Tuesday / July 19 / 2011
[Guest Post] When being gay isn’t always so gay: part III of III
Today’s guest post comes to us from Rick Modien. Rick writes passionately about love, acceptance and self-esteem as they relate to gay people. He’s also a chocolate aficionado, home decorator extraordinaire, and admitted Disneyland addict. He blogs here.
When Donna graciously asked me to guest blog and contribute Part III to her series, “When being gay isn’t always so gay,” I knew exactly what I needed to write about, given the work I’ve done on my own blog, “This Gay Relationship”.
Even in the short time Donna and I have exchanged emails and comments on each other’s blogs, I know she’s all about love. And her definition of love has no restrictions. To her, it’s all the same: a man and a woman, two women, two men–love is love. Love is beautiful. Love is necessary. And love is all there is. Donna is unique in that way and sets an extraordinary example for everyone to follow.
But the single greatest challenge most gay people have with love… is loving themselves. Perhaps that never occurred to you, since gay people, especially when they’re in each other’s company (at a Pride parade, for example), look like the gayest people on earth. Their faces are filled with mirth, they laugh big and full, and you’d think they were so happy, without a worry in the world.
The truth is, just below the surface, they’re in pain. They cover it up well, with all manner of constructive–and not so constructive—behavior (which is partly the subject of my writing), allowing those around them to think everything is fine. But, believe me, from personal experience, and from knowing many gay people over the years, it’s anything but.
How could it be fine when they’ve received the message for most of their lives that they’re wrong, or evil, or immoral—just because they’re attracted to and love people of the same gender, in a way no different from straight people who are attracted to and love people of the opposite gender? How can the love gay people have for each other be wrong? When is love ever wrong?
Every day I sit down to work on my blog, I feel the weight of gay people suffering around the world, and I pray I’m able to help them in some small way. I hear from gay people everywhere—from the U.K. to Indonesia, and from Brazil to Estonia. The questions are always the same: How can I accept myself? How can I learn to love myself? How can I find someone to love me? And my answer is always the same: Yes, we’ve taken our hits over these many years, but we must take responsibility for loving ourselves first, because only then can someone properly love us back.
The tagline of my blog is “Together, Elevating the Experience of Being Gay.” Increasingly, I recognize the word “together” doesn’t refer only to gay people, but also to straight people, because I know there are many straight people out there, like Donna, who get it. Who realize how important love is to the world. Who realize love is love, no matter if you’re gay or straight. And who love gay people for who and what they are.
We need your help. Gay people have fought the good fight for decades, but we still have many miles to travel. And, if I’ve learned anything in my reading and writing, it’s that we won’t do it without the empathy, compassion, and love of straight people. I hope we can count on everyone to help put the gay back into gay.
PART I of this series is here: When being gay isn’t always so gay: partI of III
PART II of this series is here: When being gay isn’t always so gay: part II of III