Pride Month 2021 – I Support You and I Am With You

(Photo by Steve Johnson/Pexels)

I have chosen to share a tender, vulnerable post. I received the nudge to share this a year ago, this month. Uncertainty caused me to hold back. When reading a birthday twin Sista’s latest post this morning, I was reminded that I do not always need to know why I’m being nudged to share something personal and tender. How it is received by you, is entirely your business, not mine.

Ignorance is bliss … Well, not always. Ignorance can be selfish, ignorance can be hurtful to those you love, to yourself, and to your fellow humans.

I wrote this post a year ago, June 2020. I didn’t post it then as I’m still in learning, questioning, and letting-myself-know-the-true-me mode. I kept having thoughts about what others would think if I shift from what I’d written at an earlier time.

Yet, isn’t that what some of what life is about. The more we learn, the more we explore, the more we experience, it can certainly shift our perspective, our lifestyle. Especially when we have been brought up to believe that certain ways of living and believing are wrong. It’s only when we educate ourselves, in addition to opening our hearts and minds to others that we come to know the absurdity of many of the “wrongs” we were taught as children.

Another reason I did not post this a year ago, is this niggling feeling that it will turn others away. I will “lose” folks. The niggling feeling is not as strong as it used to be. But, it’s still there. Actually, as I press the publish button on this post, both of these reasons are there, giving me butterflies in my stomach.

At my 19 year old daughter’s urging, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, being vulnerable, with worries that I may get this wrong in some way. Staying in my comfort zone keeps me “safe”, allowing me not to commit to anything, or anyone.

She feels that I should share what I’ve come to know about myself. I’m the one who taught her to always be herself, and not to worry about what others think. She’s handed that back to me, telling me that it will feel good to get it out. I’m not saying that I feel un-good (I’m using a made up word as nothing else fits!) by not sharing, just that it will feel good to share, to be open and authentic. So, here it goes …

Three years ago I realized that I needed to educate myself about my brothers and sisters of the LGBTQ+ community. I had never taken the time to do this in the past as I didn’t think I needed to know more, mistakenly believing it didn’t involve me. That changed when someone very close to me, confided that they are a part of this community.

I knew that I needed to be educated, so I went right to researching. I love this person with all my heart and wanted to be available for them. I also wanted to be able to support them.

I began reading books and researching online. I learned as much as I could. I unlearned whatever needed to be unlearned, shedding layers of muck, mostly thoughts and ideas I had adopted as a child, from society and the adults around me. Here’s to unlearning the homophobia some of us were consciously, or unconsciously, taught growing up!

In doing this research and releasing judgments and thoughts that were not my own, I learned something about myself. Something that had been there for a while, but that I immediately dismissed. Whenever it came up, I felt guilt and shame, coupled with feeling wrong.

Wherever it came from, society or the adults around me, I grew up thinking that it was wrong. Which, incidentally, has been an overriding them in my healing journey this past 15 years. I thought that just about everything I did, I did wrong. “You’re doing it wrong” had been a constant theme running through my thoughts. This theme no longer haunts me as I spent many years walking into it, working my way through all its baggage.

Fast forward to around April 2020. Many of you know of, or personally know, my special needs daughter, Lillian. She’s 19 years old and graduated June 2019 .. YAY! It was in April of last year that she let me know she was in love with one of her female friends. She has since come out as bisexual.

Those of you connected with Lillian know that she has not been shy about letting people know this. She has more guts and courage than I’ve ever known, the guts and courage for being herself, and for letting others know who she is, no matter what. Up until I had reached my mid 40’s, I hadn’t the courage to speak my mind, for fear of turning others away. Lillian inspires me. If she can do it, so can I.

I have only ever been in relationships with straight cisgender men. About two years ago, I realized that a person’s biological sex or gender-identity is the least important factor for me in sparking an attraction. Very important note: This does NOT mean I am attracted to all people.

What creates an attraction for me is a mixture of the energy one exudes, personality, demeanor, political leanings, mutual interests, and physical characteristics. I’m also attracted to people of any skin color or nationality. This is another “wrong” I had to unlearn. I’ve had forty something years of telling myself that certain things I thought and felt were wrong. I’m done living my life that way. FFS!! I’m 51 years old. I will believe and trust myself.

Who I am attracted and drawn to may shift once I begin dating again, as this is unfamiliar territory for me since I have not dated, or been with anyone, in about 13 years. What is clear is that I won’t know until I know, so I’m not pinning myself to any labels just yet.

I mean, perhaps this is part of the reason that I have been on no dates for the past 13 years. I have never been in a healthy, loving relationship with another. Maybe I needed the time to heal, to learn about myself, and to become comfortable with my healed and authentic self. All this long-ass post to say that I’m coming out. I’m not clear on exactly what I’m coming out as, yet, there it is. I don’t know if I will ever have clarity, especially if I’m not dating! Honestly, the thought of dating is not appealing to me at all. Meeting people, getting to know others, does appeal to me.

I’m surrendering to however this may unfold. As this writing closes, I realize I’ve written it in furtherance of helping me be okay and embracing not quite knowing to which “label” I belong. Honestly, now that I release this blog post that took a year to write, perfect, and publish, I am absolutely okay with this. I’m a road less traveled, outside the box, rebel, go the opposite direction as everyone else type person. This suits me. This is The Way for me.

Ignorance is bliss … Well, not in all cases. Ignorance can be selfish, ignorance can be hurtful to those you love, to yourself, and to your fellow humans.

If you do not wish to be hurtful, please educate yourself.

There you have it. For those that stay with me, thank you. I love and appreciate you. For those that decide to part ways, thank you. I love and appreciate you. Please educate yourself, take the time to unlearn crazy shit some of us picked up as a child, youth, and young adult. xoxo

P.S. Lillian approves of this post.

Follow up thoughts: That’s my motto: “Always, sometimes, maybe posting vulnerable shit” …. Or something like that … And, over here trying to be a good human, getting some things right along the way. It’s pretty wild how sharing vulnerable aspects of ourself can be so empowering!

See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.