Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On Life, Love & Being Who We Are

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My friend Cameron is one of the coolest people I've ever met.  I don't mean that in the sense that he is cool by some societal standards, I mean it in the sense that he is chill, down to earth, positive, caring, the kind of person you really want to fill your life with.  I've only known him for a couple of months, but I think he's fantastic, and I feel lucky to have crossed paths with him.

In addition to being an all-around pretty sweet dude, he is an artist, and though I don't think he thinks of himself as a writer, he can bring the eloquence.  Sunday was Bellingham Pride, and I missed it again this year (hopefully next year...), and Cameron chose to use the opportunity to come out to the friends and family he has who didn't know that side of him.  I thought that what he wrote was beautiful, so I asked if I could share it.
Friends, family, real talk: I'm queer as fuck, and I'm coming out of the closet. I'm happier and more fulfilled than I've ever been, and each new morning I'm full of vim and vigor. This is unprecedented for me. For those of you who aren't surprised, kudos, and for those who are shocked, saddened, or angered by this news, you have my sympathies: Because I'm going to keep doing my thing.
I'm one of the lucky ones. I have very progressive and supportive family/friends, and I have the privilege of autonomy and freedom of expression that many others haven't been afforded; Others who live in fear of violent or shaming persecution for the way they look, act, and/or think. I'm coming out because it's worthwhile for me to risk my image in order to have, at the very least, a fraction of a chance to help at least one other person like me realize that they're not alone- Even if our only common bond is that society considers us strange, ugly, or sinful.
I stand for what should be inalienable personal freedoms to seek one's bliss, and do what one pleases with consenting adults. I stand for the abolition of dehumanization, and sweeping generalizations of vast and varied demographics. I stand against the fact that so many human beings will so easily sweep others under the rug or lash out at them for being different.
I'm not brave. I live in Bellingham. This is probably one of the safest places in the world to be out. With my past silence, I've been partly responsible for propagating this stagnant indifference our humanity has been inflicted with. And so I'm doing my part. This isn't redemption, this isn't great justice, this is personal accountability. I'm living out loud, proud, and goddamn fabulous. 
Shout-outs to my transgender friends, guys and gals, genderfluids, and genderfucks. A shout out to my agender homies. Shout-outs to my gay and lesbian friends. Shout-outs to my bisexuals and pansexuals. Shout-outs to all the asexuals and gray aces. Shout-outs to all the kinky folks. Shout outs to all my homies in polyamorous or ethically open relationships. This is just my sphere of exposure, so shout-outs to anybody else who wants to do their own thing, whether it's the way they are, or the way they choose to be.
Happy Pride day.

I have spent a lot of time this year thinking about sex, relationships, gender, people, humanity, friendship, intimacy, and lots more.  It's all swirling and bouncing around in my head, and I know eventually I'll write about it, but there is just SO MUCH that it's hard to know where to begin.

I feel a freedom in my life that I have never felt before.  Not necessarily a physical freedom, to go and do things, but I feel like my heart has opened up and I am ready to accept all the world has to offer.  I have let go of boundaries and ideas that do nothing but hold me back.  It is a work in progress, but I have accepted that friendships and intimacy and any kind of relationships come in infinite forms, and it is wonderful.  I have decided that I don't want to miss out on experiences because I am afraid of some future possibility of pain or things being complicated.  That's no way to live.

In all of this, part of what I'm doing is figuring out how who I am with myself and who I am with the different people in my life relate, how these different sides of me integrate.  "Be yourself" is great advice, but when you start to explore cultures and ideas that are outside society's "normal" standards, there is a balance to be struck between being yourself, being comfortable and proud of who you are, and deciding how much you care about what other people think and whether they will see you, as Cameron said, as "strange, ugly, or sinful."  Or weird.  Or immoral.  Or a bad person.  How much do you care about catering to other people's comfort levels if it means not being true to yourself?

Bit by bit, I will figure it out.  And having friends like Cameron, who bless my life with ideas like chasing my bliss, is part of what's helping me down that path.

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