The movie Another Earth, which portrays a girls quest for an alternative reality, really got me thinking about the topic. What if there was another world where things were - different? What if there was another world where you were looked down upon for being straight and rewarded for being gay ... check it out.
Over the past few years, I was at a constant struggle with myself over my heterosexual identity. It was during my freshman year at Canisius that I had the strength and courage to come out to myself, my accepting campus, and my two loving mothers. In an increasingly progressive society that is beginning to accept opposite-sex couples, I knew I could no longer stay silent. During the winter break of 2007, I sat down my parents and just came out with it. I said, “Mom and Mom, I have something to tell you. I’m straight.” From that moment on, my life was never the same.
Even though my parents are pretty liberal, I was still quite nervous about their reaction. How were they going to feel that their first born son is part of the heterosexual community? After an initial and drawn out silence, Mom Number One spoke. “Oh my God, Jeffrey. Was it something that we did as parents? Was it the vacation to San Francisco where we brought you to Hooters? Or is it because we allowed you to play organized sports when you were younger?”
At that time, I thought about it, and honestly, there was really no particular moment in my life where I knew that I was straight. Sure, I dated guys in high school to fit in, but never once did I have an attraction or connection to them. Some nights, I would stay up late and pray to be gay. I could not understand why I could not be normal and gay like all of my friends.
It was only once that I arrived to Canisius College in the fall of 2007 where I realized what an accepting and unique campus it truly was. I was not known as “straight Jeff,” but just Jeff – one of the guys. Over the semesters, I became involved in one of the most popular clubs on campus, Unity, which is the straight-gay alliance at the school. I have so much respect for the gay club members and how they have been active advocates in a world that appears to be so gay oriented.
After Mom Number One was finished, Mom Number Two told me how she felt about my heterosexuality. “As a mother, I always knew this was coming. I could tell since you were young … The Sabres sports jersey you always wore, the backwards hat. And that one time I walked into your room in middle school and you were looking at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.” At this remark, Mom Number Two jumped in and things started to get heated. “No, I don’t think that’s right. People are not just BORN STRAIGHT. I don’t believe that, do you? It’s that liberal school he goes to. Jeffrey, what is that name of that straight bar you go to? He is being brainwashed by those straight athletes who convinced him to be straight, that’s the only explanation I have.” Wow, that sounded pretty crazy. Do people believe that someone can be persuaded to change their sexuality?
I decided to leave the room and give my parents some time; it took me close to eighteen years to accept my sexuality, and I could not throw this in their face and expect them to accept it in minutes. I went to my room and thought about what my parents had said. Was there a time in my life where I truly understood that I was heterosexual? Did I play in the dirt too much? Did I dress in sweats and a Buffalo Bills shirt on purpose? Many thoughts popped into my head and before long, my mothers came into my room.
Mom Number One apologized and told me, “Just remember, Jeffrey, although you are straight and happy with yourself, there are people are there who will never accept you for who you are. You want the same rights as homosexuals; you want to be able to adopt children, and of course, you will want to marry the woman of your dreams someday, but sadly, some of this stuff may not be possible for you. But whatever happens, we support you completely. We are just concerned for you as our son.” I hugged both my moms, and as they left my room, I once again began to ponder what would become of my life.
I agreed with my parents. It is a crazy world that we live in, but one day, I hope that those in the heterosexual community will have the same rights as our homosexual counterparts. It may take some time, but I hope there is a day in the future where I can walk down the street with the woman I love, holding her hand, and that we will not be harassed just because we are the opposite sex of one another. I dream of a future where heterosexuals are not depicted as stereotypes and a negative aspect of society. A future where heterosexuals are equals.
For those of you who are straight : this is crazy, right? It's what gay people go through on a daily basis. Don't be an asshole - accept all - it sounds cliche, but the world is honestly so much better that way. Oh - and most importantly - if you're a hot dude, give me a call.