Veering randomly to a totally different topic as usual, I was listening to Groove is in the heart by Deee-lite, and it made me wonder what the hell succotash really is. And how on earth can it be sufferin'? But I love the web, for being able to find me all the answers to those questions.
Finally, is this guy still president or something? I'm sure we never heard about Reagan and Bush this much after they retired (at least, not until Dubya got in).
Brace yourselves, it's time for another one of those semi-meaningful all-about-me blogs... November...
Sometimes, when I'm walking around, I feel the impulse to do something spontaneous. I might sing a snatch of a song, or hold my hand out and run it along the wall as I walk, or a might adopt a different step, tip-toeing around and twirling my wrists as I open doors and pick up objects. It's just an affectation, of course: I don't do these things all the time, and I don't feel compelled to do them. There is no meaning in these actions, no logic underlying them. I don't plan to do these things more than a second in advance. These are just things that I do, odd habits I have just like everyone else. Like everyone else, I take the freedom to do these things for granted.
In fact, most people would probably not even consider doing these things a freedom, having never even imagined a situation in which doing such things might not be allowed. But four years ago, I was in exactly that situation. I used to regard my innocent, stupid, little twirly-wrist walk as a kind of crime, a guilty secret. I wouldn't do it if I thought someone might see me, and I would be terribly embarrassed if anyone did. And the reason I felt so guilty about it was because it was very, very effeminate. And that was Wrong.
How stupid! How arbitrary! Why should it be wrong for a boy to be effeminate? I have always been, and will always be, a very effeminate guy. I write poetry, I dance, I have effeminate habits of speech, gesture, and movement. But until four years ago, I spent every waking moment of my life desperately trying to conceal that fact. I kept my voice low, I tried to move in a "masculine" way, I avoided activities that might be seen as too effeminate. But at the same time I knew at a deeper level that this wasn't how I wanted things to be. I avoided the effeminate activities, but was revulsed by the overtly masculine ones, and as a result got involved in not very much at all. My efforts to maintain a masculine movement and posture merely made me appear clumsy and ill-at-ease in my own body, as in fact I was. Unable to be what I was trying to be and unwilling to be what I really was, I was merely a mess.
In another two weeks, it will have been four years since I first told another person that I was gay. The anniversary of telling myself I was gay was about a week ago. But more than admitting to myself that I was attracted to other men, it is the anniversary of letting myself be what I am, and telling myself that I could do whatever I wanted, and not just what others told me was appropriate. When I broke the dam and let my sexuality express itself, all the other supressed habits came pouring out with it. First in a trickle, and then a flood.
It took a long time to get over the ingrained habits of supression; to re-master the way I speak and move and think and act. I no longer avert my eyes from pretty boys. I've stopped caring when my voice gets a little high and squeaky. I clap at things I find entertaining, and I giggle at stuff I find amusing. I dance a lot now, and people even compliment me on it -- me, the clumsy kid who looked like he could barely walk properly four years ago! I tiptoe around a lot and, yes, I twist my wrists around when I feel like it, and I don't care who sees. Because nobody does care, and nobody worth knowing ever did: it just took me a while to realise that.
And proud? Not really. I'm not proud of my sexuality; it's nothing special. But I'm proud that I am who I am today. I like me. And that sounds stupid and trite like it came right out of a self-help book. But four years ago, I couldn't say it. So I guess I have something to celebrate.