A classmate told me this week that it's annoying how often I talk about being gay and that it "just gets really old." Now, to get one thing straight - I'm an annoying person regardless of my being gay. But that being said, it hurt to be told that my comments about my sexuality annoy others. School is one of my "safe" places, where I know I can talk about being gay and I'm not going to, say, lose a tip over it. What my classmate sees as annoying, I see as my overcompensating. So often in my life I have to adjust what I say and how I act in order to accommodate others and make sure I don't make them uncomfortable.
After this incident in class, I talked to the dean of the school because she's also a lesbian. She's 56 years old, and she told me that she recently introduced her wife to someone as "my friend" because she thought they might be uncomfortable. That was incredibly disheartening for me. I had hoped that at some point in my life I won't have to censor myself in certain situations, but it turns out we are all doing it. Even white, older gays who move in progressive circles are still struggling with being out and proud. We are all forced to adjust the way we talk and the way we act to avoid being told that we're annoying or inappropriate. And I've got it easy - there are gays that adjust the way they talk for fear of being kicked out of their homes, being fired, being harmed or even killed.
It may sound silly, but hearing everybody cheer at the big gay kiss at the end of Love, Simon makes me want to hold my gay head up just a little bit higher.