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Explore Life Coaching, Patti Phillips

Being Gay Makes Me a Better Person

To start, I want to be clear that me being a better person isn’t by comparing myself to any other human being. I do not believe that I am any better than anyone else…except the person I might otherwise have been if I wasn’t gay.

Let me take you back to my early years. When I was a kid, I was independent and strong-willed. I kicked and screamed when my mom tried to put a dress on me for special occasions. I refused to wear the top of my little girl bikini bathing suit. During recesses at school, I spent the mornings skipping and playing four-square with the girls and then I would play football and skateboard with the boys in the afternoon. When I played house with my best friend, I was usually the dad. I loved to build things with my dad and brothers but also cooked and sewed like my mom and sister. I pretended I was a mom and took care of my stuffed animals (but not dolls!). I was born with a “funny” hand and even though kids were curious about it, I never really got teased. Some of friends even thought it was cool that I had something different than everyone else; and so did I.

I was very much guided simply by what made me happy, brought me joy, and “felt right”. This was encouraged and mostly accepted by my parents. Growing up was fun and simple for me, with only a couple of challenging growth experiences along the way. I was not particularly interested in dating and I didn’t really begin to explore who I was sexually until my late teens.

When I had an awakening to my sexual orientation, it was really scary. Up until then, I had fit in with people and truly felt accepted; even with some of my not so typical behaviors. This was the first time I considered that I would have to hide who I was. And I did hide it for a few years. I denied it to myself, until it was making me unhealthy and unhappy by keeping feelings suppressed. I hid it from my parents and family for longer because I didn’t want to hurt them but mostly because I didn’t want to be rejected by them. There were many stories from the people around me being told they were no longer accepted by their family.

So I tried for awhile to talk myself out of being me, and paid attention to how that felt. Confined, limited, supressed, hidden. But I also had the experience of being able to fully express myself when I was a child and I knew what that felt like. It felt like, joy, freedom, comfort and peace. Expressing myself had allowed me to take risks because I knew people accepted me for who I was. By trying to now deny who I was, I was also denying some very fundamental values for me; peace, freedom, joy, and comfort.

I choose to honour my true, authentic self and my deepest values and needs. To be honest, living my life as a gay woman has not been difficult. I have yet to have someone personally reject me or judge me. Of course I have been hurt by ignorant comments by people around me or in the media and devastated bystories of violence targeted at the gay population. But I have come to believe that because I respect myself and do not judge myself, others grant me the same gift of acceptance.

Since my “coming out” experience, I continue to try to pay very close attention to who I am and what I need deep down. Life circumstances and the basic human need to be accepted, continue to challenge how well I honour myself. However,  I remain quite aware of how it feels to be influenced by trying to live up to society’s expectations and it’s simply not worth it to me.

This is why I do what I do with my personal life coaching. I want everyone who is struggling with the conflict between living up to society’s expectations and the expression of who they truly are, deep down. I want people to experience daily joy, freedom, peace, and comfort.So being gay has taught me so much about the value the power of livng authentcally and honouring who I am.

Being myself and accepting myself makes me a better person.

Everybody deserves to be gay (happy!). Be yourself and you’ll be happy. You’ll be a better person for it.

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Comments (3)

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    Shannon Jonassen

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    ‘Amen, Patti . . . there are tears in my eyes as I finish reading your article–it’s a strong, brave, and beautiful piece.

    Reply

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    Carol

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    Great article Patti, as always. You’re the best! 🙂

    Reply

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    Nancy

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    Yes!

    Reply

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