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Category: Opinion

Queer moon, we are guided by your tides

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The moon is definitely gay. Nothing can sparkle that much and be straight. I mean, if you want to get technical with me, here you go: the moon is a circle so technically it can’t be straight. Anyway.

The moon is definitely queer. Totally in love with the sun and her rays but screws around with the stars in the dark. They don’t mind that he’s a little naughty – that she’s a little naughty – that they’re a little naughty.

The moon would definitely call itself fluid, spreading itself across the day and night sky. Non-binary bright. Lesbian lunar. Bisexual bright. It’s no wonder we’re so affected by the tides. The moon is definitely gay. Nothing can sparkle that much and be straight.

Nothing can sparkle that much despite thousands upon thousand trying to put it out. Nothing can sparkle that much without having been set on fire. Nothing can sparkle that much against the shadows that try and cut it down to size.

Too many shadows have taken too many of your shapes, squashing your fabulous, your fierce, your fight. You, forced to be half-moon – half you – semi-circle so sickle the length of years in your arms. You will outlive centuries of being trapped here.

When they stare at you and point from afar, don’t you dare blink. Don’t you dare look away. Don’t shuffle your feet, gay goddess. Don’t dim your man in the moon face. Look on. Light up. Love. Sparkle. They can learn a thing from you.

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Love is just lying down and taking it

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I cannot call it abuse because I did not say “no” – because my silence was just as good as asking for it. Because at 13 how was I to know that love was not something to define by another man’s touch.

Love is just lying down and taking it. Love is not moving. Love is not making a sound or a scene. Love is not drawing attention to myself. Love is losing my body between the knotted knuckles of someone else’s hand. Love is being ok with never understanding why he just wanted to hold a good thing but didn’t think it beautiful enough to fuck.

Love is the monster when I am in the eighth grade and I do not feel like I’ve ever finished school. Stuck in the class of bleeding out my own shame not just between my legs. Stuck in the class of trying to be anyone but myself so he would find somebody else. Stuck in the class of Stuck in the class of Stuck in the Stuck Stuck Stuck— fuck!

Love is saying “yes” just because I didn’t know if anyone else could ever love me after that. Love is saying “yes” because I thought I deserved it. I deserve love, don’t I?

If you’re reading this, you’ve attempted suicide at least once

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I know this is a bold and brazen statement to make when I know nothing of your life. Even if you haven’t actually tried to kill yourself, I am certain the thought has crossed your mind because light can’t always be seen from the darkness. This is not a judgement; this is for me as much as it is for you.

If you are reading this and have escaped the untimely claws of death then let me tell you I am glad you’ve made it so far. I am glad the blade didn’t cut deep enough, the gas didn’t work fast enough, the words didn’t shatter hard enough, the platform wasn’t high enough, the pills didn’t poison your insides enough, the rope didn’t hold long enough, the water didn’t flood deeply enough, the darkness wasn’t thick enough.

I am glad that you are breathing – even through corrupted lungs. I am glad you get to witness another day. I am glad you are reading this. I am glad you are here and because of that I am not alone. You are not alone either and perhaps that’s the point of it all. Look closely and you’ll notice that the difference between “living” and “loving” is one letter. Perhaps if we focus more on loving each other we’ll do better at living together – less alone.

Loving is a strange concept when it’s a wrestle to even acknowledge you’re worth something, but stick with me for a short while…

See, loving (read: “living”) is not some abstract, esoteric, out-of-touch, emotionally-charged feeling reserved for those lucky enough to find their soulmate. Loving (read: “living”) is for all of us. It’s practical. If loving (read: “living”) doesn’t involve action – a doing word – then it carries no meaning. Ergo, if living doesn’t involve action it carries no meaning.

Loving is easier than we make it out to be; living is easier than we make it out to be. It’s the dying that requires hard work. It’s the giving up and giving in that requires planning and effort but ultimately stops us from moving… stops us from meaning. It’s our resolve to fight for meaning that keeps us in motion; our resolve allows us to love and to live.

The fight for meaning looks different for everyone; it looks different for me and it looks different for you. The fight for meaning sometimes looks like excavating yourself from under the covers after a night of weeping. Sometimes it looks like habitually making a cup of coffee in the morning because this small ritual gives you purpose. Sometimes the fight takes the form of religion, sport, art, sleep, parties, treatment or travel. Sometimes the fight is finding yourself on the doorstep of a friend quietly asking if you can stay a while.

We are all fighting to live – to love. Surely this means we all have something to offer – to give. We have all defied death for a chance to try again – to persevere. If you’re reading this you’ve probably attempted suicide at least once before (physically, mentally or emotionally) but you have the chance now to help someone else or yourself – to be alive.

I see you. I acknowledge you. I salute your life. I am glad you are here. Keep fighting to love, to give, to persevere, to be alive.

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I would love to hear your story if you need someone to talk to or just want to share. Feel free to comment below or send me an email directly here. I am here to listen and not to judge. I am here to fight and love with you.

When you tell your story, tell the truth

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When you tell your story, make sure to tell the truth. It sounds like an obvious thing, but it’s so easy to elevate or negate parts that don’t sound good enough or sound too good to be true. Tell it how it is, and not how you want people to hear it.

Why the preamble? This coming Sunday is International Coming Out Day, and whether you support it or not, it is what it is. That is part of my story – not elevated or negated.

What’s the big deal? Coming out is about telling the ultimate truth – about yourself and about your world… about myself and about my world.

In celebration of telling the truth, here is my coming out story in brevity but, nevertheless, in full:

I didn’t come out. Well, not officially. The process (because it is a process) of coming out is really just a process of telling the truth – of telling a story. For some, it’s a truth and a story that they have come to accept and love for the first time. For some, it’s a truth and a story that they acknowledge and haven’t yet accepted. That is also OK. What’s important is that it is the truth.

So how did I tell the truth? Someone else tried to do it for me. They told a biased version of my story which blew up like dropping a full bottle of red wine. I’m not saying that some people didn’t know; if you have even two stones knocking between your ears, it’s fairly obvious to see that I’m not a cookie-cut-out girl. Yet, as much as it broke me to be exposed in that way, it also provided a new kind of freedom.

Sometimes pain is the most honest truth.

Hear me: I’m not condoning how out of place that person was, and I’m certainly not thanking them for shoving me out, but I will acknowledge the space that I stepped into. That’s the thing about being in the light.

“Coming out of the closet” is the expression that’s often used and although I don’t completely understand its origin, I do understand the feeling. If you’ve ever stepped into a closet and closed the door or been trapped in a pantry or anything similar, you will know the stifling, desperate, claustrophobic feeling that comes with the confines and you will also know the feeling of relief that washes over you when the door opens again.

It’s no wonder children are afraid of monsters in the closet. Some monsters don’t have teeth, but they do eat at your truth and instil fear in the dark.

Almost two years later and I’m telling the story here, as it is, for the first time. As I said, coming out is a process. It hasn’t come without its breakdowns and wreckage, but it also hasn’t come without its joy and contentment. That is my truth and my story.

So don’t see Sunday as International Coming Out Day… see it as a day for telling the truth, a day for telling your story, no matter what that story is. If it happens to be about coming out, celebrate that as your truth and commit to the process of always telling your truth. Others may not like it, they may not accept it, but it is yours. Be true.