News reached me that my cousin, my mother’s sister’s son, came out as gay at the age of 44 years old. He’s met a man that he is moving to the Carolinas for. I wonder how his journey went – what lead him to realizing he was gay; why couldn’t he say sooner; why didn’t he at least tell me? “Your cousin finally came out,” my mother had said, informing me. Was I oblivious, wrapped in egocentrism? Ex-boyfriends had told me that he was gay when they first met him, but I brushed their observations off with an aloof, “Okay.” I never felt obligated to care or take notice to welcome him into the tribe – or it appears him towards me.
Over the years, as I have embraced my uniqueness – shown self without a mask – I have found the term queer to better suit my identity. I never felt as if homosexual was my tribe. The punks and outsiders always felt like my people – the ones who believed normal was an insult. A sexual identity has never felt important to my survival – rather not being alone, having a sense of community, of empathy, is what I have been after. Continue reading “Queer Identity: Against Homonormatives”