Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fluidity Teen: A Website to Look Out For

Today as I was clicking around the internet I stumbled across this website geared toward gay youth.The site is called Fluidity Teen and it seems that the purpose of this website is to allow GLBTQ teens to express themselves through the telling of their personal stories, poetry and any other literary work. The site also has a blog that they post to and some videos that can be watched.
The site itself is fairly new and doesn't have many entries and there aren't any submissions yet, but I think that this site is headed in the right direction and could be a great creative outlet and resource for GLBTQ youth. I'll provide the link below. Be sure to share this website with any gay teens that you know. This is a website to keep an eye out for.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Kind of Heroes You Find on a Beach

I have a few heroes in my life. My parents, my sisters, my friends, and other people who I look up to and can count on; but this isn't about them. This is about two people, one of who has always been my hero, and the other who I just realized is my hero.
Over the summer my entire family (everyone on my moms side) went on a house boat for ten days. . On a warm night after everyone else had gone to bed I went out to sit on the beach we were docked on with my aunt and uncle. The conversation was the usual joking and telling the stories we had been saving up for a year, at least until my Aunt broached the subject of my sexuality. 
My aunt and I have always been pretty close, we were inseparable growing up and I adored and admired her more than anything. She has always been my hero, so I suppose it should come as no shock that she was one of the first people to figure out that I am gay. However, even though she knew, we never really touched on the subject. That night however, it was different. 
My aunt asked me about my love life and we began discussing women and my feelings on the woman I was with at that time. The way my aunt and uncle talked to me made me feel so normal, which was incredible of them. For the first time I was talking to two people outside of my immediate family and I felt so normal, I could not have asked them for more; but then again I wouldn't be writing this if there wasn't more. 
I don't remember how we got on the topic but my Aunt and Uncle said something to me that I will never ever forget. They both looked me straight in the eye and told me that when I met the right girl and I wanted to bring her home for Christmas they were going to make sure that, that happened. They were going to make it ok for that to happen because I am no different than anyone else in the family. In that moment, on that beach, in the middle of Utah, they unwittingly became my heroes.
I'm not sure they know how much that meant to me, to hear them say that and to know that I am loved, accepted and considered normal. It was so much more than I could have ever asked for. I have never told them how much that night meant to me, or that when I am in despair over the way I or someone else is being treated in regards to their sexuality, that I remember that conversation and it gives me strength. They are my heroes. I hope that those of you reading this can also find some kind of strength in this story or in one of your own. That is, after all, why I am sharing it. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Not Me Poem

So I know it has been an incredibly long time since I kept up with this blog but I am back and am planning on keeping up with everything a little better. For now I am posting a poem that I wrote.

Why Not Me?

What makes me any different,
From the man you want her to be with?
Look past my breasts,
Look past the fact that I don’t have
Something between my legs,
And tell me what makes him better
Than me?

Did he love her any more
Then I do?
No, impossible.
I love her with everything
I have between my ribs.
I would do anything
For her, can’t you see that?
So why not me?

I am going to college
And getting a degree;
I’m going to be a teacher!
And I know what you’re thinking
Teachers hardly make a living
But I will!
And I will make sure
She never wants for anything.
So again I ask you,
Why not me?

I make your daughter smile
And I make her laugh.
I make her feel loved
And safe.
I won’t take her for granted
I promise you that.
Now again I must ask
Why not me?

I am intelligent.
I can hold a conversation
About anything on my own.
I am kind to others
Because I think kindness
Is important.
I would never be disrespectful
To anyone.
So please, please tell me,
Why not me?

I love your daughter
More than I can put into words.
There will never be a day
In her life
That she doubts that.
She will always feel wanted
And always feel cared for
Isn’t that something
Any parent would want
For their child?
So forgive me for asking
But, why not me?

You should feel proud
To have such an incredible
Whom gives so much and
Wants so little
Except for your approval.
And all I want is to
Share in her incredible life.
So at the sake of sounding
Redundant, I ask you
Why not me?

If you looked beyond
My gender
And beyond the fact
That she is in a relationship
With another woman.
You would see nothing
But happiness and love.
If you looked beyond the
Labels lesbian and bi-sexual
I would not have to ask you
Why not me. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Coming out of the Closet

So it has been a while since I have updated because I have been so busy with school lately and I just couldn't find the time to update. Finally I have a little bit of free time and today I am going to post something personal to help you get to know me a little better. I was planning on posting this blog on national coming out day but unfortunatly I missed it, so anyways here it is, my coming out story.
Looking back on my childhood I now know that I have always been gay. I was never interested in boys, I had boyfriends yes, but only under the influence of my friends who suggested the need for one, and really in 4th-6th grade boyfriends are just the boy you sit with at lunch and occasionally play on the playground with. I can think back to some of the times in my childhood when I can pinpoint having feelings for some of my friends or some of the times when I ignored the attraction I felt for female actresses, writing it off as envy, looking back I know I have always been gay. However it was not until my Junior year of high school that I started to acknowledge the fact that I was not attracted to men but instead I was attracted to women.

The turning point was when I met a girl, I will call her Heather however this is not her real name, nor will there ever be someone's real name in my blog. Anyways when I met Heather I was 16 almost 17 years old and she fasinated me. She was one of the only girls in our school that was out of the closet as gay. I found that from time to time I would gravitate toward her and talk and flirt with her, though the flirting I did not realize at the time. A couple weeks after I started spending time with her a friend approached me and, in true high school fashion, told me that Heather "liked" me. I was, of course elated and alarmed all at once, I went home that night and considered my feelings. I thought about why I felt the way I did and considered what it would be like to be in a relationship with a woman. I considered these ideas for a week or so, all the while avoiding Heather. After much thought I decieded the more and more I thought about being in a relationship with a woman the more it felt comfortable and natural. However thinking about being in a relationship with a same sex person is much different than actually being in one.

After I came to the conclusion that I might be gay, which at the time I thought meant I was probably bi-sexual, I decieded if Heather were to ask me to be in a relationship with her I would agree and I would no longer avoid her, however I would not be the one to make a move. After a few weeks its happened, the same friend who told me Heather "liked" me passed me a note from Heather. In the note she asked me to be her girlfriend and thus started the shortest relationship I ever had with a woman. Even though it was a short relationship Heather was in fact my first kiss, which coincidently is how our whole school found out that I was gay.

We were standing in the middle of the courtyard outside of my Chemistry class and she laid one on me, I was shocked and delighted and then afterwards very scared. I knew everyone had seen and it was in that moment that I had to own up to everyone in the school. I went into to Chemistry were I was assualted by a birage of questions all concerning my sexuality. I held my composer as well as a 17 year old girl can and confirmed to everyone that I was gay. Within in a week, similiar to a wildfire, the word had spread that I was gay. Everyone knew, which unfortunatly included my 14 year old sister.

Looking back I think that must have been an awful way to find out that your sister is gay, but if it bothered her she never told me, in fact if it wasnt for my sister I dont know that I would have made it through the whole coming out process. Whenever I was scared or someone was picking on me she was there, either as a shoulder to cry on or as a motivator to help me keep going. When I felt like I didnt have a friend in the world she was my friend and I will be forever grateful for her, she was and still remains one of the best support systems I have ever had. At first I didnt want to tell my mom and I begged my sister not to tell her either but as fate would have it, it was not long before I had to tell her.

The night I told my mom was the night I broke up with Heather. I broke up with Heather because I thought I was in love with someone else, that someone else unfortunatly was a mutual friend, who was Heather's best friend, whom I also kissed before breaking up with Heather. The whole thing was a mess and I regret hurting Heather very much to this day, but what is done is done and there is nothing to be done to change it. I told my mom in tears that I was gay and that I had, had a girlfriend and to my surprise my mom sat down with me, wrapped her arms around me, and told me she knew and she loved me. Before long I told my entire immediate family and was never met with anything but love. That is not to say it was not hard for my parents at first.

I say my parents because my sisters have always been ok with who I am. We all accept each other unconditionally, even if we do fight from time to time. It was my parents, particularly my mom who had a hard time with me coming out. This is not to say that she was unsupportive or that she didnt love me or that she treated me badly, it is just to say she struggled with having a gay daughter for a while. I say this just because of comments that were made from time to time or the way she acted sometimes when I had a girl over. It was just rough and I do not blame her and since that time she has become one of the biggest advocates for gay rights that you will ever meet. My dad on the other hand is different. He never expressed anything verbally however to this day I think that he struggles with me being gay. Once I tried to talk to him about it and he said "thats your buisness" and that was the end of the conversation. I have noticed he is not as friendly with my girlfriend as he is with my sister's boyfriend, and also that he sometimes seem bothered when she comes over to our house. As I said about my mom this is not to say that I think my dad does not love me I just believe that he struggles with me being gay and may always struggle with it. To this day I am out to most of my family, but not all.

Both of my dad's siblings have found out I am gay and once agian I was met with nothing but love and support. My aunt (my mom's sister) found out and very recently sent me a very moving text message in which she expressed her love and support and my grandmother (my mom's mom) knows that I am gay, although we don't discuss it, however I have never recieved anything but love and support from her. I havent told my dad's parents however because I feel that I will not be met with love and support by them and I would only do harm to our relationship by telling them. I know that they love me very much but I believe that would have a difficult time dealing with me being gay. I know I am very blessed to have my family and have all of their love and support, I know that all coming out stories don't end with happiness, but fortunatly this one does. The only piece of advice I can impart on those of you reading this that are not yet out is to tell your family yourself, don't let them "just find out". It is my deepest regret that I did not tell some of the members of my family myself and that they found out in various ways. Coming out can be one of the most freeing expriences, being yourself is so much better than trying to be someone else.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gay Men VS. Gay Women

So recently it was brought to my attention that there is a division in the gay community (yes I know there are many but this is the specific one I want to address) and that division is between gay men and gay women. Now most of my friends are gay men so it never occurred to me that gay men and gay women don't like each other. In fact it wasn't until I was chatting with two of my best friends that I realized this. One of my friends is in a gay fraternity at his university and he told me that none of the men in his fraternity like lesbians. I found this to be incredibly shocking and I asked him how he felt about that to which he responded that he too had a distaste for lesbians (except me) as if that makes it better to know that I am the exception to this distaste. When I asked his and his brothers reasons for not liking lesbians I found that apparently there was a short list:
1. Lesbians are drama
2. They think that everyone is trying to steal their girlfriend
I do not remember the rest of the list but I know that I was peeved right after the first one. Whether or not I am included in the lesbians that he doesn't like these reasons for disliking them upset me a great deal. I told him that I thought that gay men had just as much drama as lesbians, to which my other gay friend agreed, and that I thought it was presumptuous to assume that lesbians think everyone is trying to steal their girlfriend, I for one know no one like this.
Now I respect everyone and their opinions, however this got to me, not just because I am a lesbian but also because I believe that this kind of divide, any kind of divide really, in our own community is just stupid. It's not enough that we are discriminated against by others but now we are going to discriminate within our own community? We should be united and supportive of one another because we all understand what each other are going through and we understand that it is hard. This includes bi-sexual people, transgender, drag queens etc. no one should be discriminated against in their own community. The acronym is GLBTQ (and a lot of other letters I don't know off of the top of my head) not just G or L or B. The acronym is united not divided so why cant we be?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bumper Sticker as a Form of Expression 10/5/11

Hello! So this morning I was thinking I would write about gays and lesbians opposing each other, and then I saw a bumper sticker on my way to school and I thought, well that topic is going to have to wait. The bumper sticker I saw was similar to the one below:
All I could think when I saw this was, what the hell? Ok it is bad enough knowing that as a homosexual there are so many people that oppose the love that you have for someone, simply because they are the same sex as you, that there are laws all across our country banning you from marrying that person, but then it has to be rubbed in as well? It seems petty and cruel, not to mention this is a form of hate speech. I don't need to be reminded of the fact that, unless I uproot my life and move to one of the very few states that supports gay marriage, I will never be able to marry someone that I love. I don't have that right because there are people that think that allowing people of the same sex to get married intrudes on their rights as a straight couple and somehow belittles that "sanctity" of marriage. Indeed I have even heard someone say, in a college class, "well if we let the gays get married then people are going to want to start marrying their dogs." I was shocked when I heard this, the fact that someone actually thought this is outrageous! Homosexual marriage shouldn't be thought to be hand in hand with beastalilty. Homosexuality is between 2 consenting human beings, as human being we deserve the same rights as our fellow humans, whether they be straight or not. All human beings should be allowed the same rights and no one should be able to prohibit rights or be able to display hate speech against their fellow humans on their cars or houses or otherwise. Its just wrong. That is not to say that heterosexuals are the only ones that display such bumper stickers, I have also seen this little number around:

Although this is funny and I get the message that it is trying to get across, its not helping our cause. Yes maybe its funny and makes us feel a little better but it is doing nothing but creating hateful feelings on both sides. Yes they make bumper stickers that say "Ban gay marriage" but do we, homosexuals and allies, want to sink down to their level? I say no because we are better than that. I am not saying not to display bumper stickers to try to support our cause, what I am saying is that those bumper stickers don't need to be hateful. Bumper stickers like this one are ok.
This is just one opinion and you do not have to agree with me. It is simply something to think about.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When will it end?

 Hello and welcome to my blog! This is the first posting on Somewhere Under the Rainbow and I would like to make it a tribute to all the gay youth who have been literally bullied to death, I would especially like to honor this young man who is pictured below:
His name is Jamey Rodemeyer and he was only 14 years old. On September 19th this young man was bullied to death. Everyday he endured bullying for struggling with his sexual orientation. I was outraged when I heard what this poor young man endured in the months before his death. On his formspring, an anonymous forum that allows users to ask questions or make posts to a person anonymously, he was told "JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT AND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!" And also "I wouldn't care if you died. No one would. So just do it :) It would make everyone WAY more happier." When I first read these comments I was sickened. Sickened by the fact the anyone would say that to another human being and sickened by the fact that this young man was tormented in such a manner.
No one, and I mean NO ONE deserves to to be told they should die and that no one cares! Its disgusting! These people are disgusting! How could you tell anyone to kill themselves?! It is outrageous! How many more gay teens have to be bullied to death before something is done? How many more people who are questioning their sexuality or gender or anything else have to live in fear before America realizes that there is a problem?! What kind of messages are we as a country delivering to our children that leads them to believe encouraging someone to kill themselves and then making their life hell until they do, is acceptable behavior? How can we as a country just stand around and watch as more and more kids are bullied to their grave because they are different and their peers don't understand them?
So I ask you, when will it end? For any other confused teens who like Jamey feel that there is no other way out I want to say that there is. Watch videos from the it gets better project, talk to your school adviser, seek out help online or elsewhere, there is help everywhere. Jamey I'm sorry no one listened before but we are now, we all are now, like Lady Gaga said in her dedication of Hair to him "Jamey you are a lesson to us all."

Watch this video from Lady Gaga as she tributes Hair to Jamey: