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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ever forget you were gay?

I have! Actually I do all the time. I've had several people ask me about this subject, and got a few questions from an anonymous commenter just the other day, so I felt that touching on the subject might be silly and fun.

No, seriously, I forget that I'm gay. It's such a normal, boring ol' life thing that's just a part of who I am and is also totally forgettable, like having short hair or a nice tan or some killer arm muscle (that's me! Seriously, it's freaking me out, I look like a G-D bodybuilder right now). Being with a girl (more specifically, my fiancee) is such a natural and normal thing that I find myself eyeballing straight couples every once in a while, because it looks unnatural to me. No seriously, I do! Heterophobia... well, the first step is admitting it, right? I accept my straight friends for what they are, and just have to deal with the fact that no matter what I say, I'm not going to be able to convince them that sex with girls is THE BEST THING EVER. No, seriously, try it!

In all seriousness, I suppose that loving and sleeping with women exclusively has earned me that weird L-word label. I'm not much into labels or the whole gay pride thing, nor do I really feel like it's a huge and glaring part of my everyday existence. But just because I feel that way doesn't mean that everybody else does too. In an ideal world, we'd all just love whomever we happen to love, and that would be the end of the story. In reality, there are lots of people out there who hate us, want to hurt us, and want us to remain as second-class citizens. Don't believe me? Just go Google the Westboro Baptist Church, or Fred Phelps. I won't post a link to it because it makes my stomach church.
Some people hate me for being a girl in love with another girl. (Maybe they're jealous of the hot hot hot hot hot HOT sex. No seriously. I'd be jealous too.) Some people slander us with horrible, crude names, some people tell us we'll be burning in hell, some people tell us that we ought to be shot and killed. Some of us do get shot and killed. I've had my ass beat more than once, and worse. Way worse. I don't talk about it anymore, but it hasn't changed who I am. How could it? I'm not afraid to love. And I honestly don't understand it. Why? Why hate? Why waste the time and energy when there is so little love in this world anyway?

Was it hard to "come out?" Well, yeah, it was. I kind of figured it out on my own after I caught myself staring at girls' butts in tight pants and skirts while going up the stairs behind them at high school (no seriously. THAT'S how I found out I gay. While I tried to convince myself I was just jealous of their round little buttcheeks, I actually just wanted to jump those round little buttcheeks. To put it politely.) I told my mom when I was 16 and had my first ever girlfriend. She didn't take it all that well. My father, on the other hand, found out because he walked in on my then girlfriend and I doing... well, you know. And hey presto! I found myself landed in a mental hospital for a week to cure the gay. That didn't go over too well. No seriously.

And no, I didn't tell anyone at the barn for a long time.... a few years and many girls later. At some point, I found myself just blurting it out to the daughters of the trainer, and they all just laughed and said they knew. Did some of my friends walk away from me forever? Yes. But to me, that signalled something very important - if they were not willing to accept this part of me, then I didn't want them in my life anyway, because that is no way to treat a real friend. It sort of cleaned out who was really real, and who wasn't. And I found that even the ones that had a very hard time accepting and dealing with it (the super religious types, etc) but still stuck with me were the ones that meant the most to me. That's love, and that's the ability for human beings to bond and grow and accept each other. It's the little differences that really make people well-rounded, worldly, educated, and sympathetic to one another.

So where does that leave me today? I'm here at this barn in Connecticut, and everyone knows, just because they all figure it out on their own - I felt no need to go and broadcast it to the world, because why should I? (I suppose this is the entire gay pride debate - straight people don't go around broadcasting their straightness, so why should gay people go around broadcasting their gayness? It's one thing to be proud of who you are, but it's another to be annoying about it. I don't get the whole pride thing, but I completely understand the reasons behind it. But I think pride parades are really annoying, personally. Be loud, be proud, I guess, but I kind of really just don't care. I sound like a homophobic bigot, I think. Obviously that's not my intention.) Everyone here, in all honestly, just doesn't care, or is totally happy for me. I don't think it's changed how any of them see me or think of me. But I am fortunate, because some people really are nasty about it. It's just another little part of who I am, and I really and honestly forget about it on a day-to-day basis. When I was 16, it was totally on my mind ALL THE TIME, and I wore rainbows and crap like you do when you're 16 and wanting to attract mates. But now? I have my little rainbow sticker on my car because, in all honesty, I don't want people to get the wrong impression and think I'm straight. No seriously! I'd hate to be mistaken for a straight person, how weird would that be! And beyond that, I dunno. I act with my fiancee the way any other engaged could should act - loving and happy. I don't think this makes me different from anybody else.

Being gay is just.... normal. It's just life. Once in awhile, Alex turns to me with this look on her face, and goes, "Wow... we're gay." And I'll always say, "I know, that's so weird! I forgot."

So to sum it up - if you're gay or you're bi or you're straight or you're poly or you're asexual or you're this or that or whatever, amen and more power to you. If you're struggling to come out to your friends and family, hang in there. It's not easy at first, but it will get better over time, I promise. Will people get mad at you? Yes. Will people hate you? Yes. Will other people love and support you? Yes. My advice is to surround yourself with the good and loving people, because they're the only ones that matter. Life is too short to hate anyone or anything. There are too many good humans out there to love, so don't waste time and energy with the bad ones.

And just be gay. Whatever that means to you, just be it. If that means waving a big fat rainbow flag out your window, then go for it. If that means spending a quiet evening at home with your fiancee, then go for it. Just be you, whoever you are, whether or not you're queer in any way or have blond hair or brown eyes or are really tall or have a weird birthmark that's shaped like Texas. And love yourself. Always.


In other news, Gogo is AMAZING. We had another incredible dressage session today that just blew my mind. She's becoming so confident and happy in her dressage work.. it's like having a whole new horse. She's literally been transformed. No longer is she is the skittery, anti-contact bundle of nerves that she was two years ago when I got her back from Crazy Trainer. This new Gogo goes out to my contact and stays there... and is actually heavier than I'd like sometimes, which is a whole new concept. This new Gogo takes manipulations through the contact without any great leaps, massive stiffening, major resistance, or rearing (all things we did two years ago). This new Gogo actually likes dressage, because she understands what I'm asking. She finally, finally, after all this time finally went OH! Okay. THAT'S what you want. You're not trying to take on my face or hurt me or scare me or take away my freedom. You want to help me be freer. But I can still do it on my own.

She's from a notoriously late-maturing, headstrong line of horses, but they're also amazingly smart and strong. I think she'd jump the moon if I asked her to, but she'd take full credit once we were back on earth again. She's proud of herself. I can feel it in her dressage-y swagger. I might be anthropomorphizing, but it's there. And if we can channel it together just right, there's nothing we can't do.

Groton House is almost, almost here.... and I can't freaking wait.


Anonymous said...

I thank you for posting this, because it has actually helped me alot. I still don't think I will get the guts to tell my family anytime soon, but for now, I am okay with having my closest friends know. Hopefully, I will find the courage to tell my family face to face soon. You totally got me where you said you forget sometimes, and that is exactly how I am! I just look it as a normal thing, and go about my own business. You also pointed out the whole gay pride parade type thing- and I'm not into that at all, so I'm glad to hear someone else is not fond of it either. I understand the concept behind it, like you said, but I now am able to look at any relationship I start as just a natural thing.(just as any straight couple would) So, really, truly and honestly, thank you for posting this, because it has opened my eyes alot more than they were before. I don't personally know you, but you are an inspiration for me. Not just from one rider to another, but also for your insight, and giving me better advice than I think anyone ever has. So, thank you alot. (:

manymisadventures said...

I am so far behind catching up on reading all the blogs I follow, but this one caught my eye in my reader box.

I think I have a pretty similar opinion. I love who I love, you love who you love, I don't really care what gender they happen to be. It honestly doesn't make any difference to me. Why should it?

I am really tired and can't really string any decent thoughts together, but this pretty much sums it up. Sexual orientation, to me, is about as important as eye color when it comes to judging character. It's just another aspect. Or something.

I'm glad to hear Gogo's doing so well!

STB Eventer said...

What a wonderful post. :) I am definitely the type of person who thinks you should love whomever you love.

Good luck at Groton House! I wish I could come over and cheer you on, but I am at UNH (dressage show) this weekend.

Albigears said...

Yup, you just love who you love. Duh! Totally excited about Groton House, can't wait to hear about it!

Gina said...

Your mini soap box stands strangely parallel to mine, but since I do not have a blog. I feel like sharing here... feel free to ignore it.

I am a completely straight girl but all my friends minus my SO have been bi, gay, whatever. Our sexual and social lives would take 4 hours a dry erase board and a large bottle of patron to figure out. I have always supported people loving who they love. Do what makes you happy. that said I have never understood the need to completely define your self by your sexuality. (I have been dating the same person for 5 years and their are times when my very Christian ect. mother honestly would rather me be gay than with him b/c he does not suit what they think is proper ie. he has long hair, weighs less than I do, and did not major in business) I have lurked on your blog for at least a good year plus and honestly when I show pictures of what your doing to my bf I don't say hey look at the gay girl who rides horses, I say damn I would give my right leg to have the opportunity and talent she has. The fact that you are so comfortable in your skin is just another thing to admire.

Oh and sorry about the stupid question on the last post, for some reason I thought that the shows didn't start being actual 3 days until you hit levels with stars.. : D Sorry.

Anonymous said...

That's right - I completely agree - just BE. Your life sounds very happy and fortunate.

Glad GoGo is going so well - she must be delighted to have such a careful, listening partner!

Daun said...

Well done, Andrea. Not only are you super cute and you are my total inspiration for all things eventing, but you have a pretty amazingly healthy attitude in life, considering what you've been through.

And I am very encouraged to hear that there are those in the *cough* younger *cough* generation of teh gey that are starting to forget what Gay Pride is all about. This is a true signal that there is less of the identity politics in being gay and more about being normal people. The same occurred for the feminist movement. Radical feminists burned their bras and the younger generation said, why the fuss, we are equal now?

Well it's all good, but just keep the perspective that we are not quite equal yet. But keep loving and keep being "normal". We're almost there.

Golden the Pony Girl said...

They are just jealous of the hot hot sex for sure!!!
In all seriousness though great post! In my circle of friends I am definitely the freak for being in a heterosexual relationship though I forget that I am strait sometimes! I laughed when you were talking about being Heterophobic... I am the brunt of a lot of jokes. It is too bad that the rest of the world is not the same way as my isolated social circle is. Sometimes I look outside and it is a scary place.

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting perspective. I never thought about anyone having "heterophobia". And I've never heard such an honest, simple and understandable explanation about a gay person's perspective on what is normal. It is rather eye opening.
Hate is such an awful thing. I admit I was raised with a small dose of prejudice for people who are different from me regardless of the reason. The problem with being programmed that way is I that am likely to say insensitive things without meaning any harm. My husband and I are friends with a few gay couples, and I don't think of them as particularly different so luckily I have never blurted anything inappropriate to them because I forgot my audience. If I do, I hope I will come across more as ignorant than hateful. A person's difference from me, whether it be sexual orientation, weight, color, religion etc may confuse me on some level or make me uncomfortable, but I certainly don't want to hurt anyone with my inablity see all the way past it.

Thank you for the perspective.

Funder said...

You're totally awesome, Andrea. :D That was a great piece of writing!

Jana said...

I love this post! Just had to say that. You are an inspiration in so many ways! If more people spoke up the way you do (in a sensible, loving way), our world would have far fewer problems.

Thank you!

Patricia said...

The other day, I not only forgot that I recently got married, but I also forgot I'm straight.

I still remember your sage advice: "Every girl should 'eat out' at least once!"