Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hop Against Homophobia Bi- and Transphobia: Who I Am #HAHBAT

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May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. 
I'm one of 120 participants from across the world who are standing up to say enough is enough. In honor of today I'm sharing part of my own journey of self discovery. To learn more, check out the website.

When The Rug Got Pulled Out From Underneath My Feet
(this is going to get ugly)
Society teaches us that everyone must fit into a box. Being box-less is against the laws of human nature. The bigger the box, the better off you are. God forbid you "pick" a small box, that's almost as bad as having no box at all. Two years ago I started to get sick, so sick that I lost the ability to do my job. I lost my box, the place that I fit. I almost lost my mind, and I wasn't sure why. No joke; six feet under was looking pretty darn good. 

Boxes Are For Packing, Not For People
 (my box is not as comfortable as I pretended it was
I've been spending a lot of time recently thinking about who I am, what's important to me, and how I want to define myself going forward. It all started about a month ago. I was reading Mia Kerick's upcoming release, Love Spell, and found this series of quotes from the main character, Chance César.

I used to let myself go there in my head. "There" being defined as the place in my mind that isn't sure which gender box I fit into, and is cool with that. Okay, so maybe the last time I went there I was a kid. Like, back before middle school was when I gave my brain the freedom to wonder. Since those days, though, I'd learned about the boxes - you have to be a boy or a girl, gay or straight, in the closet or out, masc or femme. Pick a box, Chance, any box... Just pick one, for the love of Elton John!

The think is, I'm what you might call, caught in the middle. Well, not completely caught, cuz I know for a fact that my body is male, and that I'm gay and, judging by my sweatshirt, I'm way far out of the closet. It's the rest of the gender stuff that wreaks havoc with my brain.

When I was a kid, I called myself a "pink boy." Other kids at school, even back then, called me a "girl-boy." Now, on the rare occasions I consider what has become such a touchy subject, I tell myself, "Chance, you're just a dude in the 'middle spaces'." But to spell it out, I'm caught between genders.

I Lied; It Started Much Longer Than A Month Ago
(the light bulb turns on in the attic of my mind)
I've never fit in, and always had a lot of really good reasons as to why that is. Yes, I'm a girl, but I grew up with brothers... 5 brothers, so being a girly girl just wasn't an option. I've got one friend who "gets" me, I'm luckier than most, so why should I tempt fate and ask for more? I wasn't paying attention when they passed out the gene that enables people to "fake it" in social settings. The box I'm most comfortable in, the one that fits, isn't who I am; it's what I do, but I'm okay with that. The list goes on, but you get the gist of it. I was lost and didn't even know it.

Most People Never Get The Chance To Redefine Themselves
(therapy is REALLY expensive considering they offer more questions than answers)
I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a heterosexual woman. I don't fit in. I've done so many things to change who I am on the outside, but my insides are still confused. I want the world to get off my back and let me be me. Stop judging me. Stop pressuring me to conform. Stop trying to force me into your shitty little boxes. Stop looking at me like I'm a circus monkey. Honestly, I've reached the point that I don't really care what I am anymore. I just want to be happy.

Happiness Starts On The Inside And Shines Outward 
(sticks and stones may break my bones but I won't let words hurt me anymore)
I've managed to learn a few things along the way. Despite what the world wants me to believe, it doesn't really matter what other people think. Honestly. Why? Because you can't depend on others for your happiness. Having the approval and acceptance of those around me isn't going to make me happy. Not if I'm not happy with myself. A life spent mired in someone else's definition of who I am is lonelier than one spent free of that burden and alone. Knowing this to be true doesn't make walking away from those who hurt me any easier. Turning the other cheek day after day after day, it gets easier with time, but is never easy. Finding the confidence to accept myself the way that I am, to leave those expectations behind and just be me, that makes me happy.

Let Go Of Fear And Raise Your Voice For Change
(that's what friends are for)
I've met a lot of amazing people along the way who have helped me be me. Find a stranger who is in need of a friend. Hold their hand. Show them love by accepting them for who they are. Let your light shine, be an example for others, be the kind of person who maks a difference one small step at a time. There will be good days and bad days, wins and losses; for every two steps I take forward, somewhere someone else is being forced to take one step back. That's not okay. It wasn't okay yesterday, it's not okay today and it isn't acceptable for tomorrow. Standing strong, working together as a community, sharing the burden; it takes courage and it's the best way to facilitate positive change. Love is love.
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  1. Great post, Carly! I know how hard it is to look at one's own life and find it unsatisfying. I wish you all the best for happiness.

  2. Love is love. Hugs. Hopefully minds and hearts will be opened.

  3. A very personally heart-tugging post. Your emotions really came through.

  4. Why do we have all theses boxes! I think at least when you are an adult you can become mostly what you want to be it's the young children and adults that have the hardest time trying to break out of there appointed boxes. Love is Love!


  5. I am happy being in the box I made for myself. I don't like the one society would put me in.

  6. Thank you for your post and participating in this blog hop. No one should be persecuted for who they love.

  7. Maybe someday people can just be who they are without society so hell-bent on categorizing them...after all, I think *everybody* is different from the "norm" (and who's to say what that is?!) in some way!

    Trix, vitajex(At)Aol(dot)com

  8. wow...

    i learned at 23 to just let everything go. I knew i wasn't straight, always knew that, and yet I never really confronted myself about this fact (which if you knew me in my late teens you'd probably find weird, I was very vocal about my liking of both) - it was 23 when i let it go, when i think i truly accepted this about myself and it allowed me to be free

  9. Fantastic post! Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Amazing post! Thanks for really just putting things out there. Love is love, equality is equality and what is there to fear in another human being?

  11. Equality must be for all.

  12. Thank you for the amazing post Carly. Thank you for sharing something so personal. I totally understand the box analog, and you're right we all feel the pressure to fit in a box. I tried as a child to "fit" in and never did, so I forged my own path, but it was very hard and a lot of the time very lonely. We all could use support and understanding instead of judging for the "boxes" we do or don't fit into. I still find myself second guessing things on occasion when I don't fit in the box that others would put me in, then I remember that I'm happier this way.

  13. Thank you for the post and for advocating equal rights. Love is love and no one should be judged for that.


  14. I've learned that I'm a lot more accepting than a large percentage of the population
    Love is Love


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