Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"There is no one alive who is youer than you."

As an American upper-middle class straight white girl, I haven't personally faced a lot of oppression, unless you count the mall closing wayyyy too early and not being able to afford a Chanel purse. One thing I do understand intimately though, is how difficult it is to be yourself if you think those around you might not approve. It can be so easy to censor ourselves and just tell people what they want to hear; it's far more difficult to be completely and honestly ourselves.

Today was National Coming Out Day, and I hope it can be a reminder to all of us to be ourselves and stay true to who we are. I can't imagine how incredibly difficult it must be to come out to one's friends and family, but my deepest and most sincere wish is that one day it won't be such a struggle to be yourself in this world.

Kate Winslet gave me real hope for the future when she told V magazine about this conversation she had with her son:

"I like being in the city. I like the diversity that my children are exposed to every day. I love the way their brains work. Joe turns to me the other day and says 'One day I will have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, darling. Which would you prefer?' And I said 'My Love, that would be entirely up to you, and it doesn't make any difference to me.' But that he knows! It's a real privilege. Talk about the best education."

I haven't given a ton of thought to the type of parent I would like to be to my future children. I don't know if I'll be strict or more carefree. I don't know if I'll force them into after-school activities or not. But I do know that I want my children to grow up knowing that they can be gay, straight, bisexual, or anything else under the sun and I will love and cherish them for who they are.

There is always the risk that you will come out to your loved ones and they might react badly. The truth is, anyone who really truly loves you will continue to love you no matter what. They may not understand and it may take time, but in the end they will love you and respect you for being honest and true to yourself. If they don't, then they never loved you to begin with, and in that case, they're not worth your time or your tears anyway. You deserve to be loved unconditionally.

I think Dr. Seuss said it best:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”

Be unapologetically YOU. Do not waver, do not allow anyone to make you feel inferior for being yourself.

Life is far too short to be anyone but you.

10 comments:

  1. That Dr. Seuss line was my senior quote in our yearbook! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was a wonderfully written post Kayla! More people need to realize that we are from a place that was FOUNDED upon the concept that the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right. Whether you're incorrect (in my opinion) and believe that being gay, straight, or bisexual is a life style choice, or whether you believe that you are born that way ... it shouldn't matter as it is something we all deserve.

    There is nothing more rewarding that waking up in the morning and knowing that you love yourself for who you are and that you are loved for who you are.

    That is what I want for everyone in the future.
    I love both of you :)
    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  3. @reallyholly It's such a good one! =) <3

    @Jessica Thank you! I couldn't agree with you more. I can only hope we will see a better future for everyone in our lifetime. We love you too! <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. <3 You already know that I love you.

    I think what people need to realize when they're being unaccepting of gay/bi/transgender/purple/green/etc etc etc. people, is that they just want to be themselves despite negative feedback from ignorant people. Just like everyone in the world just wants to be themselves. Try telling your lawyer parents that you want to be an artist. Try telling your incredibly liberal family that you think Sarah Palin is a genius (ha. jokes.). It's never easy.

    The truth is, everyone, at some point in their lives, experiences backlash for trying to be who they are, at some scale. If people could just tap into their human experience, they'd realize that, put in someone else's shoes, they would just want to be treated with respect and compassion.

    It's really as simple as that. Love is the same.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My Sweet Babou and myself have said, loudly, at family events where we are surrounded by fundamentalists, that not only would we love and support our own children if they gay, we would also take any any niece or nephew who was gay and needed a new home. Because we never know if any of the kids who have heard us say that may need to understand there is somewhere to go, and someone who will still love them. Bigots/fundies drive me NUTS ... especially since I am a Christian and they are dragging the group's credentials down every time they open their mouths to spew hate.
    *sound of hair being pulled out from aggravation*

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, Betty. Just when I thought I couldn't love you anymore than I already do. <3

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm doing my part to move us all toward the world you describe, Kayla. My kids are freaking awesome human beings, and I make sure they know how much I love them for it. As far as this topic in particular goes, though, not too long ago my 9-year-old and I were talking about gay marriage. I mentioned something about how not everyone in the world thinks it's ok for gay people to get married. She gave me this "seriously? are you crazy?" kind of a look and declared, "That's just STUPID, Mom." :-) Did I mention how freaking awesome my kids are? LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Haha! It's amazing how much smarter they are than some adults I know. This really gives me hope for the future. Your kids sound like they rock!

    ReplyDelete