Live Your Truth
The holidays are upon us once again and all the challenges of the season—shopping, planning, budgeting, parties, and expectations for the coming new year.
This time of year can be particularly challenging for members of our LGBT community. I’ve had several calls from people keeping their real selves hidden. There are those who cannot bring their partners home to meet the family, those who are trapped in a hetero marriage who will not see their true loves on these festive days, and transfolk who must go through the holidays wearing the facade that others have come to expect. All of this can turn the brightest of holidays into the loneliest of times.
LGBT issues can be as diverse as the community itself, but there is one common thread at the root of these issues: the need to fully accept and love yourself – it’s what the LGBT community refers to as Pride.
This is not the stubborn sort of foolish pride that stands in our way in life. In the LGBT context, Pride means the absence of shame concerning relationship orientation and gender expression, the ability to be your authentic self and live your truth. It’s the refusal to hide in the shadows or live as a second class citizen. It’s what most people take for granted, but what some must struggle for on a daily basis—the right to simply live as you are.
Anais Nin said it well: “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” Until we truly accept and love ourselves, we are unlikely to ask others to do the same. When we carry shame or fear of our truths, we see our lives through the lens of rejection and hate. We fear that if we come out we will lose friends, family members, the support of a spiritual community, maybe even our jobs. In living our full truth, we chance rejection, discrimination, hatred, and even physical violence. How do we learn to accept ourselves when to do so can be risky? Need assistance navigating a risky situation? Psychic Reed ext. 5150 has the skills to advise you on your best path.
A good start is to realize that the friends who will turn their backs on you aren’t really friends. Family members whose emotional support you will lose are already not there for you. The church that may discriminate against you already has done so. Those who might attack and beat you for being different have made you their victim if you already fear them. Coming out may be a difficult process, but it’s often no harder than sitting silently through another meal, class, or service listening to others say things that brutalize your soul. You are much stronger than you know.
Now take that strength and build the life you deserve. Keep real friends close. Find a church that supports the person you really are. Look for a new job if needed. Find an LGBT support group. Attend a Pride function and surround yourself with the positive energy of those who will love and support the real you. Focus on the positive aspects of LGBT culture—its music, art, events, movies, and theater. Positive LGBT role models are everywhere, from the big screen to Congress. Understand that your own homophobia is externally based, the result of being exposed to homophobic prejudices and biases all your life.
It will take time and it should. It is a process. Charles Pierce said, “I’d rather be black than be gay. When you’re black, you don’t have to tell your mother.” It can seem overwhelmingly difficult to be your real self, so give yourself and your loved ones time to adjust. Talk to Psychic Reed ext. 5105 for guidance through this adjustment period.
As a trans person, I’ve been through the process and then some. I’ve lost friends and family, I’ve even moved to a region that practices acceptance and celebrates diversity. My last holiday season steeped in shame and loneliness is behind me. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it’s been worth every step.
Give yourself the best gift this holiday season—the gift of living your true life. If you’ve never come out before, start slowly, with people you truly trust. Don’t be surprised if some already knew. No matter what you do this holiday season, keep yourself emotionally and physically safe, and know that you are exactly who you were created to be. Call Psychic Reed ext. 5150 for support and inspiration as you embark on living your true life.
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