It's been a while since I've written a blog about something personal in my life. Here lately politics have consumed most of my attention, therefore my writing has shown that. But as I sit here in my room at 6am taking advantage of the quiet calm that dawn has presented me, I begin to reflect upon my personal relationships and how I interact within these relationships. The genuine connections I have with my family and close friends have always been extremely important to me. But being gay and closeted for my entire life up until I was 19 or 20 effected those relationships, and what parts of my personality I felt comfortable sharing with them. I loved and desperately needed these people in my life, and I thought if they knew who I really was then I'd lose them. So I learned how to compartmentalize different aspects of my personality and modify those characteristics that I thought might expose my secret. I became really good at analyzing people to figure out who they wanted me to be and what attributes they felt the most comfortable with. So in my head I thought that's who they wanted me to be, so in-turn I would try and portray that when I was around that person. After doing that for almost my whole life, I began to question every single thing about me and my personality. What was real and what was an act. After struggling with who I am and wrestling with self-hatred for all those years, somehow I finally found the courage admit to myself and to my friends that I was gay. I was so blessed to have amazing friends in my life that genuinely love and accepted me unconditionally. They have no idea how big of a role their acceptance played in making me feel good about myself for the first time in my life. Without Shante Mika and Jessie, I might be dead right now... no joke. Then about 4 years after I came out to my friends, my family finds out. I won't get into how they found out, but I will say it wasn't a pleasant situation, and probably one of the darkest periods in my life thus far. So after that pretty much everyone in my life knew about my sexuality, then there was no need for me to be so guarded, scared, and cautious anymore. I could just be me... right? Well that's what I thought at first, but things aren't like that at all. Let me explain: After building a personal relationship with someone throughout your whole life, you and that particular person have created a certain rapport with each other. The familiar way you two interact is what makes your relationship comfortable, so that's what you come to expect from that person. So now that I'm not closeted anymore, I don't feel comfortable putting on that act. So my relationships with those people becomes a huge dilemma. I don't know how to be "me" around them. I can feel that they're uncomfortable with my sexuality because they don't want to acknowledge it or talk about it. They want me to be the person they are use to, but they don't understand that that person wasn't me. So because of all that, I just try and keep my distance. I don't want to give them the chance to reject me. This is the case with a lot of my family right now (most, but NOT all). I have no idea how to act around them.
I'm not sure if I articulated my thoughts and feelings clearly in this post, but I hope that whoever reads this will get some kind of understanding out of it. This is a hard situation to put into words because there's so much emotion behind it. Maybe I'll do a video blog later on to try and explain things a little better. If you did pick up on the point I was trying to get across, then leave me a short comment or a private message to let me know.