“Regarding your lifestyle, it is not something I condone or support or agree with.”
I have read those words several times and I am still struggling to understand them. I don’t spend a lot of time writing about my personal experiences with homophobia and bigotry, largely because I have not been on the receiving end of a lot of it, at least not in a deeply personal way. But you see, my best friend wrote those words to me. And while I can’t say I didn’t expect it, somehow seeing it in writing still has me reeling. I guess the reality is that this person has not been my best friend for a long time, yet I hesitated to ask the question that would cement that truth as permanent. But last week I decided enough was enough. I was going to send one last message and then I was going to let go. I don’t think I expected to hear back. I almost wish I hadn’t. I wonder if it’s less heartbreaking to learn by omission.
I actually intended to start getting in some serious writing this month, to start pulling together my thoughts into something a bit more cohesive, but after I received that message, I was overwhelmed with anxiety every time I thought about writing. I guess I was afraid of what might come out. I still am, really, but I can either let this marinate in me like poison or I can try to find the words to say goodbye.
And therein lies the difficulty. I didn’t ask for this goodbye. I didn’t want it. All I wanted to hear was that the reason we don’t talk much anymore has everything to do with her being busy with family and nothing to do with my choosing to marry a woman. I have been out and proud SINCE THE DAY WE MET. Nothing about that has changed, except that I’m legally married to a woman now. Woo freaking hoo. Who I am married to has zero impact on the content of my character. So I don’t understand it. And I am hurt and I am angry and I feel completely bewildered as to how I am supposed to respond. Or IF I even should. And it kills me because if some random on the street said something like that to me, I would have no shortage of words with which to respond. And I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to use all of them. But now it’s personal and painful.
You’d think it’s be NBD. I mean, plenty of people said horrid things about my wife and me all over the internet when the farm story broke. You’d think after that barrage of vitriolic garbage, I’d be immune to something so small. Apparently that is not the case. So my apologies to any of you out there reading this horribly stilted and awkward blog. The truth is, words are failing me and I don’t know how to deal with that.
You know, I considered writing back or blogging or doing something with words in the heat of the moment, right after I read the message, but I curbed that impulse. I worried that I would use the wrong words and do irreparable damage. But the damage was already done and the only thing I managed to do was lose what words I had for dealing with this. I regret that. The words I had then might not have been perfect, but at least they would have been true.
I guess this week’s lesson about being a grown up is that you shouldn’t ask the question if you aren’t ready for the answer.