Jun 12, 2015
In honor of Gay Pride month and because yet another June of graduations has passed without me being called upon to give a Commencement Speech, I’m going to offer a few observations. Hey I’m 60 which is 106 in gay years so honor your elder and pipe down.
There are young men, women and young folks contemplating taking their body over to the other gender that come to Gay Pride a bit bewildered. It occurs to me that may well be because we put so much emphasis on “coming out.” So much pain is floating around in one’s around the topics of gender and sexuality so that the negativity about alternate sexuality is internalized so well, that to bring oneself to face the truth that one is “other” is an act of courage that we rightfully celebrate.
Let’s leave this topic for a bit and look at another one for a bit. We’ll revisit it, trust me. This won’t be a treated like subplot in Game of Thrones.
June is the month we celebrate graduations, particularly college graduations. The amount of dedication one must invest in trusting one’s thoughts to be molded and informed by one’s teachers, many times in conflicting directions, while learning to critically think and reason for oneself, takes a leap of faith and courage that is rightfully celebrated. It can also be scary looking at that mountain of debt with no idea how it will get paid and get a life lived while paying it.
So, we’ve seen Daenerys’s dragons but there’s another front we have to visit.
June is a popular month to get married. It takes courage to admit that the love you’ve found with that other person is so strong and your desire to stay in his/her life so great that you the idea of living someplace else with someone else is unthinkable. It takes courage to tie one’s life into another’s so unbreakably that no debt will ever be only one’s own and one’s time can only be committed by consent of the other is also rightly celebrated.
Each of those themes have one thing in common: after the party, one has to move forward. Acknowledging you’re gay gives you the right to live as a Gay person. Finishing your education gives you the right to use your diploma in search of meaningful employment. Getting married commits to you find common goals to work on with your spouse. In all cases, it is up to you to find that path and follow it.
Each of those events had looked like a final goal and had steps clearly articulated for you and have no clear path after you’ve achieved that goal. You’ve walked through the gate in the Wall, now how do you avoid the undead army? Find what is meaningful to you. As far as being Gay is concerned, but for Andy Cohen and the guys from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, there is no profession of Gay. So you have to find a way of being Gay that makes you happy and refine it. If you like art, do you like representational or modern? Do you like appreciating it or making it? Cooking? Eating? Drinking? Having Sex? What cuisine, variety of booze or position satisfies you? Are you witty or sarcastic? Sincere or empathetic? Can you do both and be happy? Move to zero in your passion and you’ll be you who’s Gay.
Oddly enough, the same steps with different criteria can help you find your career and define your family. No one can or should tell you who you are. But you will have to do it for yourself or you will find yourself accepting other’s definitions and internalizing them, often to your own stress and dismay. Commence.