And that's when I realized... is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their realizations, both the comical and poignant. To submit to this series, please email me at email@example.com. Today’s post is by Rhiannon Ledgerwood.
When I was deciding what to write about my first thought was to write about when I realized I was an amazing dancer with mad skillz. (That’s right; I put a ‘z’ there.) It was going to be a humorous account of the realization that confidence is so much about faking it (and practicing in front of mirrors for hours). Then March 26th happened, the day I like to call the Big Day ‘O Gay.
For those not in the know March 26th marked the day that the first of two important gay rights related cases were put before the Supreme Court. Both were related to the right for same-sex couples to marry and their recognized rights once married. That day caused a stirring in the definition of marriage debate with strong fervor witnessed on both sides of the aisle.
Due to an unfortunate blend of genetics, environmental factors, and perhaps a family curse, I am gay. Though it’s certainly not for lack of trying. I didn’t even entertain the idea that I was not straight until I was 21 years old. Cause why would I want to be gay?
I had a dream. A dream in which I was happily married with 2.5 kids (one is a little person), working as a doctor in a small pediatric practice. This dream was seemingly crushed by my inability to feel something, anything for men. Because gays can’t get married. Gays can’t have a “normal” life.
But with March 26th, there was a sliver of hope. Gay marriage (you got to put the word “gay” in front of it, otherwise it’s just marriage) is making major strides in this country. Granted it will probably be twenty years before my home state of Kentucky allows the willful destruction of such a sacred institution, but it is progress.
In addition to this hope, I witnessed a lot of anger. Now I am a Christian and a woman of high morals. And here are people saying by wanting to find a way to reconcile my dream with something I DID NOT CHOOSE AND DID NOT WANT that I am disobeying God’s law. Come on! What do you want from me?!?
I’ll admit I’m no advocate. I try not to rub my “alternative” lifestyle in people’s faces (Facebook doesn’t count; Facebook is a warzone). All I want to do is live my life as quietly and uneventfully as I can. I don’t mean to want something as radical or controversial as marriage. It’s times like these when I feel that being gay kinda sucks. It’s a struggle which I never signed up for. Everything is ten times more difficult. Dating, relationships, having children, the workplace, even walking down the street.
So, no, I don’t want to be gay. The vitriol I endured on March 26th made that even more apparent. But since I’m stuck with it, I guess I have to make the best of it. I do admit there are benefits. I feel much more comfortable in my skin. My dancing skillz have vastly improved. My confidence has soared and I’m happier than I was when I was lying to myself, playing the role of societal pacification. However I have to say if I was given a choice I wouldn’t live this gay life: this life of struggle, fear, and intangible dreams. I’d much rather be straight.
[I strongly dislike writing something without a happy ending, so here you go: “And they lived happily ever after. The End. “]
Rhiannon Ledgerwood is a professional med school applicant, defunct blogger, living in Kentucky and working as a very cynical EMT. You can find at well..nowhere right now but if you continue to squint really hard at the screen, you will need glasses in a couple of years.
Writer of Nested and Bourbon - Neat - and Baking on the Rocks.