One of my guiltiest pleasures is my addiction to the CBS series The Mentalist. I’ve had a girlie crush on Simon Baker for 20 years, and there’s something about a smart, cynical, fun-loving, light-hearted genius crimesolver that taps into my childhood passion for Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys. (We’ll get you yet, Bugs Meany.)
And you thought you knew me.
Somewhere deep in the caverns of my dust-ridden closet sits a box of past-life mementos that may, in fact, hold the “Police Kid” ID cards and badges my brother and I made when we were 7 & 9, in an effort to keep the order in our very boring white little verge-of-’80s suburban ‘hood.
Ahh, me in my seven-year-old lisp: “Thtop, sthpeeding car!”
If I was a detective, I’d totally be a chill, happy, funny brainiac like Patrick Jane, not a coke-addled-and-moody one like Sherlock Holmes.
So, this morning I found myself wrapped in thought as my TiVoed episode closed out. Backstory? Baker’s character “Jane” turned to crime-solving after his wife and daughter were killed. This week is the first time they’ve opened the possibility of him moving on after his wife, when he finally feels the nebulous sparks of chemistry for a mysterious smart chick involved in the crime-solving.
Oh, how dramatic! That’d make an excellent TV show, huh? I know, it’s cliché. But I can’t be smart all the time, dude.
Naturally, the episode got me thinking about the idea of “moving on” in general.
Me, I’ve had me a little of that this month. In fact, my entire last 6 weeks has been nothing but movin’ on.
I’m never going to be able to make you or anyone understand how 2006 affected me, and on so many levels. God knows I’ll try.
To go from just being some chick trying to figure shit out to being a loudly lauded new sex-blogging voice and getting so much attention was the most surreal thing ever. And I was not my own woman. I was not strong enough to have the sense of self one needs when people start latching onto you for guru-like input into their lives.
It was fucking weird. I can’t possibly tell you. I’m totally fucked up, and you’re turning to me for insight? Yo, WTF?
Walking away when the shit got weird was the only thing I could do. The landscape of my life was more explosive than a wartime minefield. A girl makes her choices, a girl keeps on keepin’ on. That’s what to do when the going gets weird.
When the beginnings of success come so easily to you the first time, though, there SHOULD be this little seed of confidence that grows deep down inside. I did that. Me. I worked. I got results. Me.
I had the confidence but I also knew my life was a fucking mess.
When they tell you life doesn’t give second chances, they’re right. It doesn’t. We create them.
Sooner or later, I knew I’d have to take that second chance. But I had to have my shit together and feel comfortable with life before I got there… because, well, third chances? Good luck with that, chump. This ain’t baseball, there’s no three strikes.
Moral of that story? Don’t fuck up again, bub.
So, I spent the last year just treading water and enjoying a delightfully boring life after I finally got on a somewhat even keel again.
Then I lost my job.
And it made me happy. Worried, but happy.
And I figured, “Hey, well, if ever there was a time to get in the game…”
But getting in the game would require one major thing:
Finally owning that this meek little Mom-approved chick — raised uberCatholic, with Dad & family following on the wide web — had to come out and be public with sex-blogging identity, and use my real name. And, worse, my face. And, like, speak publicly. And stuff.
Moving on, for me, means swallowing whatever I once defined as “pride” and coming up with a whole new brand of it. For me, it means shutting up that meekness and stop my apologies for being blunt, honest, and irrepressible.
It’s all about putting my money where my mouth has long been.
It’s been a really tough and soul-searching move. Scary as all get-out, man.
Oh, I’ve been terrified. It’s the “real, whole life” version of jumping off that zip-line or standing in front of 150 people and saying, “Yeah, so, I’m a sex blogger and, like, I kinda nailed writing one of the best oral sex guides you’ll read online… and…”
But I did it. And I did the zip-line. And the speaking.
However hard it’s been… I’m real goddamned glad.
Open, honest, in-your-face living is easier once you get the hang of it. It means fewer apologies, more shared grins, and it instantly repels all the twats and asshats you used to secretly wish would fuck off.
Moving on from anything is hard.
The fear of the unknown and the infinite chance to fuck up is what daunts us all before taking on new phases, projects, or relationships in our life.
By moving on, we’re officially closing the door on that past, accepting it’s done, and embracing the future.
“The devil you know,” though, right?
Whatever the hurts and failings and stupidities of the past, at least you know it and know you’ve faced/survived it. The future? Whew. Do ya got that in ya, punk? Well, do ya?
I remember my great friend Jon writing to say he was getting married, the big question got popped, she said yes, and, dagnabbit, they was gonna wed. I wrote him back, “Geez, Jon… that’s awfully optimistic of you.”
Because it is.
Moving on, stepping forward, it’s all about optimism. Or at least the dream of it. The hope of possibility. It’s what we all want, right? The unscripted to get written with a side of awesomesauce?
But it needs that proverbial leap of faith, the big chance, the trip into the great unknown.
Maybe, just maybe, you’ll fail.
At least you’ll keep yourself warm with the smug satisfaction of being the one with the guts to make the play in the first place, while the pussies who won’t make that leap sit on the sidelines and jealously watch.
Do it. Move on.
Tag Archives: coming out
How Out is Out?
My best friend is Gay. If there was a three-dollar bill, he’d be on it, he’s that queer.
Okay, well, maybe he’s a little less queer than that. He can fix a bike, rewire a phone, install a sink, and other useful things like that. Then again, he’s on an eBay buying tear and recently nearly fainted with glee when he “won” a signed photo of Julie Andrews seated on a grassy meadow with the Von Trapp girls all gathered around her.
The man’s a proud gay man and has been politically active and really lives with his lifestyle on his sleeve, and that I greatly admire. He’s never come out to his parents, though, and this bothers me. His parents would have to be blind, dumb, and mute to not have ever clued in to the fact that he’s gay, but it’s never been discussed.
I just don’t understand. He knows I feel this way. I’m concerned, because I love my friend and I know how much his parents mean to him, but I also know what it’s like to lose a parent suddenly. Of all the things I’m saddened by regarding the death of my mother, the least of them are regrets. There’s nothing I never told her, there’s no thing I wish I’d been more honest about. When she died, she knew me for who I was, in every way, from my use of drugs to my lack of motivation. She loved me anyhow and told me she was greatly proud of me the day before she died. I hold onto that. I was loved, I was appreciated.
I realize a lot of parents freak out when their kid comes out. I know it’s a huge, huge ordeal and can be a very traumatic event in the life of any gay person, but I think that the disappointment and regret of never having come out is more of a burden to carry through life than the idea of living an honest and open life is.
Gay rights have always been something that has been a bit of a passion for me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I have never gone down on a woman. I think it’s highly unlikely I ever will. Nothing about it titillates me. Seldom has a woman ever, ever aroused me. It’s just not my thing.
It doesn’t mean I can’t understand the hardships faced by a person who’s stuck being attracted to “the wrong sex.”
When I was in elementary school, there was a boy I’ll call Nicky. He was pretty flaming, from the get-go. He was the one that introduced us all to Dead or Alive’s “Spin Me Around.” He dressed up as Boy George for Halloween – in grade 7. In high school, he was obviously somewhat feminine, but he had an incredible personality and just radiated good times. The high school, though, was Catholic. And it was all about football. The jocks ran the school, and everyone was under their rein of tyranny. Gay wasn’t trendy then, and Nicky was obviously the only kid in school who fit that bill.
This was in about 1988.
Nicky was remarkably intelligent and great at expressing himself. He had this ever so light British twang, having been born in the UK but moved here when he was one. His voice was distinct. Out of everyone from high school, he’s the person I most wish I could get in touch with. He used to call me Ditch Girl after having thrown me in a ditch in Grade 3. We made up, but the nickname lasted for a decade.
He wore his politics on his sleeve, despite the mockery and humiliation he faced daily through the school kids. He got more political with age, and ultimately was selected as a guest on a popular sex/romance-related radio show that soon went national. He was 16, and was speaking on behalf of gay teens in British Columbia.
The appearance didn’t stay secret, despite his last name not being used. Monday morning, the news made its way around school. The football jocks took issue with having a Famous Faggot in their midst. Nicky was pinned against lockers and a beating was about to ensue.
“Go ahead. Beat the shit out of me. Want AIDS? I’m a fag, right? You’ve come to the right place, you fucking bigot! You can punch me and hurt me, but I’ll kill you with AIDS,” he exclaimed.
Nothing like using someone’s ignorance as a weapon, I thought then and still think now. Nicky was left alone. The less-ignorant kids in school admired the shit out of him, and though his remaining school days weren’t all sunshine and roses, they were made more tolerable by the considerable balls he exhibited that day in the hall.
His family knew, his friends knew, and those of us who understood the struggles he endured to become that person – that out and honest individual that filled us with admiration – probably became better people as a result of just having him in our lives.
A couple years back, a gay man was beaten to death here in Vancouver. It shook my friend to his core. I know he’s experienced times when he’d be taking out the trash to the back alley behind the gay bar he once worked in, when fuckheads would wheel up in their redneck cars and hurl pennies at him and call him a fucking faggot. He hasn’t let it silence him; he still lives as a proud gay man – he just hasn’t discussed it with his folks.
We’re kidding ourselves if we think everything’s fine and good just ‘cos some notable queers have made it onto the television in recent years. It’s a laugh if you think it’s all well and good for a gay person to be obviously gay in the workplace. Not too long ago, one of my original readers had a posting on his blog in which he started a controversy because he was all proud his coworkers and employer said he was a nice quiet fag who wasn’t too obviously gay. He thought this meant he was professional. I thought it meant he was conforming to fit into the nice little hetero peg that most of society still thinks we all need to fit into.
The Guy tells me occasionally about this coworker he really likes, this flamboyant and fun gay guy at his office. It doesn’t bother the Guy at all that he’s gay. Why should it? Being gay isn’t something anyone anywhere should have to hide – in work, in families – ever.
Until people begin telling their parents, telling their coworkers, and really start having the courage to live out loud, homophobia’s going to persist in our society. And that’s wrong.
Until we finally start seeing evidence that, yes, it truly is one in 10 that is gay in this society of ours, we will continue seeing senseless deaths like this young British man who was murdered by a couple fucking bigoted bastards who deserve the life sentences they’ve just received.
When friends and family members come out, you owe it to them to get over yourself and understand the struggle they’re facing, and provide them the support they damned well deserve. More than a third of teenage suicide attempts come as a result of them feeling so alone because of their sexual identity crises. Isn’t it time we change the statistics?