Not a ‘Coming out’ story

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Let’s get one thing straight, I am not. That is not up for discussion, my personal life is not a subject for a debate, and neither are my rights as a human being. This isn’t a Coming Out Of The Closet greeting card. This is an effort that I am making for my LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community, to spread awareness. As a Rotary international ambassador of goodwill and understanding, that is what I’m here to do.

I have spent enough time studying how harsh and destructive the suppression of speech or other public communication can be, and I am strongly against it. However, it is not because you have the right to say something, that you should, or that I will listen.

I won’t debate “gay rights” with you because it simply implies that you have the ability to dictate what I deserve and what I don’t. And let me tell you something: You don’t! No one does. I won’t debate “gay rights” with you because I don’t want to hear about how – in your narrow mind – you truly believe you deserve more than me, that you are righteous, rightful. Lastly, I won’t debate “gay rights” with you because individual rights just aren’t a matter of opinion, and shouldn’t be subject to a public vote. This is human rights for everybody.

If you are against civil rights and marriage equality, than you are against my personal freedom and individual happiness. And if you are, I’m sorry, but subscribing to this privileged way of thinking is IGNORANCE. Unfortunately, your lack of knowledge, information, and capacity to accept, hurts me. It just happens that we live in a world where you get to decide my future. The political function of rights is specifically to defend minorities from oppression by majorities. Yet, I have been put in a position where I am subject to your approval, or as it happens to be, your rejection.

It was difficult growing up in a reality where I wasn’t part of the majority. Hatred isn’t something you’re born with. It gets taught. It comes from the fear of the unknown, from the inability to understand and love. As a child, and as a teenager, I didn’t know that. I didn’t understand how or why somebody could hate me for something I didn’t choose. So, I always assumed it was my fault, that I could do better, and that I had failed.

This isn’t a Coming Out Of The Closet story, because if it were, it would be followed with the question: “For how long have you known?” Well, the answer is obvious to me, I don’t know and I couldn’t tell you. But I can tell you about my “firsts.” First time I was “diagnosed” by my peers as being gay, as if homosexuality were a disease. First time I was the target of a trivial, hollow homophobic joke. First time I got beat up in front of my house for being “too flamboyant,” and unusual. And the first time I realized I had wasted a lifetime, trying to be someone I was not.

As a majority, you were unfairly given the ability to decide my future. But as bystanders, you have the power to join me, in changing that. Remaining silent, oblivious, or ignorant won’t change your life. But it will doom mine. I demand equal rights, not just for myself, but for my children. I couldn’t bear the thought of them ever thinking they are inferior, that they are worth less – if they just so happen to be different – like I did. No! It is embarrassing and heartbreaking that parents somehow find it acceptable to reject their children out of bigotry. The next generation will enjoy equal rights, without a fear of this predetermined idea of what it all means. They won’t struggle to understand and embrace their sexuality in families who do not welcome them. They won’t grow up in the same toxic, alienating, personality inhibiting, environment as I did. And I’m here to make sure of that.

Now I beseech you to fight on my side. To be my Ally. Let’s talk about marriage equality, about civil rights, and about loving thy neighbor as thyself. There is no commandment greater than that. Grant me the rights I so justly deserve. Give me the respect you so greatly treasure, and make the unfair, fair.

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68 thoughts on “Not a ‘Coming out’ story

  1. robchristopher says:

    Thanks for posting this! It’s powerful stuff.

  2. “I couldn’t bear the thought of them ever thinking they are inferior, that they are worth less – if they just so happen to be different – like I did. ”

    As you know, I have a tattoo with the difference sign. And the funny thing is: I have it for the same reason you’ve been using the equality sign so much. Yes, people are different, but that doesn’t mean that some are better or worse than others. The problem with society is that it sees difference as a bad thing, and it isn’t! Diference is amazing, and people shouldn’t treat other people badly because of it.

    I love your post, and I love you.

    • Marcos C. says:

      We are all different, yet we are all the same.
      The Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., a civil rights and antiwar campaigner once said: “Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without.” This country, more than any other, is blessed with cultural diversity. We NEED to embrace differences.
      Te amo, linda. Muita saudades de você.
      Catch you on the flip side.

  3. nat says:

    Marcos aconteceu algo?? Qual o motivo desse post?

    • Marcos C. says:

      Oi, então Natalia, eu escrevi ontem depois de um argumento que eu tive com alguém que acredita que: homofobia nao existe mais, que todo mundo tem direitos iguais, e que nao se deve falar nas escolas sobre igualdade. Foi a coisa mais absurda que eu já ouvi, e por isso eu quis escrever isso ai. Para concientizar, ou pelo menos tentar.

  4. I love this and you. I am proud to be your friend, Marcos. I am your ally, and that means offering not only my love and support, but standing up and speaking out for a community that is not always able to do so. By writing this post, you are opening the minds of those close to you and creating a team of wonderful allies. Let’s fight for equality. I’m with you all the way. Beijos, Abbie

    • Marcos C. says:

      Abbie, you know I love you and that I am grateful for you. You have always been an Ally, and I’m proud to call you a friend. I can’t wait for you to meet my family this summer.
      Thank you for moving me forward,
      Simba.

  5. icefogger says:

    What a great post. I’m definitely with you. Thanks for swinging by my blog today, it reminded me that I hadn’t checked out your writing in a while. Once again: great stuff, I love your passion. We are gaining allies every day.

  6. windhound says:

    Great to see you visiting dragonshades and wonderful to read about your thoughts and travels. Animals and birds have been my greatest teachers about being and communicating. Without language they speak volumes. They don’t stay long either but they do make an incredible impact on the lives they touch and I suspect you do too. Whether we have fur or feathers or just skin we are here to be ourselves in whatever shape of form that may take. Smiles to you and all you meet.

    • Marcos C. says:

      Wise words, and like Macklemore once said: When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless, rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen, I might not be the same, but that’s not important, no freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it”
      Have a good one, friend.

  7. billyboobs1 says:

    Your honesty encourages the LGBT community to speak out and challenge stigma. Sexuality is not a choice, it is a right.

  8. lovelee90 says:

    Hey, This is a really great speech, so true and so strong, you write really well😀

  9. incursionfilms says:

    It’s heart breaking because is true. I see myself – or better said – my youth hear. I wondered the same things and was also a victim of senseless homophobic treatments and jokes. Remaining silent is not the answer. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it well: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

  10. I don’t know what triggered your post, but well said. I AM straight. And white and middle class and live in a first world country – even being a woman I don’t feel oppressed. Ageism bothers me a bit, but what I’m trying to say is that I am aware I cannot possibly truly empathise with the prejudice you have faced. So forgive me if it seems I am talking out of my behind when I say that the best revenge is a life well-lived. Gay, straight, bi, black, white, sky-blue pink – we are all human and deserving of love and respect.

    I work as a photographer and know that love is love, irrelevant of gender. Haters hate and do it loudly. There are millions more like me who really don’t care who you choose to love, so long as you love wisely and well. So yes, protest when appropriate, but don’t let it define you. Just be a living example of how to live life to the full – with love in your heart. All best to you x

    • Marcos C. says:

      Last week I met a 17 year old foreign exchange student. He believes that homosexuality is caused by choices we make at a younger age, a childhood trauma or even family dysfunctions, like the article pointed out. What is astonishing to me is that he just doesn’t believe he was born that way. Because yes, he happens to like guys. He disagrees with Awareness Day in schools, and believes that there is no homophobia in today’s society. Such alienated ideas probably derive from his relationship with his family. Whatever the source to such ignorance is, two nights ago I wrote him this, and decided to post it on my blog.

      Thank you so much for your words though, I will fight as much as I can, it is an important part of who I am, but it is not all I am.
      Best to you as well.

  11. elliotbitter says:

    i appreciate your posting this. and i must say i do largely agree with what you say. however, one caution i would offer is not to be quick to judge those that judge you. like you (accurately) stated, the lack of acceptance is s direct result of ignorance; it is a total misunderstanding of what sexuality is. but if we as a community return their hatred with an equal spiteful vehemence, we are guilty of doing the very thing we accuse them of. ignorance is frustrating but the solution for ignorance is education. education takes patience. if we as a community are the patient ones, who live our lives in accordance with our convictions, patiently educating and accepting those who are quick to judge us, surely this will create a healthier environment. often, particularly in the issue of marriage, these people believe they are protecting not a civil right, but a holy sacred institution of the church. they will yell this at us with a definitive and defiant nature and it only frustrates all the more, further entrenching the schism between us as humans. if we respond with the same harshness what will we accomplish. both sides will end up believing the other hates them. too many people i love and respect, people who are far wiser than i am are opposed to gay marriage so i have been forced to reconsider what i believe. i can no longer discount these people as fools, at the end of the day i have to see them as real people, who have passions and loves just like i do. i disagree with them of course but still, i must treat them with the same patience and respect they deserve.

    thank you for posting the things you do! i appreciate your blog and the opinions and views you offer. keep fighting the fight!

    • Marcos C. says:

      I agree, I can’t say it is something that got lost in translation or that is a cultural difference, I was judgmental. However, I don’t think it was a result of ignorance. At the end it does come back to it all being a misunderstanding of what sexuality is, and my main point with this piece was to educate. I’m aware I used harsh words, affirmations, and quickly judged anyone that opposed my ideas, but because I feel all the damage that a society that doesn’t share my line of thought has caused me, and it is not fair. It is much bigger than marriage, and civil rights, it is about respect. What I wanted to convey is that internalized homophobia contributes immensely to gay teens’ poor well being, that has to change. And for that, I am not patient. However, I will moderate on my criticism and word choice.
      I really appreciate all your observations, I will keep fighting, and please let’s keep talking about this, because the more we do, the more we learn.
      That is what we are all here for.
      Peace.

      • elliotbitter says:

        i totally agree. there absolutley does need to be an uderstanding of the devastation caused by this ignorance. Any of us who were, even in good fun, by close friends called “fag” or “queer” at a young age, under the assumption that we were indeed straight, certainly know the pain of this assumed heteronormativity and how marginalized it makes us feel. to have everyone just take for granted that i would never be anything other than straight and think it an acceptable thing to degrade homosexuality in front of me by using hurtful terms, was honestly one of the most damaging things to my mental health. hearing your sexual orientation belittled eventually (particularly at such an impressionable and vulnerable age) leads you to belittle yourself and lose all respect for who you are as a person. (Or who god made you to be, according to what you believe) All that simply to say, i do very much appreciate the stand you are taking. let us remember to love others in the same way we want to be loved and to inform those who are ignorant. indeed, it is why we are here.
        peace.

      • elliotbitter says:

        i totally agree. there absolutely does need to be an understanding of the devastation caused by this ignorance. Any of us who were, even in good fun, by close friends called “fag” or “queer” at a young age, under the assumption that we were indeed straight, certainly know the pain of this assumed heteronormativity and how marginalized it makes us feel. to have everyone just take for granted that i would never be anything other than straight and think it an acceptable thing to degrade homosexuality in front of me by using hurtful terms, was honestly one of the most damaging things to my mental health. hearing your sexual orientation belittled eventually (particularly at such an impressionable and vulnerable age) leads you to belittle yourself and lose all respect for who you are as a person. (Or who god made you to be, according to what you believe) All that simply to say, i do very much appreciate the stand you are taking. let us remember to love others in the same way we want to be loved and to inform those who are ignorant. indeed, it is why we are here.
        peace.

      • Marcos C. says:

        And I do really appreciate your inputs, and your willingness to discuss, so thank you very much.
        Peace.

  12. You do what is best for YOU. No “peer” or other “interested party” matters, in the end. Each of us is born in order to fulfill a destiny that cannot be determined by any other human being. I have a soul mate, no longer in this world. You also have such a being, somewhere, and are entitled to find that being and enjoy all your days together.
    No one is entitled to pass judgment on another, and the sooner we all get that through our heads, the better.

    • Marcos C. says:

      You said it right, no one is entitled to pass judgment on another, unfortunately not everyone agrees, and even though no “peer” or other “interested party” should matter, they have a direct affect in my future!

  13. Luísa says:

    Quero te ver escrevendo mais com o coração, meu amor (e você é a unica pessoa que usar amor não soa estranho pra mim). Se joga, vai de cara. É o que você acredita. E eu acredito com você. To do seu ladinho, mesmo a mil e quinhentos quilometros de distancia❤

    • Marcos C. says:

      Ah, moreninha. Que linda, voce. Você sabe que você sempre me anima e por isso quero te quero sempre ao meu lado.
      Mal posso esperar pra te ver em Junho, me espera.
      Te amo, amor. Saudades. Ha
      Bisous.

  14. Sheila says:

    I agree with every single word you wrote, and yes, this is so strong and beautifull. And you know that I will always be on your side, always on the side of love. I love you.

    • Marcos C. says:

      “I’ll keep you locked in my head, until we meet again, until we, until we meet again. And I won’t forget you my friend.”
      Love you, She.

  15. meximo70 says:

    There’s no need to ask for an ally. I am on the same page as you and your friends. I’ve always believed that it was no one elses business what we all do behind closed doors. Nor is it anyone’s business who we fall in love with and choose to spend our lives with. Will have your back, brother!

  16. […] Not a ‘Coming out’ speech, but a cry for help. […]

  17. Hey Marcos…..good post. Things are getting better throughout the world……but that is little solace to kids being stoned to death in Iran for sodomy, or jailed in Africa for “perversion”…or us watching the news every night as straight people decide how many rights they will give us. Stay strong!

  18. aguywithoutboxers says:

    An excellent manifesto on equality, humanity and justice. I just discovered your blog and am following it now. I know that I’ll return often in the future to read (and learn) more. Much love.🙂

  19. Your words touched me. Be blessed.

  20. Caleb Gee says:

    That was truly beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. pinkagendist says:

    Outstanding text. Very brave. Depois de ler os comentários acima, não sei em que língua devo escrever…😀

  22. Celebrate who you are! That is all that is really important. You are a unique person that is pretty darn great in my book!

  23. Thank you for writing and posting this blog. We need more blogs like this. I value the message and embrace it’s importance in society. Thanks also for passing by my blog and giving me a like!

  24. tatisato says:

    This is an awesome text. I think that equality of rights has everything to do with respect – it has little to do with sexuality. I believe people should be considered equal and the same rights one has everyone else should have it as well – just like duties. It’s a matter of justice, a matter of equality. Of respect. So, congrats on your topic. =)

    • Marcos C. says:

      Thank you, and I appreciate you taking your time reading it, even though I wrote it to be in peace with it, it’s nice to see that someone else may identify with it. And I absolutely agree, it is a matter of justice, a matter of equality.😀

  25. This was superbly written. I was born and raised in the Bible belt. I’m in my mid 50’s and straight. On top of that I am a Pentecostal Christian. I believe gay rights is a civil issue and should be approved on all levels. I have never been homophobic, in fact I enjoy the company of gay men because there isn’t all the testosterone posturing bull shit. I have been judged on my appearance all my life and I know what it is like to be though of as a sub segment of society. You will always have my support.

    • Marcos C. says:

      We each have our own battles, and I wish everyone thought like you. If we were all accepting of the other, and of diversity, we would all have a happier, easier life.
      Peace.

  26. Linda Joyce says:

    I appreciate your candidness and your willingness to be open about who you are as a person.

    I have a thought on your comment: “Now I beseech you to fight on my side. To be my Ally. Let’s talk about marriage equality, about civil rights, and about loving thy neighbor as thyself. There is no commandment greater than that.”

    I believe that many people do not know how to love themselves. They do not truly have a deep connection with their soul, thus it makes difficult for them to love their neighbor…however, you post may show them the way to self-love.

    Regards,

    Linda Joyce

    • Marcos C. says:

      And I appreciate your kind words. As I said on my post, all I want to do is create awareness so that people can try to understand that someone they love can be affected by this internalized homophobia and can open their eyes.

      Thank you, Linda,
      Marcos

  27. ARvWD says:

    “Beeee yourself!” as the Blue Genie says. And thanks for the like!

  28. Thank you for the recent “Like.” You have a great site.

  29. Hey marcos! thanks for checking out my blog🙂 I like yours! What you’ve written here is well articulated and powerful. It makes me feel bad for you and others in the same situation, because I am from the UK, and so many things are not a problem there. Young people can grow up being who they want and loving who they want… Generally nobody cares and very few people have a problem with it. Of course there are occasional challenges, but not the fighting everyday that I know you are referring to.

  30. paperthinhymn says:

    I would suggest that very few, if any people, believe in “marriage equality”. the only way to be for marriage equality, is to let anyone get married to as many people or objects or creatures as they want, and yet no one seems to be clamoring for that. whenever someone says they support marriage equality, i generally don’t believe them.

    • Marcos C. says:

      When people fight for marriage equality, they are fighting for equality of rights. They are fighting because all PEOPLE are equal before the law, and should be treated accordingly.
      Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.” When PEOPLE – not objects, not creatures – don’t have their rights represented, they fight for it. Loving and committed couples need legal protections. Please don’t speak on behalf of all people.

    • That’s totally absurd. And incredibly offensive. I grew up in a home free of discriminatory thought. I didn’t have to learn equality of race or gender or sexuality- growing up I learned that racism and sexism and homophobia and hate crimes existed. Yes. Please don’t speak for me, because I would never compare another human being to an inanimate object or an animal as an excuse to defend closed-mindedness.

      • paperthinhymn says:

        then you demonstrate that you don’t understand the argument, or what words mean

      • I understand the words just fine. That they are both ignorant and uneducated is not my problem, but a detriment to the person who wrote them.

  31. Thank you for posting this! I hate the question “How long have you known?” As if some light bulb is supposed to go off and you realize your sexuality. Why can’t it be the way it was for me? Maybe we have always known, or never knew anything different and thus didn’t know we were supposed to have an epiphany about it? Perhaps a person can simply be self-accepting of their sexuality- as they should be. I don’t think anything is static either. My sexual identity is based on too many factors for me to ever be completely sure. And does it matter? I don’t think so. At almost thirty years old, I still would never rule out that it is possible I could turn around one day and falling madly in love with another woman, and I think it is as much my right as it should be yours to marry whoever we want to no matter who they are. I wish more people could see the world the way I do.

    • Marcos C. says:

      I think that this question will disappear with time. First we must all grow up in the same environment you did, “a home free of discriminatory thought,” where we are all equals. Because without that, not everyone can be self-accepting, it creates an extra pressure on having to “come out” that should exist.
      You are right, it does not matter what our sexual identity is, and I as well wish more people could see the world the way you do.
      Thank you.🙂

  32. N.S.Beranek says:

    You make some excellent points. You’re absolutely right that the majority / those who hold the power should not have the ability to deny basic human rights to other groups. Unfortunately, since we vote to make laws the majority rules, and the courts do seem to give weight to the majority opinion. Given that, the only thing to do is for all of us -LGBTQ and A – to speak up and out and often, because I truly believe that we *are* the majority. The hateful , small-minded people just don’t yet know that.

    • Marcos C. says:

      I have faith in that. I don’t know if we are the majority, but we are not far from that, all we need is for people to be aware that we all deserve equal rights. Thank you for fighting along.

  33. Shayn Roby says:

    You won’t like this, but the truth is not always kind. The Holy Bible tells us in Romans 1:24-32 that same gender sexual relationships are an abomination in the eyes of God. His Word is righteousness. I do not desire a debate on God’s righteousness, because His Word will not change for anyone’s opinion, GAY or STRAIGHT.

    • Charles says:

      Is it safe to assume that you also believe that a talking snake deceived a rib-woman into committing the original sin by eating a piece of fruit?

      Fucking crazy people everywhere…

  34. ksbeth says:

    i think the only reason people are against things that are different to them is because they don’t understand it and are therefore afraid of what they don’t know. all fear based and sad. power and strength to you and i look forward to reading more of your words, thanks for reading mine too. peace, beth

  35. Loved the powerful conviction in your writing Marcos! I often wonder that if the 21st century is not the time when humanity can end bigotry and discrimination, when will it be?

  36. This is a really powerful post, and holds much truth for many people in this world. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice”. I believe this quote is directly applicable to our plight. Day by day, tolerance of differing sexuality rises as more and more people begin to understand that sexuality is a right, not a choice.

  37. Leo says:

    The next generation will enjoy equal rights, without a fear of this predetermined idea of what it all means. They won’t struggle to understand and embrace their sexuality in families who do not welcome them. They won’t grow up in the same toxic, alienating, personality inhibiting, environment as I did. [I hope so]

  38. lmrh5 says:

    Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  39. […] Not a ‘Coming out’ speech, or a cry for help. […]

  40. […] Not a ‘Coming out’ speech, or a cry for help. […]

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