It's been years since I came out to myself. Been years since I made a peace with myself. Been years since I can say I'm proud of who I am and that I'll seek my happiness without apologizing to anyone. Still if you see my blog, it's mostly still about gay. Some may complain that my blog is 'too gay', but really, it's a part of me, so how can I run away from it? Besides, it's the part of me that causes most trouble for me. That's why I talk about it so often.
Today I chatted with one of my oldest friends. Honestly our topic in chatting has changed dramatically since I came out to him (and he to me). :D But it doesn't matter. It actually feels nice to talk with someone without being asked, 'Are you never been in love? Why can't you talk about boys like us?' Or just something like that. And it certainly feels great to talk about girls I like without having to make them anonymous or being careful not to use 'she' or 'her', and dodging the question 'are you gay' without lying. Whew. I really can't wait to come out, though it scares the hell out of me, too. But that's not what I wanna talk about this time, so let's move on.
I said to him that I know why gay people who are finally settled (financially or romantically) become thougher, stronger, and kinder than most of the people. He replied this:
"In conclusion: we are so special, kita melebihi batasan-batasan medioker. Perhaps since the kid, we use our brain to think more about our gayness,then we maximize our brain power...kita sudah terlatih untuk membuka diri terhadap semua kemungkinan. Artinya kita juga mendorong diri kita sendiri untuk berpikir dan berbuat lebih. Kita menikmati rasa sakit, lebih daripada orang 'normal'. Kita menikmati kegembiraan, lebih daripada orang 'normal'."
The first sentence, 'we are so special', I can't agree. I know what he meant, but I don't like the using of 'we are special' to build gay pride. It grows into separation. I know in Indonesia there are gay people who are heterophobic. We're all special in our own way, and what I want is being equal, not being better than the majority of the population.
Since kid thinking about gayness? Well, at least in my case I don't think I thought about being gay when I was a kid. I just came to realization when I was older, not much different than when I decided that I like vanilla ice cream, not chocolate. Opening the mind to the endless possibilities.. I think I did that as a kid, just not in any gay context. When I was a kid I dreamed to be a wanderer. Even before I knew Xena, honestly. I wanted to bring the world into one nation, I wanted to make all the religions become only one... not under Jesus, not under Allah, not under whoever else, just under one God named love.
But pushing ourselves to think and to do more... maybe I can relate to that. It was only after I went to college that maybe there's a need in me to be respected and appreciated and loved more, because I wanted to prove that, here, you see, I am smart and strong and kind and bla bla bla, and I am gay. I just wanted people to see that all those stereotypes about gay people are simply wrong. (Some of them are really stupid, like that being gay is contangious. If that's true how come all of my friends and family aren't gay yet???)
And finally, the last sentence, we experience pain more than 'normal' people, and we experience happiness more than 'normal' people, I absolutely agree. We know how is it to be fighting ourselves, and when we win and come out to ourselves, we are still in the closet. We know how is it to live in fear of getting caught being gay (stupid phrase, but whatever) and in fear of losing our jobs or our friends and family just because of our sexual orientation. Then we come out and still we face the discrimination and laws and the difficulties of illegal marriage, extra paperworks because of that, having a baby, and raising children and protecting them from discrimination. And we face them all while still facing other problems 'normal' people have: work, sickness, death, money, etc. Oh, and we can't rely on parents and families cause not everybody has gay parents or families.
But we do experience happiness more than 'normal' people. We know how much our friends and families love us when they still accept us after they know we're gay. We have much more happiness for having a baby cause we have to go through so much to get one. And of course, marriage. Maybe in these days and age, gay people understand marriage better than straight people. Straight people usually take marriage for granted. They can get married, they just have to find someone to marry. Gay people, on the other side, even when they've been together for more than 50 years, their relationship isn't legal in the face of law. They still don't have hospital visit right, they have difficulties in adopting, etc. So when they can finally get married, after 22, 35, 48, 50 years, who feels the utmost happiness? I of course haven't experienced it myself, but even looking at the photos, listening to interviews, and reading the articles, are enough to make me cry out of happiness. "Tears and fears, and feeling proud, to say 'I love you' right out loud." How freeing is it? Even when there are protesters outside the fence, by the God, do you think they care even a bit? I felt anger when I saw the protesters, but dammit, they are just miserable souls who don't understand love and can't seek happiness that they are so bitter at other's happiness. Why should I mind them? I should pity them.
I guess Mr. Doel reasoned my statement with that last sentence. Gay people who are settled are tougher, stronger, and kinder than most people because we experience more pain and more happiness than them.