice it to say, her story meant a great deal to me and helped me process how I felt about the tweet today. And all the other shit that has piled up on top of me as people have pushed me into being who they thought I should be.
It’s time I turned the tables on folks pushing their hetero agenda on me. Because let’s face it, that’s what’s really been happening. Projection is real and from now on, I call it out. Loudly.