Do you ever have those times when there are themes in your life? Sometimes it’s the problems that people close to you are dealing with in their lives. Sometimes, it’s in the small things like seeing signs for pie everywhere you go and finally deciding to buy a piece. Other times it’s in themes of movies or books that you read. It’s LGTBQI Pride Month in Canada. So perhaps it’s not too surprising that this is the theme that I’ve found in the latest shows and movies I’ve watched.
I love watching comedians and recently watched Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette. Wow. She starts off with comedy and then shifts into getting very real with her audience. She shares how she can no longer make self-deprecating jokes about herself and gives the audience a glimpse of what happened in her life after the punch-line. Hannah is a lesbian who grew up in Tasmania in a Bible belt. She talks about growing up hating herself and how she’s been trying to change this. She also doesn’t identify as flamboyantly gay, joking that the pride flag has a “bit too much colour for her taste”.
I also recently finished watching Battle of the Sexes with Emma Stone and Steve Carrell. This is based on the story of tennis champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) in the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis tournament with Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell). The movie is also the coming out story for Billie Jean King. In 1971, while married, she realized that she was bisexual. It took over a decade to come out to her family and the public. She now lives with her partner Ilana.
I was reflecting in my own life, that I haven’t heard an easy story from anyone who has come out as gay. In many ways this isn’t surprising in our society, but that realization made me reflect on how difficult it really has been for friends and clients. So, if you identify as Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bi, Queer, Intersex or are currently finding your own definition of gender and sexuality, I want to honour you for your journey of coming out and interacting in a world that still holds a lot of judgment and stigma. I have great love and respect for your courage, and I’m grateful that you’re showing up in the world as who you are in heart and soul. I also honour those who are contemplating coming out to family and/or friends.
I also want to honour those who no longer believe that homosexuality is a sin even though they were brought up in communities that believed otherwise. For some people this is known very early in life, for others like me it took a couple of decades, and for others it will take longer. A reflective movie on the topic of sexuality and Christianity is Give Me Sex Jesus (I kind of cringed at the title, but a very interesting watch). This documentary reflects on the subjects of sexuality as a broader topic, sex before marriage and also those who are LGBTQI and want to be Christians.
Attachment & Authenticity
Gabor Maté has said that as children we all want to have connection and to be loved for who we are at heart. Attachment and Authenticity. However, the need for connection is greater than the need for authenticity, so we will often hide or try to change who we are to be accepted by others. This rings true for all of humanity, and I can only imagine what it has been like for my LGTBQI peers, especially those who grew up in religious communities that told them that their authentic selves were wrong.
Now, for #Pride Month (and every month hereafter), I raise my glass of wine to you, your journey, and gratitude for you in my life. Happy Pride Month.