Amyhinton's Blog

What's in the genes?

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Compassion from the Closet

As we’ve passed National Coming Out Day and Intersex Awareness Day, I passed these days doing my typical workday things, and then added a few posts to facebook to mark the days. Most people know I’m gay and most people know I’m a intersex. And if they don’t, then they are intentionally blind to it. And that is okay.

We ask people to be out and proud of who they are. Once a person is out of the closet, he or she may forget the anguish of going through the coming out process. 

It brings me to those who cannot be completely out of the closet because of their job, home environment, and/or other factors. Yet, I am reminded that just because these people cannot be completely out of the closet does not mean they are any less one of us. 

We must work to protect everyone in our ranks regardless of how they may identity or remain closeted. For those in my life who are forced to remain semi-closeted because of work, I feel they bring an interesting if not unique perspective. They can be compassionate for others who are suffering.

Individuals are suffering due to disability, economic circumstances, anguish of being gay, and other social issues. This suffering leads to depression, failing health and well-being. Yet these special closeted people in our lives can see this suffering, and they can offer compassion. They can be gentle in ways many cannot.

This compassion they have is important. They can see the suffering because they see it in themselves. I’m not referring to all closeted people. Some become self-destructive because the closet is killing them. I’m talking about those who are enduring with living in the closet. They have every right to live out loud, but their circumstances keep them from not living out of the closet.

Compassion and understanding is not something these unique souls require. But it is what we should require of ourselves for them. We tend to only see the world in black and white and forget the shades of grey. 

Honor these people who work to help burdens of others. Those that are closeted and cannot be out. One day we can hope they are out and proud. But give them love, compassion and understanding… not mockery and judgement. They are one of us.

Society and what it means to us all

We live in an interesting time and place. No longer are we constricted to certain social constraints and rules, but we are allowed to live openly and freely. Yet, we are limited in this life. As a lesbian, and am banned from marrying the person I want to spend my life with.. simply because we are two females.

Complaining much? Yes, of course. There is something I’d like to call heterosexual privilege. It’s a privilege because anyone can have these rights simply by conforming to a so-called social norm. This norm is to be a female and a male. They can marry, they can have children, and they can lie, cheat, steal and divorce in a matter of hours, days years or decades.

I don’t begrudge people in love or who think they are in love, but I do begrudge how people are allowed to make a mockery of the institution, and yet they can lead the way to ban others from marriage. This ban is something they have never experienced.

Imagine feeling lonely and self-hatred all because you wake up one day and realize your heart skips a beat at the wrong person. The wrong gender. It is not something you plan; it is not something you wish to happen. Who wants to be different? Who wants to become something that casts them out of the social graces of society?

Well the society that individual grew up in is not a good society. This society was put in place and created rules for governing. However, this society never bended to accept difference. The sad thing is that society that could have been something good ended up being hated and reviled, but those who were outcast were driven to the exact polar opposite life of the so-called Society.

It is very sad that we must be at polar opposites of a spectrum. We could have created a wonderful life in this Society, but it chose to leave us out. Prevent us from allowing our hearts and minds to flourish. We were relegated to the far ends of the darkness. We were allowed to feel self-hatred and self-pity for being different.

Some did not make the journey so well. Some did not fair so well. The pain of living became greater than the fear of dying, so they took that path. They took their own life to live in an eternity of self-hatred and unfulfillment. It is sad.. very sad.

But this is the reality of life. Yes, some do find happiness in spite of intolerance. And for that it is a wonderful thing. But we must change Society from within.

What Society doesn’t know is that we are the doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, parents, children, family, and friends who live every day in the midst of Society. We are embraced by Society, but once we “come out” the embrace is gone. Gone forever.

Let us build bridges and not let Society die because people have left. Embrace diversity in order to make a greater Society that includes people of all descriptions. That is most important as we move forward in the 21st century. If we do not embrace this, then we will die.

Forever to spend eternity in among those who could not live the life of an outcast or hidden in Society. In the memory of those who have come and gone and lived and love, let us move forward in their honor.

Until last Monday…

It seems like so much time has passed since last Monday, February 22, 2010. My grandfather, Ray McCarty, passed away that day. Obviously, last week was one of the worst weeks of my life. I am 27 years old and I have had the great fortune of having all 4 grandparents in my life…until last Monday.

Although my father passed away when I was 12 years old, the bond he and I shared will never be matched or replaced. However, my grandfather got to see me as an adult. He got to see me as I am now, or as I wanted him to see me. I would like to think he was proud of me. He said he was because I finished college. Finishing college was something he always wanted to do. I know that he probably felt not at peace with himself because he did not get a college degree.

However, Ray McCarty was one of the smartest men I knew. He was very intelligent. He read so many books. Our political and religious ideologies did not match, but I respected his ability to site text to back up his beliefs and thoughts. Again, even though his views differed from my own, I still respect his intelligence.

On our differing views and my grandfather really truly knowing me: I suppose my greatest regret is he not really knowing me. He knew me as a granddaughter who worked her way through college and has a job. He was a proud family man. However, he never knew the person I really am. I am a lesbian, LGBT activist, intersex activist, Unitarian Universalist. I have a wonderful partner. He met Jenny but he did not know the role she plays in my life. One of the most important roles… the role of the partner,, loving, warm, caring, kind, sweet person who I love.

He probably would have characterized our relationship as abominable and as living in sin. I prefer to think we live in love.

My grandfather was so great. He was a hard worker. For 54 years he was a barber. He only quit working because a stroke forced him to retire. However, he still kept a rather active lifestyle. He was stubborn to the core. He was intelligent. He loved us. He was my grandfather.

However, I know I must move forward with this life. And I know that in the end, it was better for him to know me as the person he knew me. Not the person I wanted him to know me as because then I might not have go to have a good relationship with him. I think it is most important that our relationship continued to move forward as grandfather and granddaughter because then we didn’t spend the end avoiding contact.

I am so glad and gratful to have the close family that I do. We are small and we sometimes do not get along, but we do love each other. That is the most important thing… we love each other.

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