Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Big Coming Out of the Closet Post, and Families Respect Families is Born!

About 6 months ago I casually mentioned the name of my former partner in my private blog.  It wasn't a  sexually explicit remark, of course, just a mention that we were hanging out that weekend or something to that nature.  For many people, this would probably be no big deal, right? Well, in this case, my former partner happens to be a woman.  As a result of this mention, I lost two readers.  I contacted these readers to ask what was up since we had been following each others blogs for quite some time.  Over the course of nearly a year I had gotten to know these people quite well, and them myself, and suddenly they were completely disinterested in knowing me at all.  Much to my surprise, each of them independently let me know that they loved reading about my life, they loved Aias, and most of all they really liked me; they just didn't feel comfortable being friends with someone who had led a lifestyle like mine.  To this day I'm not really sure what they meant by that; my lifestyle is really no different from anyone else's.  In fact, those readers couldn't even detect the slightest difference in my lifestyle until I made mention of my former partner. As you can probably tell from reading this blog, I'm pretty average.  This is hardly erotic material. 

Because I am currently in a heterosexual relationship, I guess I've been reaping the benefits of invisibility.  People see Morgan and I on the street holding hands and they likely assume we are just a typical heterosexual couple and I am just a typical heterosexual woman.  They read about our lives and they don't detect the slightest amount of difference.  I guess in a way, I've been allowing this to happen.  Actually, this blog paints the picture of heteronormativity in many ways. There's nothing on here that says I'm queer identified (bisexual if you want, whatever makes you comfortable).  There's also nothing on here that says I'm for or against queer families or families that aren't nuclear.  I feel like it's time for that to change. I think it's time for me to come out of the e-closet. 

The loss of these friendships stung, but not for long.  I quickly realized that while it hurts to lose a friend, I'm better off not having people like that in my life. More importantly, Aias is better off.  Since making this blog public over the course of the past few weeks, I've been doing lots of blog hopping and checking out other people's blogs.  Every time I follow a new blog or another blogger follows me, I feel the slightest bit of concern that I'll get close to another person just for them to find out about my sexuality and drop me like a bad habit.  I searched around for GLBTQ family friendly blogs, and couldn't find many.  Worst of all, I found myself looking at people's blogs and trying to "guess" if they would be "ok" with me or not.  It was then that I decided to create a badge that people could put on their blogs to let their readers know that they are ok with all variations of family, no matter what labels society has for them. 

And so Families Respecting Families is born.


I strongly encourage bloggers to put this badge on their site to assure their readers that their page is a safe space for difference.  Putting the badge on your site does not mean you are GLBTQ, in fact, this is about so much more than just sexuality.  This is about all the differences a family can have, and how we should celebrate these differences instead of opposing them.  Adding the Families Respecting Families badge simply means you realize that all families are important regardless of the race, religious beliefs, colour, gender identity, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, sex, sexual orientation, or family status of the people that make up a given family.  I want everyone who reads my blog to know that my family respects other families, regardless of the labels society has for them. All families deserve respect, especially from other families. When it comes right down to it, we're really not so different.

Please check out the Families Respecting Families page here:

http://www.aias.ca/p/families-respecting-families.html

You can also get there by clicking the image above.  If you feel it in your heart that you can support this idea, please place the badge on your blog and encourage your friends to do so as well. 

I admit that in posting this, I am concerned about losing followers on this blog.  I'm concerned about a company Google-ing my name, finding this, and deciding they don't want to hire me because of my sexual orientation.  I'm concerned that I am putting myself out there in a way that makes me vulnerable in ways I can't even think of.  The fact is, I am who I am, and that's ok, and the same goes for you.  Whoever you are, however your family looks from the outside or the inside, it's ok.  In fact, it's more than ok. It's fantastic. If there is anyone who doesn't want to know you because you or your family are different, I can promise you it's their loss. 






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15 comments:

  1. Rock on, rockstar! You continue to live up to my opinion of you. Sometimes, you also exceed it. :)

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  2. I have known many friends that had lost bonds when they announced their sexuality. The way my cousin put it is the best, "How can you deny love to a soul?" We are all human, and deserve respect, no matter what our sexual preference.

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  3. I think this is such a great post. What is the point of blogging if you are not going to keep it real? For the few followers who "unfollow" you will gain many more because there are so many that can relate.

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  4. You wont lose me. I commend you for being so open about the subject.

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  5. Your honesty combined with you willingness to love and accept others is what really makes me love you. Aias has a really good opened minded mother.

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  6. I can not believe you lost friends because of something you posted about a former partner. That just rubs me the wrong way. ICK!!

    Love ya girl!

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  7. I love your honesty and your strength. It takes a lot to do what you did. I have posted your Families Respecting Families button on my blog: http://thesteadyhandblog.com/. Thanks.

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  8. Hi I am your newest follower from Whimsical Wednesday Blog Hop- Hop on by and follow back- Love the blog- Love the post

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  9. I appreciate your honesty and admire your initiative in creating the Families Respecting Families badge.

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  10. "If you want to be me, be me, and if you want to be you, be you..."

    You go, girl. That homophobia still exists today is astounding. As mentioned already, what's the point of keeping a blog if you feel the need to censor yourself? Aias will be all the better for having been raised in an open, accepting environment. And as you said, you don't want those friendships -- that's not how you treat friends.

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  11. Love this. Thank you for being you- an exemplar of honesty, openness, and respect. And thanks for leading me to Hippie Housewife as well, I've been reading back posts and have already gained so much from her (your, if you're reading this HH) quiet, considered, and practical wisdom.

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  12. Thank you for posting this.

    I'm technically "bi" but nobody knows about it because I'm married to a man. Its maddening, to not be able to be honest, but I know its something that has to be done to keep family "peace"

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  13. I'm happy that the loss of those readers didn't sting for long, nor SHOULD it have. You just picked up another one...an old Grammie from Nova Scotia...and I'm using your button too! We, our children, our grandchildren all need to understand and respect differences. KUDOS young'un!

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  14. I think you're amazing. And really, the more I learn about you the more I adore you :) No one worthy of your time would stop following you because of your sexual history. It just doesn't make sense.

    I have to do a bit of reorganization, but I hope to add your button to my blog today. :)

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  15. I've just clicked through to here via a twitter link and wanted to say good on you for standing up for your life! I find it really strange that people would defriend someone based on their sexuality. Ridiculous. I hope this post separates out those who follow you for you and those who follow you for who they have decided you are.

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I've adopted the same commenting policy as seen here at Off Beat Mama (http://offbeatmama.com/about/comments). I won't post comments if they strike me as attacking, judgmental, rude, or unproductive. In general if you are willing to put your name to something, I'll post it, but remember to keep your words sweet, because someday you may have to eat them.