Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
Great post Jair (and yes, it is important to rhyme [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] )
I guess what your post reminded me of, is that everyone has their cross to bear, so to speak. There is nobody I know who has gone through life without some crisis or critical event that defines who we are, and shapes us for the rest of our lives. For some it is grappling with what we think society wants us to be versus what we are destined to be, for others, it can be a devastating personal loss, or a failure to reach a goal that has defined our life up until that point.
For most of us, we manage to get past our youth before we are faced with these events, and have the comfortable knowledge of an adult that things will work out ("been to some place very similar, done almost exactly that, I'm still here"). Unfortunately, when you are young, and faced with these events, it is so easy to not see the way out. But I truly believe that a child who can come to terms with such internal or external conflicts will be a much better person, and will love themself which is the first step to being able to love anyone else.
But I will say, I do think the most important thing is to be able to talk to someone else about your fears, concerns and worries. When I was in the throes of teenager-ness, I had to deal with great deal of insecurity about me, and how my peers accepted me, in addition to a lot of family crisis (not unlike many families, mine took the "fun" right out of dysfunctional). To this day, I don't know how I ended up in the school guidance counselor's office, but it was the best thing I ever did. I'm not sure how I would have made it through those days, weeks and months without having that neutral person to talk to, sometimes about things that deeply troubled me, and sometimes about nothing important at all. At the time, I didn't appreciate the benefits of communicating with a trained professional, but that surely helped.
Anyone who finds themselves feeling overwhelmed about their life should really talk to someone else, preferably a trained counselor or other professional. Don't worry about having to "lay it all on the line" right away. Just pick up the phone, make an appointment, stop by the office and talk - that is what they are there for...
Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.
Great post, Jair! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
You too, DMK, great insight and advice. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
KatyO, thank goodness your girlfriend has you there for her. Parents who put their child's sexuality above their child herself or himself don't deserve the name "parents."
Thank God our horses, dogs, cats, and other 4-legged loved ones couldn't give a rat's ass (sorry Erin!) about what sex their people are sexually attracted to. Some of the humans in this world should take a good lesson from them.
"I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry
Toronto, a city that\'s not won a Stanley Cup in my damned lifetime
My bestfriend Jim was closeted for the entirety of his short life, and I cannot stress how much emotional pain that caused him.
Despite the fact that he ventured home for the holidays with his lover, the issue was never broached and his parents continued to hold steadfastly to the false security of a heterosexual son.
Jim lived in fear, self-hate, discomfort, and pain.
Jim was diagnosed with HIV and dead within two years - mostly because, I believe, he'd lost the will and spirit to live. His death was, and will continue to be, a tragedy.
We must live life honestly, with integrity, and on our own terms. Parents cannot expect that their children will fulfill their dreams, assume their burdens, and resemble their vision.
KatyO, at the very least, I am hopeful that your girlfriend has a community of friends who love her and cherish for exactly who she is. It is her family's loss and perhaps one day they will learn to accept the child they have -- not what they'd homophobically hoped for.
And as a parent, perhaps because we have always had wonderful, dear friends (who happened to be gay), it would not upset me or my husband if one of our children were to disclose their homosexuality. It would, though, devastate me if they lived with the pain that Jim did. I wished all parents understood this. At the end of the day, it's the parent who has to change - not the gay child.
I'd like to add my accolades to the others about Jair's wonderful post.
In addition I'd like to take Jair's words and DMK's a bit further.
The teenage years are, as mentioned, a time of extreme upheaval. And "being different" is bad. I was a 6'0 tall, dark haired tomboy in a world of 5'0 blond barbie sycophants. I didn't fit in at my high school in ANY manner. If I hadn't had the wonderful example and friendship of strong, intelligent horsewomen I would have been crippled by the perception of everything that "was wrong with me." I can only envision this feeling must be ten-fold for gay teens.
It is so, so important for young people who feel different and confused--for any reason--to be able to find an adult they can identify with and look up to as some one who has a happy, fulfilling life--who has "made it", despite all the perceived "flaws" that the teen feels crippled by. I would urge everyone to reach out, or to allow themselves to be reached out to young people who need to see that they're OK--in every sense of the word. If there is a kid at the barn or where ever that "reminds you of you when you were that age", consider reaching out, to see if you can be beacon for them as the cross the rocky seas of adolescence.
Jair, what a strong person you are. Congratulations on having figured things out. And even if you really haven't you're doing an awesome job to being well on the way.
Your parents should be proud of the wonderful and insightful person you have become. Whether you realize it or not, you now have a large fan club on this BB. And I'm nominating myself for president!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
Right on, Jair... For my early life, the single MOST IMPORTANT person in my life was gay (my pony trainer), and you know what I learned? He's no different than me or you or anyone on this board! =) Anyways, thanks for posting this, Jair, you seem like a really nice person!
My very dearest friend in college was gay. He came out on the front steps of my apartment building. I felt very proud that I was the first person that he shared his newly found sexual identity with.
I was always amused by the assumption that gay men are easily identified or categorized by their sexuality. John also had a fondness for plaid shirts and beer. I'm a hetro female but if we are using the current traditional female images as portraited in our media- I might not make the cut! I don't look like any of women I see on prime time but it's hard to slop cows and horses in tight jeans and high heels.
John never had a problem accepting who he was but he always felt it necessary to protect his very very devout Catholic parents from his life style. It wasn't shame that prompted his decision but a need to protect two elderly people that might have had a hard time understanding how they had "failed" him.
John contracted AIDS in 1987. It was 8 months from diagnosis to death-he was allergic to just about everything they gave him. His parents were at his bedside when he died. His mother told her priest of 25 years that John would either be buried in a Catholic cemetary with an appropriate ceremnony or she'd become a Protestant.
For twenty years (the time I spent showing Poodles) nearly all my really good friends were gay. The dog show world like the horse show world is a pretty accepting place, and these guys were the outest, most outrageous, funniest, bitchiest bunch you'd ever want to meet. To my constant surprise, however, there were people who were unable to see how special, and how absolutely normal, these guys were. One of the reasons I stopped showing dogs was because AIDS came through the dog world like a whirlwind. Over a relatively short span of time, I lost a number of wonderful friends, and the whole thing just wasn't as much fun anymore.
Jair, I'd be really happy, and really proud, to count you as a new friend. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
Consider us friends Laurie [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
Oh, I don't know about the fan club part Big Dreams!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] I'm sure I've ruffled a few feathers out there along the way. But you can still be president [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
Thanks everyone again for such kind words [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
This thread is reading the way I hoped it would. Very positive indeed!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]
Jair, I was in a meeting all day and just read this. Great stuff as usual.... And if you ever arrive at the barn and see the video of the movie "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" playing, you will know where to look for her.
Jair you are a very strong, very brave individual and serve as a wonderful role model to everyone out there! I hope Haydon and any one else in his shoes will be helped with your inspiring posts and that they do the most important thing; to be true to themselves.
*big hug for everyone, little tighter squeeze for Jair*
Two of my close friends are gay and I couldn't picture my life without them, they mean the world to me and for them to be unhappy would kill me inside. For them to deny what they are would be lieing to the world but most importantly lieing to themselves and you can't live like that.
You're words are eloquent and from the heart and I'm sure a great help to many. You have my undying admiration for the way you communicated. your beautiful and positive message. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
\"just remember this my girl, when you look up in the sky, you can see the stars but still not see the light.\" -The Eagles (song by J. Tempchin/R. Stradlund)
Jair, I find you appealing not only because of your open personality, but also your sense of empathy for others struggling with adversity. But most of all, I admire you for having my dream job: a geologist! I SWEAR, that is what I shall be in my next life. I LOVE rocks and earth. My greatest joy was going into Carlsbad Caverns. Seriously! So, I'm your fan for life! What a guy! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
Thank you for your words Weeble. I don't suppose you're named after those weeble wobble toys? I used to love those! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
Thanks Tin, Merry my bosom-geologist! and my pal SoEasy too!
(Hands of my Alice AHC!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] I shall be after you should she be missing this evening!)
The thing that upsets me the most are the kids my age who seem to think that "gay", "queer", "fag", and "homo" are appropriate put downs. The thing that makes me most angry are the teachers that don't even seem to care when these words are spoken in their classrooms. One of my fondest memories of this year was when a fellow student was told "WE DO NOT USE THAT WORD IN THIS CLASSROOM IN A NEGATIVE MANNER" after joking around with his friend and saying "You're so gay."
The funniest thing to me is that most of the people have friends who will one day be homosexual, or are already. And funny how most of the guys don't have a problem with lesbians-in fact, it seems to be one of every single one's fantasy! Strange... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
The media has portrayed homosexuals in such a negative manner up until recent years. It has shown them as being very different-and I think thats one of the big reasons why these homophobic comments are so prevalent.
My father is actually an Infectious Disease doctor, and most of his AIDS and HIV positive patients are homosexual. Thought that was rather interesting-especially since thats what I want to do! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
Standing ovation to you, Jair! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]
I'm sure that you have helped a lot of people reading this understand this topic better. You are a really strong person, Jair! --and Alice deserves you [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] or do I mean you deserve Alice [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]