September 21, 2018
The clock ticks to twenty minutes before closing. It was time for me to go home. I began to turn off the many lights that lit up the shop. I hear steps creaking from upstairs where my Grandad is, which means he’s gotten up from where he was working and is getting ready to take me home. When I am done closing up, we head out to his car.
After the many times my grandad has taken me home, I am pretty much prepared for what the subject of the ride is going to be. It could be one of three things, either the pristine work I am expected to be doing in school, how I should set my future up to be better than all those who came before me, or we just jam to the various genres of music being played on one of his cd’s.
“You know there are a lot of people doing different things in the world,”
My grandad says to break the otherwise silent car ride. I nod my head at first, not really understanding what he was talking about.
Ahh that’s what he meant, here we go. Just agree with what he says and maybe he won’t have extra questions and we can move on from this quickly, I think as I gaze out the window to the trees on lincoln drive.
“We accept them, although it’s pretty weird. You know, people aren’t really understanding that we need men and women to be together so that we can make more life. And then changing your body like that, it’s just not right.”, He goes on.
“Mhmm,” I reply.
I realize this is who my mom gets it from. I like to think she’s a little more open minded to topics of controversy. Then again, I can’t forget the time she stereotyped me as looking like a lesbian; short cropped hair and a nose ring. I was thirteen and had just recently cut my hair very close to my head. I was very excited because I had just gotten a fake septum ring for my nose. Later when I showed my mom, she said it was cute. However, she wouldn’t let me wear it outside the house because people might think I was a lesbian. This made me so upset, and eventually brought me to tears. Not because I was secretly a lesbian but because I never thought I should be worried about what others think of me. If I looked a certain way and people assumed things about me, so what! At the end of the day, they don’t know me.
“People may try and pressure you,” My Grandad says.
“But you can’t let them get to you.” He adds.
“Yeah,” I say, while I laugh in my thoughts because of how ignorant he is being to the fact that being gay isn’t a choice. If I was LGBTQ, pressure from my peers wouldn’t have an affect on who I am.
We arrive at my house and I’m free of his corrupted idea on the LGBTQ community. As I gather my things and step out of the car I look back and think about the recent experience I had with attempting to figure out my sexuality and finding myself. I wonder how my family would have handled it if I came to the conclusion that I did identify to be in the LGBTQ community. I let out a hmph kind of sound, with a smirk on my face as I walk up to my door, key in hand.
As I think back on this instance and the other times similar to this one, I realize that these are the moments that shape people. Those so called “make or break” moments that people have. I believe that hearing the views of my elders and those who surround me is important in the development of myself. Yes, hearing this from my Grandad, or even my mom doesn’t have an affect on my sexuality but it does open my eyes to the ridicule others must experience. Giving me a greater sense of sympathy and more of an open mind. I am thankful for this, because for some, this experience could have made them ignorant and oblivious if they chose to “go with it” instead of learn from it. We can choose our path in life and accept other people, as well as get it through our heads that we may not understand people’s notions. We must be able to adapt and find peace within ourselves, and the ever growing society we live in.