Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Confidence

Today I went to see a new counselor. Some of you know why. This was at the free clinic - well, at least I will probably qualify for it being free because of my low income. Anywho...

The counselor ran through about 12 or so pages of yes, no, or one-word answer questions. Not long after, "Do you have a history of depression in your family?" she asks


What is your sexual orientation?


I made a little face because I wasn't sure "queer" would be accurate from her own interpretation of it. She said, "You know like straight, gay, bisexual." Hmmmm Well....

"I'm queer and I say that because I am attracted to people that don't fall under the traditional labels of man or woman."

Her face reflected both confusion and a little panic. It wasn't fear - She just had absolutely no idea what to say.

She is a sweet woman who was kind and is probably going to be a great person to talk to about my "issues." But...let's be fair: I live in East Tennessee. Her apparently decent heart persona warranted a gentle explanation.

"You see, I am in a relationship with a male-identified person who is female-bodied."

She paused and processed momentarily, and turned to her desk to write some notes.



Thing is, I just came out to my uncle and his wife. They made a point to tell me how much they love me and always will no matter who I love. My immediate family (siblings, parents, older nieces/nephews) knows I'm not straight, but they don't all know about my new partner.

My mother does know. Today when we spoke she asked me a question about my partner and started to say "she", but then changed it to "he." Then she asked me which he prefers - which would "make him or her more comfortable." Again, I am so blessed.

So when the counselor asked me my "orientation", it didn't even occur to me to lie. See, at the end of the day I know the people who love me, love me for who I am. I don't lie about who I am to those I trust. Some betray that trust, but I forgive them - because at least I was being who I really am.

This confidence comes from not only being with a partner who wants me for the way I really am, but from my family's support and kindness.

So if you are with someone who wants you to change things about you that aren't necessary for your health, go find someone who really wants you.

And if someone in your family is "different", be sure to tell them how much you celebrate their differences and love them.

3 comments:

DBD

Very nicely said...
When you love someone.

13messages

Such an important post. I love the love in your words. Your mom's questions were beautiful.

My best.

Roxy

:) Reading this made my heart happy. I'm so glad to hear that you've been embraced by those around you, and I imagine that has a lot to do with your patience with them as they learn new ways of thinking.

Lovely post.

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