I spent most of my 30s dreading telling friends and family that I was in fact gay. I tortured myself about it for years, terrified of the response and the repercussions to me and my family. I find this almost hard to believe now – only six years later. I bordering on wondering whether I was paranoid about it all, that I made up the fear. I have to remind myself that this is still a struggle for so many – of course I know it is – but sometimes I can forget because really it was so easy, for me, in the end. I know that it isn’t like that for everyone. However I do think that mostly that the fear from within is far worse than the reality of ‘coming out’.
I have only ever been targeted twice for being gay and actually they were both at the girls I was rather than me. You ‘fucking dyke’ was used in both, hardly original.
I’m not minimising ‘coming out’, it’s the most frightening experience of my life and I am ever thankful to friends and family who made it this easy for me (though why should it be any other way you may think?!) However, this did get me thinking about what has been worse than being gay in my life, that is what hassles have I had MORE for than being gay. These are the top 5 things worse than being gay (for me)…
- Curly hair – Crystal Tips (google her pic if you don’t remember her) was my nickname in school . I have been called far more names because of my hair than for being gay. This makes me laugh! Who’d have thought? My hair is really curly and really thick but now we have stuff like frizz ease which eases my emotional pain J. Those days my mum put an afro comb through it and green clipped the sticky out fringe to one side. Classy. Once, my aunt took me out and cut my hair without my mum knowing. I have absolutely no idea why but the hairdresser only cut the sides. I looked like Elvis but instead of a large smooth quiff, I had a frizzy quiff. Life at school was hard for a few months that year!!
- Feminism – oh have I had shit for being a feminist, from man hater to butch dyke (and that was before I even knew I was haha), what do you wear – Dr Martens? Haha. Hilarious! A woman with an opinion and a woman who wants equality, women either love you or hate you for it and men are usually scared or patronise you. By the way on the news today – it said that a woman jockey may win the Grand National for the first time – wouldn’t it be great if that wasn’t news at all??
- Woman – just that really – being a woman, brings all kinds of hassles and discrimination just for having the privilege of being born without the extra bit. Just the other day some bloke at work apologised if he was ‘baffling’ me while we were discussing some figures and the same week another bloke felt that he could put his arm around my waist and then also made ‘tit’ actions with his hands to someone else. I admit that I threatened to put my fist in my face which is very much against my normal zero tolerance policy, honest judge, I couldn’t help it.
- Vegetarian – yep I’m also a vegetarian. You are reading this right- I tick almost every minority group going! Gay, female, feminist, vegetarian – haha – sometimes I wonder how I’ve got any friends! Weirdly just today I went for afternoon tea and I stated I was a veggi when ordering and what do I get – a bloody salmon sandwich. Really – a salmon is a fish and it breathes and has eyes (well it did). When I said – I’m a vegetarian, she just rolled her eyes like I was an idiot. So yes – being vegetarian brings with it quite a lot of hassle. Once an old boss left half a pig on my desk where I worked, that was a really funny day. Not.
- Welsh – I love being Welsh , absolutely SOO proud of it. However, we do get a lot of shit – from sheep shagging to our accents to accusations of being backward and being second class to people taking the piss out of our weather, constantly. I remember being asked in Bali, where in England was Wales, near Liverpool? You have to laugh it off – we don’t want to tell everyone how great it is to be in Wales or to be Welsh, it’s our secret J
So you see – I spent and maybe you are spending – all that time, all those years worrying about coming out and the reaction you might get. The fact is, for me, I get and have got much more hassles for other things that I am. Do I care – nope, it makes me who I am.
My friend asked me last night over a glass of wine – ‘what is your philosophy in life?’ (I love having friends who ask random stuff like this!). First thing that came to my mind was a cliché but I believe it to be absolutely vital – be true to yourself. However having a bit of help from some smoothing serum for those curls is also allowed! So be true to yourself, with smooth looking hair J