Apparently, I'm not as out as I thought I was. In fact, I'm probably not out at all if being out means I'm going to happily announce on Facebook on "National Coming Out Day" that I'm out, which I'm not going to do. Besides, if anyone on Facebook actually looks at my profile, he or she will see that my interest is in men and that I have a large mass of LGBT and other sexuality groups that I have "liked". That's as "out" as I feel like I can do for now.
I have "friended" many people from work, high school, my mission as well as from other times of my past who I know have not looked at my Facebook profile, and in a way, I'm glad. I just don't want it to be a big deal. But, I'm also screaming inside to talk about it. It's the pains of living alone and isolated. I just want to talk about it with people I know I can trust, because the rest of them just want to tell me how I need save myself by following Christ, and it's not just the Mormons that do that either.
I had lunch with a co-worker last week, who I also take dressage lessons with, and I mentioned to her my troubles with the "big elephant in the room" and the problems I had living and working out here. I wanted to talk to her about the incidences I've had with some co-workers and their incredibly insensitive and homophobic rants during some corporate social functions, which HR effectively ignored, and the bullshit, insulting, gay and trans jokes that get tossed around as if LGBT people are just another group of freaks to made fun of.
I know that simply mentioning that elephant issue made her uncomfortable so I didn't elaborate. She's one of the many people I know out here that doesn't have a problem with me being gay but at the same time, does. Still, I give her credit for trying. But because I didn't say anything, she said that my elephant problem was mostly in my head. Granted, I admitted that a large part of it is because of my fears, but I needed to explain to her that I've had it all turn bad enough times that I haven't been able to get past how it puts me on edge all of the time. And then I gave her an example of a mutual co-worker whose entire family has shut me out of their life because of it. I've written very briefly in passing about him on other blog posts.
She did admit that this place wasn't the best place for understanding. That is coming from someone who has lived here for over 20+ years. You would think that such a place, given its heavily touristy economy, would have a bit more diversity. But I guess there really isn't any evidence to support that.
So, that feeling where I don't know where I stand with people continues. Every day I have to find out if some new person that comes along is going to either let me live my life and wish to be part of that or they are going to instead turn around and make it needlessly difficult. Already I've got a new office mate that is proving to be problematic. And most of the time my solution is just to stay in the closet and not say anything that would clue anyone in. And in order to do that I have to keep everyone at a distance, even the people who I have gotten to know and appreciate their friendship such as my dressage instructor and the other people I ride with. Because, like I mentioned before, when that elephant came up, the friendship ended. So, I keep it all bottled up in side until I'm ready to explode.
To end a friendship over something as inane as person's innate sexuality is ridiculous. But it's understandable that it's going to happen when there are people in the world who teach homophobia like Packer, Oaks, Faust, Kimball, Bednar, Ballard, Hafen, Holland, Cook, Monson, Wickman, Clayton, McMullin, Hinckley and many others. And that's just a sampling of the Mormon leadership.
I've just got to find a way through this. I don't know what that is going to be right now but there has got to be a way. This has got to get better, right? With all of those videos going around the Internets about it getting better, there is got to be a way it's going to get better for me. So that I will be able to safely make that announcement on Facebook and not give a shit what the outcome is, even if it affects my job. I want to be able to feel safe when proudly placing that picture on my desk at work of my future Partner/Husband/Boyfriend/Sir/Master/pup/boy or whatever the hell the title(s) will be if that time ever comes, just like every other God Damned privileged heterosexual does.
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