It seems to be inevitable that for a majority of gay men and women will struggle with the emotional pain and anguish of accepting themselves as gay. This is incredibly sad for me to see as I understand from family and friends that being homosexual is simply part of who one is. No one should have to be made to feel any shame to be gay. It is often the shame that keeps gay and lesbian from coming to terms with who they are.
Many members of the gay community have had to grow up in a world where they were marginalized by society and culture. All because they were attracted to members of their own sex. Their has been no institution of marriage sanctioned by our government. Faced with prejudice, discrimination, and unequal rights among other members of society, it is no wonder why homosexuals experience shame.
So perhaps you are at the stage where you are simply asking yourself, “Am I gay?” Of course, the reality is, that there is only one person who can answer this question. Only the individual him or herself can accurately answer this question. In other words, you are only gay if that is how you self identify. Self identification as a homosexual is the process of fully coming to terms to that fact “I’m gay.” It is fully loving and accepting yourself for who you are and what you are. It is relinquishing the ongoing denials of being gay. It is being able to look at someone else of your own gender and if you find them attractive, allowing yourself to completely internalize the feeling and simply enjoying the view. Most importantly, it is being able to look at yourself in the mirror and say I’m gay and there is nothing wrong with me. In other words, I am who I am, and that is OK.
You needn’t feel any shame whatsoever. Would you be ashamed of the fact that you might be left-handed, of course not. So why on earth should you be ashamed of being gay. Being gay or lesbian is just part of who you are. Regrettably, I think all to often that that is what they focus on. Not just the focus they place on themselves, but the focus others will do simply because your gay. OK, so you’re gay, so what! It is not everything that there is to you. Regardless of the garbage you may have heard growing up, being gay is perfectly normal. Don’t throw your life out by denying yourself the same love and romance which your heterosexual counterparts enjoy.
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David J Isaacs