The Source of My Independence
I think I have a very unique story to tell and perhaps a very short window of opportunity to tell it. Being GAY is a hot topic right now. For the past 20 or so years the Gay Agenda has been to come out. To make the media know, to make the world know and to make friends and family know that you’re here, you're gay and your proud. It hasn't always been this way, as you may already know.
I was born during an interesting time. In the late 80s/ early 90s there was a lesbian couple, lets call them “Parents.” They, like many other couples in the world, wanted to extend their love or whatever into little babies. Today, that would not have caused much of a response, at least not in New York City. But just take a moment and try to remember what the world was like around the year 1990. You probably didn't know many gay couples (specifically lesbians) and if you did, they probably didn’t have children. Now move that scenario to suburban Massachusetts. It’s a little different. I mean, I wasn’t there cuz I was still just an idea in the heads of two trailblazing lesbians, but I can imagine talking to my parents during that time was probably the most enthralling conversation a person in the suburbs would have their whole day. This is how I like to pretend the response would go:
“Dear, I met a *lesbian* couple today and they told me they’re trying to have children. They tried to explain it to me, but it just sounded like some weird science experiment. I mean, it’s just not natural for those people to try and breed! Well, it was very interesting talking to them…”
I would say up until about two years ago, this was your standard response. Fast forward to the weird-ass world we live in today. Last night, I spent the majority of my evening trash-picking fresh food from bags on the sidewalk of New York with a bunch of Freegans. When someone asked me what my parents would think of all this I replied, “Well, my parents are two divorced lesbians, so they’re pretty liberal. They don't give a shit what I do, as long as I don't go to jail or get addicted to anything.”
No follow up questions. Nothing. The people I was with just nodded and didn’t have any response. I briefly wanted to cry, but I got back to picking up fresh-ass free bagels from the trash on the street. After living 21 years of my life, this was the moment I had been waiting for. Before, any time I told someone about my parents they would start hounding me with invasive, rude and sometimes considerate questions, but now the world I lived in had finally reached the point of acceptance. Sure, there a fuck-ton of other issues we gotta solve. The earth, the garbage, consumerism, government corruption, GAY MARRIAGE LEGALIZATION EVERYWHERE. But, today we won. Today, we didn’t get a weird question. Today, I was one of the normal ones.
I remember when I was in middle school the most popular insult for me “Chemistry Set.” Because that’s how lesbians make babies, they get a turkey baster and they mix it up in their makeshift lab in their living room and BOOM ya got yourself a Gayby. That’s not exactly the process. Neither is my biological mother sleeping with a random dude to get pregnant. There are lots of very wrong ways people think I was conceived. For some reason, because I was born into a family with gay moms that makes me open to an array of questions and scenarios that are unbelievably ridiculous. I have received questions like, “Do your moms kiss in front of you? Isn't that gross” to “So if that’s your real mom, then what do you call the other one? Do you even like her?” I used to get really upset when people would ask me these questions, but after a long two decades of it, I’ve just concluded that people are stupid. People don't know any better. They don't think before they speak and they are largely uneducated. The other side of it, however, is that people are truly being douchebags. They don't care if the questions they ask are inappropriate or plain preposterous, they just want to pry. Or make themselves feel better by belittling another person. Luckily, I’ve learned to deal with those people when they come along by not engaging. Even more luckily, I rarely have to engage with them. Most of those people don’t exist anymore.
I’m not sure if everyone realizes this as much as I do, but the world is changing. Fast. And a LOT. In the past ten years alone, whole countries have legalized gay marriage and celebrities have come out as transgendered and sexual fluidity is becoming a big part of our culture. My generation knows this. We embrace it and we fight for it. Yet, somehow I get swept under the rug in the fight.
Listen, discrimination doesn't discriminate. Think about that for a second. How many times have you heard a women shame another woman for the way she looks or dresses? How many times have you heard a person say someone else “isn’t really ‘black’”? As if their are specific qualifications to be black besides being black. I know that’s not my battle to fight, but what is, is being excluded from the LGBTQIXYZ group. I’m going to say I represent every single letter in that never-ending acronym. I was raised by lesbians- so I’m an ally, I have had sexual feelings for women, so that makes me gay, I have questioned every single sexual encounter I’ve had and I have not officially been okay with labeling myself as a woman- nor a man. I am a whole part of this world, but somehow not enough.
I have had lesbian friends tell me that I’m not really in the gay community or assume I wouldn't know who the fuck Lea DeLaria. As if my dyke parents didn’t have chicken soup for the gay soul books lining the fucking walls. As if I didn't watch If These Walls Could Talk Too? As if I weren't around when Ellen came out on TV. As if I didn’t get bred and fucking raised in the most lesbian way possible?! The insanity of the lesbian ego can be baffling to me sometimes.
I don’t count as straight cuz I like women, but I’ll never be gay because I’ve touched a man. So, where do I belong? As I gayby, I think I’m entitled to be a part of the world I feel I’ve always been a part of- INVOLUNTARILY. As a human being fluid emotions and sexuality, I think I’m entitled to be a part of the gay community. For people who have lived their whole lives in closets, being ridiculed and excluded- you’d think they would want to pay it forward. But, everybody wants to feel special, they want to feel like they are part of an exclusive club - so they have to make exceptions.
Being bi isn’t good enough for anyone, but being born into a gay family makes me gay automatically, doesn't it? That’s what everyone told me my whole life. I was raised by lesbians, so I’d grow up to be a lesbian. Maybe that’s true. I used to reject the idea, claim that I only liked men. From a scary young age, I’d have to advocate for my straightness. So much that I suppressed any feelings for women I had until I was in college. Isn’t that comical? A girl, raised by lesbians fears being a lesbian more than anything else? Because people are stupid and people like to place their opinions on other people so they can feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, this is one trait that also doesn’t discriminate.
So I’ve learned to be independent. My whole life people liked to tell me what I should and not be, how I dress, what I should buy. It’s ingrained in our culture. Control is a huge deal. Through the weirdness of my life circumstances, I have gained my own sense of control. I assess how I feel about something and form an opinion. If I don't want to be involved in something, I don’t do it. If something inside me feels weird, like being obsessed with a certain female tv character and not quite understanding what those feelings were, I figure that shit out. I don't let other people tell me how to feel and think anymore. If the gay community doesn’t want me a gay person or an ally, then I will be my own community.
I am thankful that I was raised by lesbians. It has made me resilient, independent and in the end, individual. I know there are less struggles now for all of us letters in the never-ending acronym, but we still have more to fight for. The gay agenda is the gayby agenda. It’s the lesbian agenda and the bisexual agenda. It’s everyone’s fucking agenda because we are all the same. We all search for a safe community. We are all searching for that moment of no more questions, for the people who listen to what you say and accept who you are.