You know what makes me mad? Stupid people. You know what makes me mad? Small-minded people. More specifically small-minded people who open their mouths to judge something because they don’t agree with, feel comfortable with, or understand, something. People who try to label others, to box them in so they can feel at ease with a situation, regardless of the feelings of others.
This blog is more of a rant than a musing, in case you hadn’t already noticed. I have to say, I have a bee in my bonnet and I need to get it out.
As I have said, in many a blog and conversation, I am a hippy at heart. I think people should be free to live their lives with love and compassion, free from judgement of others, to believe what they believe and love who they love. Although, thinking about it, maybe that doesn’t make me a hippy, maybe that just makes me a decent human being. But, I digress…
So, a few months ago, one of my best friends did something incredibly, I think, brave. She admitted her feelings for someone, who she had been friends with, best friends with, for a long time. She knew her feelings were reciprocated, so it wasn’t brave in that sense. She was brave because, she went against what people would have expected from her, and what everyone considers the ‘normal’ route for an 18 year old gal – the friend she admitted feelings for was a girl. Their mutual friends, her mum and I were the only ones who really knew they were together for a while. I can only imagine the confusion she must have felt when she realized that the feelings had changed from friendly to romantic, the first few weeks, I feel (and she may disagree) were a period of assimilation for her – making sense of it all herself. From the off, she had made it clear that she wasn’t a lesbian, she just liked her girlfriend; it was the person, not the body parts she loved. Her girlfriend has always been about the ladies – something which she readily admits. We had many a conversation in those early weeks about when she would tell work colleagues and make it ‘Facebook official’ – we all know it’s not a real relationship until it’s on Facebook! – about 6 weeks later she took the braver step of putting on Facebook for the world to like, comment and give their opinion on. For the most part, people were supportive.
When you share parts of yourself with the world, and especially with social media, you expect people to pass comments, judgment on you and your activities, either to your face, to their friends etc. This situation is no different.
Since they decided to be a couple, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has had an opinion on the subject. Friends, family, work colleagues, hell – even one of their old school teachers! To start with people were more curious, I think. Wondering what had changed, why, after all this time had she decided she felt different, etc… questions like that were to be expected. People are naturally a bit nosey. But after that came the stupid comments like:
“I don’t believe you’re going to be one of those forever”
Yep, being in a relationship with another girl makes you a different species apparently.
“I don’t understand how you can be in a relationship with a girl, but not be a lesbian”
How about because it’s the person, not the genitals you see?
It is not unheard of for a woman to fall in love with another woman but not consider themselves a lesbian, or even bisexual. Here’s an article on one such lady.
Heck, even Jessie J was in love with a woman at one point – something she has even written a song about!
“It’s not real, it’s just a fantasy”
“It won’t last”
Same could be said about any relationship. Even decade long marriages.
“How can you be sure this is what you want? You don’t have enough experience to know for sure”
She’s 18/19 for Christ’s sake, how much experience do you think she’ll have?
Now, maybe it’s just me, but I find all these comments ridiculous. More than that though I find them hurtful and ignorant. Not to me, but to both my pal and her girlfriend (who is, coincidentally, also now a great pal to me too). There have been more, many more, but these are the most common ones. Maybe they get me more annoyed because of how protective I am of her, how protective I am of all my friends, but the people that make comments like that – I WANT TO PUNCH IN THE FACE. If she was to get in a relationship with a guy she never would have had people make these kinds of comments, it’s just because it’s a relationship with a girl. I know it. My friend knows it. Her girlfriend knows it. And, if these people are honest, they know it. They would never have said it to her if her partner had a peepee and not a noonoo.
I have always been a supporter of gay marriage (or, as I like to call it, marriage) and LGBT rights. Don’t even get me started on Putin and what’s going on in Russia. (And no, this doesn’t mean I’m gay – I’ve been asked that before because I am a supporter of LGBT rights “You must be one of them if you care that much about it”. No, asshole, I’m a decent human being who believes in equality for all.) Comments and judgment like those I have posted above, are the reason that people hide and run away from who they are. Cutting comments, such as “they lick the wrong side of the stamp” or even things like “poof”, “queen”, “lezza” etc are the reason that so many people stay ‘in the closet’, fear of judgment is why people wait for years to show who they really are to the world. Take Bruce Jenner, who, at the age of 65 (65!!!), is finally making the transition from man to woman. Based on average life expectancy, this means she will have spent more of her life feeling trapped in the wrong body, than she will enjoying the freedom of being who she is. The School Report (2012) shows that hurtful comments and bullying of the LGBT community starts at school. 55% of LGB pupils have experienced bullying (although, this number does now seem to be on the decline, thankfully).
I’m going to finish up by using the last paragraph of the article from the link above
“I think we love whom we love, and that who we love doesn’t always make sense — to those around us and sometimes to ourselves. I think there are people who are most definitely gay, and yes, I believe they were born that way and have no choice in the matter. And then there are people like me, whatever we are. I don’t yet have a pat label for that, but I can sum it up in five words: a human being who loves”
That sums it up. My friend is a human who loves. Stop trying to label her, be pleased that she’s found someone to love. If you’re going to put anyone in a box, put yourself in one. And if you make comments like the ones above, can I suggest, you label it ‘ignorant’ or ‘small minded’. They are only suggestions of course, I would never dream of trying to label you.
Right, rant over.
Can someone help me down off my soap box, please?