When I was a high school student I had a penchant for falling in love with gay men. Nobody was really “out’ when I was a student so in all fairness I didn’t know they were gay. I don’t even know if they knew they were gay (they probably knew, but just didn’t want to talk about it and I can’t blame them one bit. Things were different back then). I only know they are gay now because as adults they have come out.
I’m telling you this so you will understand that I had pretty low self-esteem in the dating department as a high school student. Falling for gay men as a heterosexual woman means you get turned down a lot. That’s why when one of my old high school buddies, one of those gay men I had a crush on, recently told me he thought I looked beautiful in one of my Facebook pictures I was really happy. It was kind of validating that he thought I was attractive for a couple of reasons. It redeemed my inner high school student’s self worth. It seemed really honest because it was spontaneous and I knew he wasn’t hitting on me. Also, it reminded me of why I had a crush on him so many, many, many years ago. He’s an amazing human being. He is kind, funny, generous and smart. He’s the kind of person you instantly adore. He smiles more than anyone I have ever met and he gives the best compliments. When we were in Jr. high school and I asked him to dance with me at the 8th grade dance he said yes. It was towards the end of the night and I was sweaty from dancing for three hours straight and my curly (frizzy) hair was sticking out in every direction. He smiled and said, “Your hair is very big tonight.” I know, it sounds goofy, but he was always looking for the good in things and big hair was “in” back then so I was really happy with the compliment. He never mentioned that I was sweating all over the place and I will be forever grateful to him for that.
I think of all of the people I have loved or do love now that are members of the LGBT community and I know in my heart that I will do everything in my power to make sure they are treated fairly and with respect. I will do anything I can to make sure they are given the same rights, choices and options that everyone else has. I will combat ignorance and hatred with my words, my pen, my vote and even with a few rocks if need be. I’m protective of the people I love. Friends stick up for each other. It’s about equality and human decency. It’s about love and friendship. It’s about being a good person.
It is comforting to know that my problems with “getting the guy” back in high school had little to do with my personality, frizzy hair, or lack of stylish clothes. I just fell in love with people because they were awesome. They didn’t want to date me, but they loved me back just the same. We were friends who laughed, told each other secrets and had our practical jokes. In the end, that is all that really mattered. Love really does win every time. That is why I will always support the LGBT community.