Earlier today I had a conversation with my mother. God love her, she’s grown so much and has accepted me so infinitely more than she used to – for being who I am. Tonight, she’s going to go tell off some homophobic friends of hers – defending me – and I love her for it. I’m so proud of how much she’s grown.
And yet, in her description to me of what she intends to say, she said something like this: “God made my son smart. He made him intelligent. He made him kind. He made him talented. He made him creative. He made him loving. Did he (God) throw a wrench into things by making him gay? Sure. But he’s so beautiful despite it.”
What I would like mom to hear is this: I am beautiful because of it.
Think of all the great artists you know. The Michelangelos, the Da Vincis. The fashion designers and editorialists that run magazines. The photographers, the dancers, the painters, the poets. Almost all of them: gay. And by no coincidence.
Being gay makes men more creative. More artistic. We inherit the talents typically ascribed to women for color, design, spatiality, and aesthetics. We appreciate and nourish beauty in a way that straight men typically don’t.
Think of all the authors, psychologists, musicians, social leaders who have been gay. Who have an unusually high level of empathy and understanding of the human plight. Who can be sympathetic, connected, and emotionally aware in a way straight men usually aren’t. Again, we inherit the traditional gift set of women to foster community, understanding, and caring in ways that aren’t traditionally associated with manhood.
We can be kind, considerate, beautiful and artistic in ways that we probably wouldn’t had we been born straight.
Being gay is such a gift. Because of it, I will always know what it means to be an outsider. To be different. To have to understand and relate to the world in a different way than my peers.
It means that I know how it feels to be outcast, to be maligned, to be unable to attain homogeny with everyone else. I will always be able to empathize with the underdog, to see the stranger’s point of view, to weep with the downtrodden.
It means that I’m more non-violent and peace seeking than a straight man would ever be. It means that I’m more emotionally aware and expressive than a straight man would ever be. It means that I am more connected with beauty in the natural world – seeking harmony – than my heterosexual counterparts will have a natural aptitude for.
I live neither in the world of women nor the world of men. But I glean glimpses from both. I live in the divide and love and laugh freely from that space in between.
I have been given the gifts of both sexes and am more beautiful and powerful because of it.
This is not to say that heterosexual men can’t be emotional, kind, creative, or artistic. But think of the ways we typically describe manhood: those words are not near the first that come to mind.
So, mom, if you can hear this. I’m not special in your eyes despite being gay. I’m wonderful because of it. And I wouldn’t change the way I was made for all the wealth in the world.
Why should it matter who I love? Whether I love a man or a woman – all that matters is that there is love between us. It does not matter.
All that does – is how kindly we live, how much we love, and how easily we let go of things that were never meant for us in the first place. All that matters is how much courage we live life with.
I love you so, mom. Thanks for sticking up for your son.
With love, Kaelan 🙂