I never thought I would get so many views on my last article, "Sometimes You Have To Love Yourself IN SPITE of Being Gay."
I thought for sure it would be, "Internalized Homophobia And The Importance of...Humming," or "Why You Maybe SHOULD Ask If Someone Is Gay." Not even my article about Slytherin being the best Hogwarts house in the Harry Potter universe got as many views. People believe gay is good, but are having more of a struggle with self-love than I thought.
I didn't even think it was written as well as some other articles, because I talked about myself a lot. And it was smaller than others. But I apparently struck a nerve.
It's exhausting, sometimes, to affirm in your own mind that gay is good, in spite of your homophobic programming. You've got to love yourself in spite of it. In spite of everything.
In my experience, Christian songs still pop into my head almost every day, even though it's been about seven years since I listened to any kind of Christian music (except in the occasional Salvation Army thrift store). So of course it makes sense that the same ideas from my childhood would pop into my head also--especially since I occasionally still come across those same ideas, in spite of trying to avoid them for my own sake. (This is one of the reasons I avoid even the best gay Christian sites, because it attracts well-meaning and ill-meaning homophobes alike.)
Internalized homophobia is like having a sharp knife in your mind, that you try to avoid touching. And sometimes your efforts to remove it or dull it only cut you up badly. So it's best to avoid it sometimes, not confront it head-on. That's why I like trying different strategies than arguing with it (which is exhausting and only winds me up and makes me feel even worse).
Internalized homophobia, especially if it is upsetting enough to argue with myself about, makes me feel like scum, like the worst person, for being gay and choosing to accept it and explore my interest in queer studies. (Though not formally at this time, since I don't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a degree.) And no amount of arguing can seem to help my feeling like scum.
So...what if I am? What if I am the worst person? The worst person in the world? (In a world full of murderers, pedophiles, and rapists--some would argue I'm worse than them. Those people scare me-- what the hell are they doing?)
What if I am the worst person I could be? Shouldn't I love myself in spite of that? In spite of my "non-repentance"? (How long am I going to miserable, repenting? I went for years constantly repenting of everything, before I even consciously knew I was bisexual--when I thought I was straight.)
I tell myself, "I love you, in spite of all that." In spite of everything. And it makes me feel better.
I try to make self-love a big part of my life. I believe it makes people physically healthier, not just emotionally healthier. And you have to accept yourself exactly where you're at, right now--whether it's for being gay, being in the closet, not being out and loud and argumentative with relatives that scare you physically or emotionally, being scared of homophobes or religious homophobia (even without physical danger), or not being fully able to say "Gay is good" yet, without internal conflict. You will get there someday. I think I will get there someday. And if I don't, that's okay too. I will try to accept myself in spite of it all.