When I came out I can remember having a conversation with my father a few days after I came out. He told me “just please don’t get HIV”. This was when I was getting sober, so my memory was comparable to a hummingbird with ADD, so although there may have been other conversations that took place about my sexuality…I don’t remember any.
This was difficult to write, and may be difficult to read. Before we get started, I would like to offer a trigger warning to anyone experiencing addiction/depression/self-harm/suicidal thoughts or anything of the like. For those of you that might be confused about your sexual identity, I want to hear from you. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, let me be that person.
Do you want to know why I am a proud gay man? It is because I know the things that queer people before me have done. How ferociously they fought to allow me to be myself safely and openly. And although I may not have been able to witness the progress through the decades, I am appreciative beyond words to those who fought before me. RuPaul said that as gay people we get to choose our family. So here I sit, with clenched fists, bared teeth, and tears in my eyes because I am so proud. So unbelievably proud of the men, women, and nonconforming family I stand with and would defend even if my life depended on it.
It’s human nature to try to make sense of things. To try to put things into organized boxes so that understanding them becomes easier. And in a lot of cases labels can be beneficial. They can create a sense of community and belonging, which for some is all they’ve ever wanted. There comes a point, however, where labels become limitations. Read More