To say the very least, I have been privileged in every sense of the word when it comes to the open and accepting environment I happened to have grown up in. So then why does the fact that I happen to be attracted to those of the same gender have a massive effect on me and my experience as a human?
Firstly, recognising this privilege has meant that I am incredibly empathetic and in awe of those who survive, thrive as well as often struggle, who haven’t had the luck of the draw so to speak, as I have.
To give a little more context in relation to my privilege regarding my sexuality, basically my parents were thrilled to hear when they found out (I never actually outwardly told them; a story to be told later) and life continued on, my sexuality viewed as nothing deserving of any extra attention. My girlfriends were always included in family events and my mum particularly made an explicit point when introducing my girlfriends to her friends, that the girl standing next to me was my girlfriend, not friend.
However, how is it that I still hold a subliminal and non-conscious at times amount of shame and embarrassment when I’ve been brought up in the most accepting environment I could have possibly asked for? Why the bloody hell do my muscles and body seize up when anticipating the response of someone when telling them I’m gay?
Looking back at my school days, even though I had plenty of friends, some still my best friends now, I have never completely felt like I belonged. I forever felt uncomfortable wearing a dress, couldn’t bring myself to speak outwardly about boys of which at the time I was supposedly into, and generally never felt like I fit in as ‘one of the girls’.
I feel as though the years of attempting to, and failing miserably to fit in to what I was ‘meant’ to be like, look like and feel like could be a major contributor to the anxiety that I possess now. Although I have progressed massive amounts, such as wearing whatever the hell I want to parties, even if it means standing out as the underdressed lesbian girl in group photos, why do I still feel uncomfortable that I am different? I haven’t quite made the jump to the next step of not giving a fuck what people notice or think about me, which frustrates me.
With this blog I hope to discover how I can make that step as well as learning the stories and struggles of those who haven’t grown up in an accepting family and/or friends. If not anything, I hope to educate those straighties out there with some knowledge on how to be allies and how to be inclusive and appropriately accepting of those who are different.