I don’t think this about being gay. I don’t think it could be…even if IT wanted to be! That is until today when I reminisced of the times when scar face had been my shadow. When being gay was not only not okay…it was a sin. And, the pain, the embarrassment and the guilt was as real as the day I had to put others beliefs in beauty ahead of my own.
I had been having some morning TV with my coffee. Just about the only time I watch the crap they feed us is when I am not quite awake. The lovely actress from 12 Years A Slave had been, very swimmingly, accepting accolades for her work. Lupita Nyong’o stated very adamantly that as a woman of darker color than creamy cocoa… there had been a forever stigma attached.
That many richly emblazoned African-American women believe themselves ‘uglier, more standard and/or less lovable’ because of the stark darkness of their skin.
Not giving it much thought other than an empathic nod…I went about my day.
But bully the beauty must stop with me. With what I can write and with who I can reach:
By the power of the cats, a prom photo from a loosened album lay upon my office floor. I jokingly and unwittingly sent it to the young man who happened to draw the short straw for that date some thirty years ago, via FACEBOOK.
‘You could have been so beautiful’ had been the response from my mother.
And, there is where the whole bullied beauty started.
I tried to fit in. I tried to be like everyone else. I wore the prom dress. I smiled for the camera. I hid inside my music, my writing and my mind what had been the truth of ME.
I became that scared and scarred child…all over again!
Lupita and I are not that different. As I am sure many struggling with their homosexuality, feelings of being born into the wrong body do. As I did so many years ago.
I had been given the gift of being a girl. Why couldn’t I be a Beth? I teen who played with make-up? I child who preferred pink to blue? And, where had my flawless body…so promised me…gone?
Why couldn’t I have just stayed straight? Not been different? Played by the rules!
I look at that picture now, long dress, heels and forced beauty. I can tell right away that girl turning into a young adult was not real. Not happy. Not the woman I had wanted to be.
When I turn on FACEBOOK to tune the day’s events out I see skinny, cardboard boxes and cut outs of women that look just like the last woman I saw.
How hard it is to stay true to yourself when the only thing the world wants from you is to be like everyone else?
Though the years have hardened my skin. It hasn’t hardened my soul.
Yet, I still believe that there was a night in my parent’s bedroom. Clock nearing midnight, yellow wallpaper adorning the dusky silhouettes. A man sits at the end of the bed and a woman prepares herself at the vanity.
I know down deep in their hearts this thought had crossed their minds:
‘Why does she have to be so different? What did we do that was so wrong?’
Beauty, my friends, is around the corner. It is in the woman you helped raise. She is now a mother herself, encouraging her children to find grace in being unique.
It is in the friend who lives down the street making ends meet, building a house into a home and raising a bi-sexual teen the best way she knows how…with love.
It is in the partner you lay next to every night. The woman who struggled for so many years with scars so deep the plunge she took to relieve them…only made her stronger.
I finish with this thought. What if gay were okay? What if colors were things we sought from a rainbow?
What if we didn’t bully beauty? What if beauty is indeed…far deeper than the tone of our skin and abandonment of our someone else’s ideals?
“People are never perfect, but love can be. ” ― Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker
“The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being.” ― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
Ain’t not big deal…we are all beautiful
I kissed a girl and I liked it!
And it’s alright if you hate that way
Hate me cause I’m different
You hate me cause I’m gay
Truth of the matter come around one day
-It’s alright/Indigo Girls