Saturday, March 25, 2017
I Write What I Am
I received a phone call from a friend this week to tell me that a friend of hers, who doesn’t know me but sees my posts and comments on Facebook, had been told by someone else that I am a lesbian. She asked my friend if that was true.
“We’ve been close for over 30 years,” LeAnn told her, “and I’m quite sure I’d know. No, it isn’t true.”
Her friend assumed I would be upset and hurt if I knew what had been said about me but LeAnn knows me better. She was laughing when she revealed to me what had happened.
For the record, it isn’t true and the way you know is that I haven’t told you. I write about my life – its happiness, its humor, its trials and its tribulations. I’m rather private in person but my writing is like an entity of its own, separate from me. It’s where I let it all hang out.
So, if I was gay, I’d write about the experiences of being gay. My integrity as a writer would demand that I not hold back what would be such an elemental part of myself. I wouldn’t be ashamed of being a lesbian, rather I’d just accept it as who I am.
It does make you wonder though why someone would pass on that information about a person without the slightest shred of evidence. Perhaps it is because I am a supporter of gay rights and have frequently said so in my columns, Facebook posts and blogs. Maybe some people think the only way you can be in favor of gay marriage is if you are gay yourself.
Actually, the opposite appears to be true. It is so often the most vociferous opponents who are later hoist on their own petard and found to be in-the-closet homosexuals themselves. Fairly recently, we have seen the case of Denny Hastert, Republican former Speaker of the House (and voter against gay issues). Ashamed gays seem to do more harm to the cause of gay rights than straight people, at least those who have the power of politics or religion or celebrity.
It could be that my informant assumed that since I’ve been single since Jim died in 1989, that must mean I don’t like men but the truth is that after having been in two marriages that both had their moments of joy but their share of difficulties too, I just didn’t want to be bothered trying to make a relationship work again. I simply wasn’t sure the third time would be the charm, especially since my penchant was always for men with a bit of an outlaw streak.
Anyway, it is a moot point now because at my age, my “love affairs” are confined to the pages of a book or a television screen. Right now, in my fantasies, I’d have to draw straws to choose between Jamie Fraser (aka actor, Sam Heughn) of the Outlander series or Jimmie Johnson, champion NASCAR driver.
It may be that the rumor-spreader simply doesn’t like me for what could be an abundance of reasons and wanted to say something negative about me, which she assumed being labeled gay would be, not knowing that I couldn’t care less. Call me uncompassionate or un-generous-hearted or harshly judgmental....now those would bother me because those would be ugly and deliberate choices.
At any rate, I’ve been writing columns and blogs long enough to have heard myself called just about everything at one time or another. Lesbian would certainly the least of them. If I was concerned by untrue allegations, I would simply retreat from the kind of provocative writing I often do. It would be just as easy to only write about pretty things, although not nearly as much fun.