I know this quote by FDR is so cliché and overused but it’s something I think about it a lot. I live in fear a lot of the time. But when I really think about my fears I realize how silly they are. For example, I’ve been extremely verbose about my journeys through addiction and recovery, bouts with depression, high anxiety and I just told you I’m afraid of just about everything, so I’m really putting my weaknesses out there for all to judge. This scares me, but when I really think about it, I know that I’m doing the right thing by talking about these things, maybe I will be able to help someone who has had similar problems.
I try to write very openly and honestly. My blog posts and submissions to publishers are always truthful and bare. But I push the send button and 2 seconds later the fear sets in. “What will people think of me??” I have very mixed feelings about being so open and honest. But I am trying to live my truth as I feel that many people do not. Hiding behind facades of happiness and perfection is not healthy. To me perfection is living your truth and being who you really are, as long as it doesn’t entail hurting anyone of course. I have an old friend who posted this on Facebook. We were friends in grade school and I didn’t know that she was gay at the time, I don’t think she did either. She has since come out and I am so happy that she is living her truth and not afraid to do so. I questioned if I should “share” this link and then thought “this is how I really feel and if people have a problem with it, I’m ok with that.”
Having conflicting feelings about posting such an innocuous icon, I imagined how difficult it must be for those who are trying to actually “come out” and be openly gay. I grew up in NYC so I was always surrounded by homosexuals and it never bothered me, in fact I was surrounded by pretty much every type of person you can imagine. It was challenging at times as I sometimes didn’t know where I fit in, but it has proved to be quite an asset. People fear the unknown, and since I’ve known people from all walks of life, I know that most people are good, no matter what race, sex, religious affiliation, culture, sexual preference etc… they happen to be.
There are many people out there who do not feel this way. Since I believe most of these people have been very sheltered I suppose I cannot blame them. My advice is to stop making prejudgments, especially negative ones. Educate yourself about whatever the topic is and then make a decision. And if you still feel that being gay, white, black, muslim, atheist, democrat, republican etc…is bad that’s ok, just don’t try to force people to live the way you want them too. Isn’t that what freedom is all about?