Being gay sometimes means you have to be cruel

23 Mar

“With less than half an hour to go, nobody else had arrived and Matthew began to worry. In the distance he could see a burial taking place. “I went over and asked one of the officials where Nazim was being buried,” he said. “She said, ‘I’m really sorry – they have already buried him…Nazim’s family had apparently given him the wrong time for the funeral.” The Guardian

Nazim sounds like a sweet man, which might have been a problem. Lots of gay people are sweet, and it’s the sweet thing to do to care what your family thinks of you. This care can be abused, families can turn cold, abandon you, or suggest you change an innate part of who you are.

The Guardian paragraph struck me: in the case of my death, would my own family do what Nazim’s family did? Would they turn my partner away, or give him the wrong time for the funeral?

I couldn’t answer.

Maybe I can’t afford to be sweet anymore. I’ve crossed a threshold, I’m getting married, and everyone wants to know if my mother will be there. Maybe it’s time I let them wonder, because I no longer care.

Being gay means that sometimes you have to be cruel, but cruelty is in the eye of the beholder. Heterosexual relatives might find it cruel when a gay relatives cease communications, or distance themselves, but what they should understand is that gay people can’t afford to be too sweet or too caring to bigots. When you have an opinion about gay people, gay people often strategize as to how hard they can push you out of their life with the least amount of resistance. If this is the cruelty I must pay for a sound mind then I’ll gladly pay it because my relationship with my partner means too much to me.

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