Todays topic stems from a YouTube channel I stumbled upon the other day.
The Next Family is a lifestyle blog based on the life of a lesbian couple, Brandy and Susan, and their 3 adorable children. They touch on some pretty hard-hitting topics and give you raw and honest answers. This channel is such an amazing resource for LGBTQ+ families looking for guidance with anything from keeping the spark alive in your marriage/relationship to how to find the perfect LGBTQ+ friendly schools near you.
I suppose you may be wondering how in the hell I managed to come across a channel with such a powerful message. Truth be told, I am a 23-year-old lesbian trying to plan a future. Although I don’t want to get too far into detail with this (most because it is still new and nothing is quite set in stone, and I want to make a separate blog post about this) I wanted to touch on a few things that encompass this topic.
First off, I want to say thank you for reading this far. If you have, whether you are a member of the LGBTQ+ family like myself, a family member/friend to someone just like me, or even if you’re here looking for ammunition to load your hate guns, thank you for being open-minded enough to read this.
Stigma; a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
I remember the very first time I witnessed the stigma involving (in my case) lesbian couples. It was grade 9 or 10 (brain fart..) when 2 girls from my classes decided to start a relationship together. This was, as far as we knew, the first time in many years (if ever) that an openly gay/lesbian couple was known at our school. When I first heard the new, I was immediately filled with hope. At this point, I was still closeted and was trying to find the courage to “come out”.It soon became very clear that I would not be able to do so for a long time..
Not long after the 2 girls began dating, they made a terrible name for themselves. They never left much to the imagination; always talking about their sex life far too openly, tonsil hockey in the cafeteria, even sex in the bathrooms at school. They were so far in everyone’s face that it was hard not to think negatively about the situation.
Here’s the thing. I have ALWAYS made it very clear that I will always except someone elses views on things. I would be naive to believe that everyone on this planet should think like I do. The reality of the situation is that yes, I am an openly lesbian woman and I am proud of that. Do I shout it from the rooftops and expect everyone to accept me? NO. The problem with these girls from my highschool was that because they were the first openly lesbian couple, I feel as though they felt that they needed to make a point. That it was a normal things and that everyone needs to respect it. Although this is a great message to spread, they went about it the wrong way. Every single chance they got, they were making out in front of people who found lesbianism strange, they were talking about their sex life to people who thought lesbianism was a sin, and even giving school faculty hell for giving them detention for being caught “doing it” in the public washroom.
Because of all the mayhem, people had awful things to say about anything LGBTQ+. Even the Gay/Straight Alliance we had at school slowly fell apart. I hid my sexuality for almost 5 years after that. The point is, when I was watching the above mentioned YouTube channel, I became to inspired by the confidence they radiated. They were confident in themselves and their relationship and they were giving advice not only to LGBTQ+ families, but to straight families aswell. They are educating a nation far bigger then I think they imagine. My life has most been about suppressing feelings and thoughts, and even though now I am no longer lying to myself and everyone else, I still find myself deflecting questions that could potentially “out me” to new people I meet. I still find myself waiting a very long time to even mention to people about my sexuality, and even delay talking about my amazing partner.
I am left heartbroken thinking that the stigma is still very real. It shatters me that I still feel as though I can not live a truly open life as potential bad situations play out in my head. I hope that one day I can be as open as Brandy and Susan. Their happiness has truly inspired me.
I know this post is probably all jumbled, but that’s the beauty of running a life blog; nothing has to make sense to anyone but you!
& as always, if you’re still reading this, I like you, I appreciate you.