Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender – often misunderstand, mislabeled and misjudged for not fitting into the conventional mold.
Grafner / 123RF Photo
My dear Singularians: Luis S. Vielma loved to dance. Anywhere he had the opportunity. Saturday night, on June 11 was to be his last. He went to an LGBT venue to do that and the unthinkable happened. In the early hours of June 12, a terrorist, in the worst mass shooting in United States history, opened fire in the Orlando, Florida nightclub leaving 53 wounded and 50 dead, including Luis.
Known to his friends and family as “one of the most genuine and kind hearted people,” he had worked as a production assistant on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Orlando. His greatest joy was Harry Potter.
And ironically … he wasn’t gay. He was there to enjoy the music. Among the thousands of mourners was J.K. Rowling who shared a photo of Luis amid tears.
Singular magazine deals with the challenges and the benefits of living single. Yet, as singles, a group that has also been misunderstand, mislabeled and misjudged, I believe we have a vested interest in shouting out on behalf of all human beings against the shrill sound, the wafting smell, the ignoble ignorance of persecution and bigotry. This column is dedicated to all the victims and survivors of June 12.
Dear Marnie: What do you think about gays, lesbians, and bisexuals? I’m bisexual and I don’t understand why people judge me on that factor alone. How can it be “wrong” to be true to how I feel? Usually their only argument is that it’s against the Bible. Exactly what passage says “thou shall not be gay”? And do you think that there is a specific age when it is too young to know? I knew when I was younger and no one thought I was old enough, but I’ve grown up and this continues to be who I am. Thanks for any views on this. – Judged in L.A.
MARNIE SAYS: Ooo you. I’m not sure here whether your inquiry is the Big Litmus test of a columnist who yells “not my job” in the matter of dispensing moral platitudes, or if there’s a personal question in there somewhere. If it’s lurking let’s find it.
Getting It: Your Personal Strategy
* First, given that I leave the preaching to those who may know, think they know, wish they knew, the one right answer for us all, I don’t do Bible readings. You’ll have to look elsewhere for passages.
* The answer to your age question is a resounding … who knows? I’ve met LGBT-ers who’ve played it “straight” till they were old enough to rollover their IRAs, while others suspected “something” before pop took off their training wheels. Then there are those who are betwixt and between and remain so. Sexually speaking, I believe we are each as unique as cheese curls. So I don’t do “normal” by the numbers. I can tell you that sexuality isn’t vanilla vs. chocolate. Think rocky road. But the permutations are so complex that even Caitlyn Jenner would need a roadmap.
* Onto your real question. “Why does it matter what others think of my life?” We all know there are those who will argue, castigate, label and disenfranchise you — wholesale. But, the critical issue is: are you OK with you?
*Ask yourself: Do I have a choice about my sexuality? No? Then claim your life, fight for your rights and find dignity in the mission. There are zillions of groups, organizations, professionals who are out there to give you direction.
Finally, if you were just hunting about my position on this and life’s Other Big Questions, I’ll oblige. I subscribe to the great Rabbi Hillel’s sentiment when summing up the meaning of his religion: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. The rest is commentary.”
A FINE TIME FOR AN “OUTING?”
Dear Marnie: I recently learned that the president-elect of an adamantly anti-gay group, is, herself, gay. This group would be appalled if they knew the truth. As a gay person myself, I came across her at a gay bar where she aggressively came on to a friend of mine. Surely this is not what this group promotes. But I’m not sure if I should just standby quietly or do something about this disgrace. – Values in Conflict
MARNIE SAYS: I must say, your query gave me pause. Much as I loathe psychobabble, I also loathe duplicitous swine of any gender; and “morally-driven” witch-hunts. Sexuality is private. It’s personal. It’s my opinion that most “outings” should be limited to frolicking at a park. Unless, the lie is in hateful contradiction to a public “mission.”
Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:
* Exposure? If you act, you’d better have the facts. Can you prove them beyond a doubt? You’ll have to because if you’re wrong and spread the fodder, you may find yourself in it. It’s called slander. More, there may be circumstances, agreements, understandings, nuances you know nothing about. If you’re wrong, you may wrongly affect reputations — and rightfully destroy your own.
* Calling Hypocrisy: I believe there’s a moral component to hypocrisy, but the compelling aspect of the word in this case implies two things: “lying and linking.” That is being a part of the very group you’ve targeting for hate. Is the gay director of say, the parks department a hypocrite, unfit to do his job? No. Is the evangelist who steals from his followers a thief and hypocrite? You bet. Is the vociferously anti-gay bigshot who backstreets at a leather bar a raging hypocrite in need of exposure? You bet.
* Armed with the facts, consider going “private.” Confront the lady. Tell her what you know. Let her tell you her truth. If, despite absolute evidence, she refuses to step down, would I “out” her – publicly? Again, you bet.
As always, consider your moves carefully, friend. Because the business of “outing” is both serious and risky – but at times, necessary, as when hypocrisy breeds hate.
SAME SEX CRUSH
Dear Marnie: I’m a 37-year-old female and for eight months now, I’ve had a crush on a 44-year-old woman. I’ve written her a letter to let her know how I feel and she said I hurt her feelings which I didn’t mean to do. This is the first serious crush on a woman I’ve ever had. How can I explain my feelings to her without hurting hers? – Lost in Love
MARNIE SAYS: Alas “Lost,” without seeing your actual written “declaration,” I’m a bit lost over the lady’s “hurt feelings.” So I’m forced to hunch, given that this isn’t really about “hurt” feelings anyway. Nor is your question.
Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:
* Your Real Question: “How do I get her to love me back?”
* Her Real Answer: Whether she got wiggy because she felt “friendship-betrayed” (she assumed you were sharing latte not lust), or felt massively misunderstood (or alternatively “understood” and scared) – in intention or sexuality, I can’t say. Either way, it would appear her “hurt” was precisely about your romantic intentions and your assumption she’d return them.
* In other words, she gave you your answer peanut.
* Your task then, is to accept it. Whether the object of your affection is hetero, gay, bi (or bicarbonate of soda) a no is a no is a no. You asked, she answered. Any significant attempt to win her, turns you from lover to stalker (OK, annoying). If you misspoke, by all means clarify and see if the friendship can be salvaged or should be, given your feelings. Then quit bugging her. It’s not friendly.
* Consider instead, what’s fueling this “crush.” You’re entering new vistas here and you need: a) to get the deal straight with you, first; b) a road map, if you’re making new choices at this age. Because you see, this whole issue – your sexuality – is very much about you.
* Focus on you. Check-in with a tuned-in counselor to help clear up any static in your mind and your signals. That requires IDing your journey first and getting the navigation to tools to make it a safe and successful one.
Copyright © Marnie Macauley / 2016 Singular Communications, LLC
Advice guru Marnie Winston-Macauley — therapist, author, speaker — has been a radio, TV, and syndicated advice columnist and counselor for over 20 years. Witty, wise and totally irreverent with a self-professed loathing for psychobabble, she’s written over 20 books and calendars, along with hundreds of relationship columns and features for prominent publications. She has her MS degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work. In media, her work has garnered her Emmy and Writer’s Guild Best Writing nominations. She is widowed and now living single. For personal advice, you can also find Marnie Macauley on Liveperson.com or on Presto Experts. She invites you to join her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.