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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Why I feel like I'm part of the minority

I'm going to put this out there.  It's opening up my soul a bit and it is a bit raw.  I feel like it is worth sharing though.  I've had my own share of hurtful things done to me over the years.  I've been bullied, pushed around, called names, threatened, and lived in fear.

I am not discounting the unspeakable things that black men, latino men, asian men, and others who are not a white man go through.  I am seeing first hand what that is like as I am about to marry a black man who didn't grow up in this country.  It hurts me to see it happen to him.  I don't want people to respond in fear or discriminate or be racist.

I grew up being forced to hide who I was.  I learned to walk, talk, sit, stand, write, and act like a straight, white man.  I knew that I would be ridiculed or pushed around if my mannerisms, my speech, my clothes, or any part of me even came close to appearing stereotypically feminine or gay.

As a gay man, I learned to play that part.  Even today, I find myself living in fear.  When I walk get dressed in the morning, I want to look nice but not "overdo" it.  When I walk to my car, I walk the way I was taught to walk.  When I am seeing a new doctor, like last week, I hesitate mentioning my emergency contact is my boyfriend, soon to be husband.  When starting a new job, I change the pronoun to a neutral when when mentioning the person I love.  I use words like fiance, spouse, significant other, and try not to speak in gender in case someone might say or do something because they aren't fans of gay people.

I realized this week that I have a strong dislike and mistrust of straight white men unless and until they prove to me that they are "not like that."  I also fear the authority of police officers and people in the military because of their history of abusing and mistreating gay and lesbian people.

This isn't right.  I want this to change.  I want the world to be a place where I can always respond first in love and not in fear.  Because of this, I say that black lives matter.  I am not going through what you are going through, but I too have a fear and mistrust of the white man and of authority.

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