So I have really enjoyed my short stay with my family. It was really good to see everyone. As with all things there is the good and the not so good.
- Seeing family I haven’t visited with for over a year or even longer.
- The east coast.
- The seafood.
- The fun.
- The sunny weather.
- The beautiful flowers in bloom.
- Ferns and other beautiful nature moments.
- Their dog playing with me.
- Exploring their yard and area sights and stores.
- Jokes and camaraderie.
- The decompression from life, the relaxation.
- My first flight and soon to be my second.
- Being able to see mom, and both of us looking and feeling better these days- others noticed.
The not so good was minimal, mostly, with one significant moment. There were awkward moments which my brothers later poked fun at. I ate way too much of things that I haven’t been eating for months. Dad’s health isn’t doing so hot and everyone really noticed that. And there were conversations that made me pause.
Sometimes I wonder how I came from the same family, because it’s like I’ve seen a very different world than they have. For most of it, I was able to just stay out of the conversation and let it pass.
One moment I did just that, but felt a huge twang in my heart. It was a sore subject for me because it is the moment that keeps me from being 100% authentic with my own family, and also solidifies that I will never be fully accepted by my own family.
Most of the family has Catholic leanings, the few that don’t converted to other religions or were/are the Mormon part of the family. The Catholic faith still refuses to acknowledge anything beyond heterosexuality. And Mormons like polygamy because men can own women, buy young girls, and pretend that is because of love, but they’ll kill or run off anyone that tries to flip the scales of gender in that picture, and that’s nothing to say of what they have done to homosexual people.
Anyway, my brother was pointing out the difference between being offensive and harassment. The former can be simply because you believe or do something for yourself; the latter is because you went after someone with intent (possibly because of the former). It becomes a huge entanglement causing investigations more frequently now, simply because people can’t just be offended and move on.
I fully understand where he was coming from and what was being said. I don’t 100% agree, but generally speaking do agree with what was being said.
My fall down was in the example he used. He said “I don’t agree with lesbianism because my religious beliefs say it is wrong.” He was using himself as an example of something that is offensive to many, but it’s a statement of his choices and if you don’t like it just move on.
Yet I couldn’t help but remember everything I’ve learned over my years about how people have been outright shunned, traumatized, psychologically damaged, beaten and killed, because of that simple belief. People that were sent to camps and tortured to try and clean the evil homosexuality out of them, to never actually be cured of homosexuality. All because of that one belief.
Now I don’t think my brother would ever do any of that, and that’s where intent is important and differentiates harassment or crime.
However, I also know that I can’t be fully honest about my bisexuality without fear of how he would treat me. What would change, would I be shunned again, how would he feel about me? How would any of the Catholics in the family treat me? Simply because I know that my brain finds both genders attractive, I’m hard wired that way.
I also know that denying any part of yourself is the quickest way to dis-ease and eventually death. It’s why my own father is afraid of dying and miserable every day that he remains alive, because he denied parts of himself his entire life and abused everyone around him in retaliation, and because of even so much more. Self-hatred eventually turns into a million reasons to hate on everyone else, and that’s exactly what my father did for 77 years.
And if my father can hate on everyone for denying his bisexual leanings, then so can anyone else. Again: if my father denied that part of himself, and I acknowledged it in myself almost 20 years before finding out about his, then it speaks to being somehow intrinsically linked to our genetic lineage or familialy learned behaviors.
If it’s assumed to be a genetic defect in our family, then it is reflecting a defect in humanity as a whole, and why doesn’t it affect everyone equally? We all had Dad’s DNA, why am I the only one acknowledging bisexuality. Additionally, if it’s merely learned behavior, then all of my siblings should identify as bisexual as well, we all had Dad’s upbringing, so his leanings would have been taught equally. And, if we’re all that way, then the conversation should not have gone down that road to begin with.
Or perhaps it’s not actually a defect of any kind. We need to acknowledge that perhaps it’s been that way all along, and beliefs such as my brother’s, are what kept it hidden for mellenia.
Or perhaps it is new, but still not necessarily a defect. What is better: being killed by people like Gates/Stalin/Hitler because they want population control, or acknowledging that maybe we evolved to having homosexuality to naturally curb population? That perhaps humanity hit it’s own natural limits and is self correcting.
Having any belief that tells someone a major factor of their identity is wrong, is detrimental to yourself, your family, your community, and society as a whole.
My brother can and has told me many things over the years. I’m unfazed by most of it, because all the politics and environmentally influenced thoughts are temporary to a certain degree. Most of them are changeable and malleable, and will change as soon as the next major factor is adjusted. Both those are things involving processes and how to set up protective or punishment measures.
But stating that someone’s sexuality is wrong is telling them that an intrinsic part of themselves is wrong. If it causes dis-ease to label your self as wrong in any way, then what do you think it does when religion dictates that is how we should view masses of people in our world? If telling yourself you are wrong causes disease, do you think you’ll be healthy telling everyone else that are wrong too? It’s no good any way you look at it, and I’m still amazed that anyone with a brain as intelligent as his is, can allow for a belief like that to continue. Your own logic should be able to easily delineate right from wrong in this case.
It is a belief that is toxic to humanity, and hurtful especially when it causes your own flesh and blood to want to run and never look back. I love my brother and wish him the absolute best in life, but I have to love myself more than that if I want to live. I do not have the luxury of just going with an institution’s toxic dogma, because it would deny my own inner being and I have worked too damn hard to maintain and heal as much as I have.
I simply can not deny what I know too be a part of myself, and now knowing that most of my family feels that way, it is too much. I can’t be my own authentic self with my own biological family, and if I want to heal fully I need to be authentic to myself. So this will probably be the last time I spend any significant time with them. I want to live and move forward, and this is just another toxic belief I have no ability to endure any longer. I am worth more than that.
I am a beautiful human being, and that includes a sexual identity that whether caused by genetics, or learned behavior, or human evolution, I can not change. There have been few people that have ever “overcome homosexuality” and of the few that claimed they did, even many of those were later caught ‘failing’ at it. If it’s that ingrained, then why are we still labeling people as wrong because a religion said so?
I have to acknowledge that the logic doesn’t add up, and that it is hurtful to enable or support such a toxic belief. I don’t want to hurt my family, so I’ll just quietly duck out and leave them to their own devices. I’m grateful to my childhood and my life for teaching me what not to do, and this is just another instance that I will learn from and grow because of. I want to live in a better world and I’m going to do my damnedest to change myself enough to enable that.
Our world needs no more hate. We need more peace, more growth, more happiness, more relief. Self-acceptance and acceptance of others is a huge step in the right direction, and that is where my focus well be. I’d rather love than hate. I’d rather be accepting than limiting. I’d rather be supportive than restrictive. I’d rather have growth and forward movement and momentum, than stagnate and decay.
I won’t push the subject with my family, we’ve had enough discord over the years. I’ll just stay silent and move on, sending them well wishes from afar. I’d rather leave no trace of my differences and quietly peacefully withdraw. I deserve better than the alternative. They have my love even with the ache in my heart.
May you never find yourself deeply offended by your own family. May you know that your family truly and unequivocally accepts you. May you know that you are really loved even if just by the divine. May you know that the divine loves each and every ounce, every cell, every atom in your body. May you know you are perfect just the way you are, and that if something is already in your identity then it is who you are and loving it is the only right thing to do. May you know that you deserve better in whatever that means, from changing a belief in yourself, to walking away from fighting something that can’t be changed, to finding love for another even when their words hurt deeply. May we all be the change that this world needs to see.