I just finished reading Annie On My Mind, and now I can't go to sleep because of the thoughts churning through my head.
My first reaction is Wow. What an amazingly wonderful book. It treats gay-ness like it's normal and sweet and about LOVE - and shows that it's a natural, wonderful thing. A lot of it echoed what I've always felt: in a perfect world, everyone would be treated equally without the need for things like affirmative action and anti-discrimination laws. Not that those are bad ideas; it's the need for such things that's bad. Those are just steps along the road. We'll know we've truly made progress when those laws are outdated.
Another reason the book spoke to me was because I've felt like Liza did, many times - especially when she and Annie are discussing coming out to their parents. Liza says she doesn't want to say anything until she's sure -- which is exactly how I feel. I know - at least, I'm pretty sure - that I'm not gay, but I'm also fairly sure - well, more than suspicious - that I'm bi. Maybe I've heard too much of the "maybe it's a phase" shit slung at other people, but I want to be damn sure before I go through the trouble - and pain - of coming out. Katie, one of my close friends, recently (and, I might add, unwittingly) came out to her mom (her dad already knew). Of course, her mom was a total bitch - that's typical of katie's mom, who is such a child - and gave her the "you're too young to be sure" and "how do you know if you've never been with a woman?" bullshit. It makes me clench my little fists with anger. But at least she's sure. Shit.
Part of it is that, although my parents are cool with my gay friends and with my other eclectic ways (such as wearing rainbow tights and a spiky leather collar), there's still the seed of apprehension that maybe they'll be angry and unaccepting, maybe it'll be different with their own firstborn child. I don't want to tell them now, because a) I'm under 18 and they still have tremendous control over my life, b) i can't support myself without them, and c) i want to be able to give them some space afterwards to come to grips with it. At the same time, I don't want to wait to tell them until after I'm at college. One reason for that is that my first choice is Smith (aka Dyke College), and I don't want them to think I was "converted" or something equally ridiculous. Nobody got a free toaster outa me. I wonder why people always seem to think it's someone's "fault", like someone recruited me to play part time for the other team...
Some days I think I'm crazy for not being sure; I've had crushes on girls, I've imagined myself going out with girls, and I'm not at all ashamed of it. But other days I'm plagued with doubt. It's funny, because sometimes I'll tell people in casual conversation that I'm bi, but there are other people - the ones I love the most, really - who I can't bring myself to tell. (Katie is the only person really close to me who knows, to tell the truth.) And it's scary to me that I feel that way, even though I know it's natural. Maybe it'll just take more time to wrestle this one to the ground.
Perhaps part of it is my lack of experience with girls. I've never kissed a girl, or touched a girl in a, um, sexual way. Not even as a kid - I was never that "experimental" type when I was young, and now it would be way too weird, besides the fact that I'm not sexually attracted to any of my girl friends. I think maybe it's this lack of experience with girls that makes me unsure, since I've done plenty with guys.
Well, I'll just have to keep on living one day after another. I will - God willing - live many more years, and have the chance to come to some kind of reasonable conclusion about all this.
But no one is ever going to convince me that I'm a bad person for it - not my friends, not my church, not my parents, not a shrink - so maybe I am sure, after all...
On to the next rant: coming out.