I had my sporadic Facebook stalking session this morning (c’mon, we all have them!) and whilst doing it I came across a number of people with whom I went to secondary school with. A small number of them are doing . . . okay. The vast majority of them, however, are all stuck in the same place, with the same bad grammar and same childish attitude they left school with. The only difference is that they have a different hairstyle and are either married, have kids or both. Thinking about how drab their lives have remained got me thinking about why I turned out so differently from them all. The main reason is perhaps because I was always different from them. Much like now I do not really make friends that easily because I have a personality that is noticeably different from everyone else around me. I do not watch the same television shows as most people do, I do not have the same sense of humour as most people and I certainly do not have the same set of arbitrary, eclectic interests as everyone else. Seeing the great number of them who had children made me thankful for being gay; being gay has probably saved me from the same boring fate as everybody else. It may have taken me a few years to get somewhere but I have managed to make a start on securing a better future for myself. I am not a world famous author or singer or anything (yet) but I do have and always have had an ambition that I have aimed for. When you are stuck in a relationship with a kid at the age of 21 your life is pretty much over. No longer do you have time to follow your dreams and follow through your ambitions because you have an overgrown foetus to feed and support. So, I thought I would make a list of the pros and cons of being gay.
- I am unable to become stuck in a loveless relationship because I have seeded some random girl in a club.
– At least 10 of the people I ‘stalked’ this morning now have children. One person even has three of them. THREE! At the age of 23 I still feel unable to care for myself let alone three children. What makes it worse is that the eldest is 6. They went from receiving their results directly to the hospital I am assuming. Why on Earth they felt the need to implant some girl they had probably known for less than a week with three children is absolutely beyond me.
- I have to fight my way to success.
– I cannot simply live in any old area of the country because certain towns/cities/counties are no-go areas. They are dangerous. I would not be content with living where I currently live for the rest of my life. I would never feel safe and would need to purchase a stab-proof vest just to feel safe walking to the shops for a pint of milk in the morning. Feeling unsafe, however terrifying it may seem a lot of the time, does give me the advantage of having to work my way through the world in order to live in a safe environment where I feel comfortable with being who I am.
- I am consistently fabulous.
- Being gay means that I am a lot less likely to settle down with someone immediately.
– Because I am unable to get a guy pregnant I can up and leave a relationship whenever I want. I do not believe that this has been the case for many other people I went to school with. Not only that but many of them are single parents now. Their partners have left them and they are stuck with a child they will harbour resentment issues with for however many years it takes for a child to leave you. Being gay has given me the opportunity to choose who I want to be with and permitted me to experience a relationship without the dynamics of that relationship moving too fast.
- I never feel completely safe.
– Whenever I go out I worry about what tee shirt I am wearing, whether or not I should wear a hat and even if my bag is positioned in a certain way that could make me look stereotypically gay. Since bleaching my hair a few weeks ago I have had to take a hat to university with me (everyday) so that I can wear it on the way home so I will be less likely to incur any abuse. It is ridiculous (obviously) that I should be made to feel this way. That I feel uncomfortable and unsafe walking ANYWHERE is a serious flaw in our society. I fear that I may never feel safe enough to be completely who I am when I leave the house.
- Synonyms for ‘bad’ are in constant use.
– Words such as ‘gay’ or ‘faggot’ are constantly used, be it on the streets or online, and I cannot get away from them. It makes me feel terrible having to hear somebody using a word to describe me to also describe a terrible television show, or whatever it may be.
– Like the point above I am perpetually bombarded with abuse that may not even be aimed at me. Homophobia is prevalent in every room I walk in. It could be from a religious person in the room who does not ‘agree’ with my ‘lifestyle’ (being gay is only a lifestyle because of the constant things we have to do in order not to be beaten to a pulp; things such as having our own clubs. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle, finding somebody attractive is not), or it could be from a simple word such as ‘gay’. Either way it is upsetting to be gay and not because of my orientation but because of the oppression gay people still receive. I feel uncomfortable in the presence of members of my own family because of something they never see. Even people who are not homophobic (normal) feel uncomfortable being around me because they are worried they may say something offensive. They probably would say something offensive, without meaning it, because they are not aware of what is different about a gay person. The answer? NOTHING! The only thing we do differently is admire different parts of the body to a heterosexual person. Homophobia is still very much alive and is still a major issue for every member of the LGBT+ community. If it was not still an issue, I would not be typing this right now.
I hope I have not bored you, I understand this was a long post. It was also quite depressing towards the end there, too. To make up for the dispiriting ending have a picture of a fabulous cat!