Monday, December 5, 2011

Saying Nothing Really Says A Lot

Yeah, I guess I’m a little upset. Some close family and friends might think that they’re being nice and sensitive…but they’re not. They are ultimately hurting me and affecting my relationship with them.
Amongst most of my friends and fellow University students, conversations about me/homosexuality in general are open, honest, welcomed, and ubiquitous, mostly because I am the only male “out” in my respective communities and because homosexuality is tabooed in the orthodox community. And I like that. It’s a way for me to verbally express how I’m feeling and share my thoughts, but more importantly it is a way to educate other people who may be unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and/or intrigued by my situation.
However, this is (seemingly) not the case when I go elsewhere.
I was asked recently if I have experienced any outright discontent or overt hostility when I have been among close family and/or family friends since I have come out. The answer is no. But that is not a good thing.
There are different forms of acceptance when someone comes out - shunning, partial acceptance, full acceptance, full acceptance with marginalization, etc….the list goes on. When close friends and family don’t think to inquire about the coming out process, they by doing so are subscribing to not complete acceptance. And I know it. And I can feel it. And it hurts me.
By inquiring about anything related to my coming out process, or being gay, or being orthodox, or being both gay and orthodox, you are intrinsically showing you care. When you don’t ask, you are ostensibly showing me that you don’t fully accept who I am or what I stand for.
I welcome conversations about any related topic. And not for me! For all of you close family and friends who haven't yet showed me that you care. If you really care and desire to accept me, show me that you do. Ask questions. Inquire. Even if you don’t agree with my decisions or lifestyle – talk about it anyway so we can have an intellectual conversation about it.
So for my family and family friends and friends of who thought that by merely ignoring the very apparent issue at hand was a good idea, it wasn’t. You have hurt me, marginalized me, and have shown no outright acceptance of me.
I implore all of you to ask. Show interest. By doing so, you will show me that you really care.