Of Mirrors and Rainbows: thoughts on being yourself

So I came across this really excellent article on IGN yesterday about how gay characters do exist in video games, but are always minor characters, just like in most other forms of media.

It got me thinking about a couple things:

1- There is this idea that well meaning, generally accepting straight people toss around that seems to be prevalent today, this idea that sexuality doesn’t matter. The heart of this statement is in the right place, but it feels like a punch in the gut to a gay person. Here’s why:

Saying sexuality doesn’t matter is saying it doesn’t affect us, the way we live our lives and who we have struggled to become. It says our struggle to fight to love ourselves enough to be ourselves despite a culture that says we are freaks at worst and comedic sidekicks at best doesn’t matter. And most of all what hurts is that it says that our pain, our torment, and suffering at being judged, hated and threatened doesn’t matter. Even though, thankfully, it isn’t as common today, you don’t think you’d live your life differently if you knew there was some chance you may be attacked physically or verbally for holding your spouse’s hand in public, or even casually bringing them up in conversation? It matters.


2-I’ve heard so many people say, I’m a writer (insert any profession) and I’m gay (insert any minority status), but I don’t want to be a gay writer. Really? If you are not yourself then you are no one. If you don’t embrace and love yourself, no one will love you. Sure, some people will judge you for being true to yourself, but others will love you. The real you, and you can’t be true to yourself, find your story, tell your story if you reject a part of yourself. So be a gay writer, or a Christian writer, or a black lawyer, or a Muslim model, or whatever the hell you are. Be yourself. Love yourself. Tell your story.