This was included in a recent comment about Equal Marriage Arizona’s campaign to allow same-sex marriage, from a fellow lesbian in Tucson:
“JMJ, I have publically stuck my neck out for 40 years so people like her can come out. Grow up.”
This is not the first time I have heard this very remark from a gay liberal. Many times I have had gay liberals bash me for being conservative by telling me that they’ve been “out” for a long time and that they are the ones who helped make my coming-out and that of others possible. It is a remark that is designed to be demeaning and belittling.
Nobody, regardless of how long they’ve been out, some how “made it possible” for me or anyone else to come out. You didn’t come out so that it would be easier for me – you came out for yourself. I would have come out of the closet regardless of anything you did or how long you did it. Why? Because I’m a lesbian, and it was something that I couldn’t ignore. I couldn’t deny it anymore than I could deny the fact that I am alive and need to breathe, eat, and sleep. Some of my friends got married and tried to have what society considered a “normal” life; they had children, they tried to love their spouses, but in the end realized they were living a lie. Like me, they had to eventually accept the fact that they were lesbians. Nobody who came before us came out so that we could. You were NOT thinking of future generations when you first stuck your neck out publicly.
We would have come out with or without you. It would have happened sooner or later simply because it was our nature. It is unbelievably pompous and arrogant to attack us with the belief that you are somehow responsible for us coming out. You say you “stuck your neck out” for 40 years? Bravo. Thank you. Don’t kid yourself, though. None of that was done to make it easier for me. I am well aware that you only did it for yourself and I find it insulting on many levels that you expect me to believe the way you do just because you’re older.
The big difference between gay liberals and my friends who tried desperately to make their straight marriages work is astounding. It takes a hell of a lot more courage to come out when you’ve been married for 20-odd years and have children than it does to come out when you’re young and have no obligations. Think of everything some of those women have had to go through. After years of believing that they’re living the right way, they realize that they’re lesbians. They know they’re about to upend the lives of everyone around them – their husbands, their children, nieces, nephews, in-laws, their own parents. They face the possibility of being disowned by everyone. They know their children may never speak to them again. If they’re attending church, all of their friends will disappear. Everything that is familiar is going to evaporate before their eyes, and they know it. It is a hell I am grateful I didn’t have to face.
Claiming that you are somehow responsible for anyone else’s realization and ultimate acceptance of their sexual orientation cheapens the struggle that each of us faces. In that one comment, you had the temerity to say that what we have gone through is meaningless. It is as crass and selfish as it is smug to make the presumption that you had anything to do with any of us accepting who we were.
We can at least say that we have been able to have civil, rational conversations with other conservatives and they are willing to consider changing their minds because we aren’t calling them names. That’s a hell of a lot more than you can say. When I have to start a group of conservative lesbians that has to be kept closed and invisible to others on Facebook because of the retribution we face from gay liberals, it says a lot about you and your character.