Friday, June 09, 2017

The Likes O' Me

I take a certain degree of pride in the fact that I am not “normal.” I have never been “normal” and have never had the slightest interest in being so. I have, in fact, spent most of my life avoiding normalcy like the plague, and were anyone to refer to me as being “normal”—though no one ever has—I am quite sure I would be rather insulted.

Of course, having been gay since I was five years old, I never really had much of an option. Society made it very clear that I was not like everyone else, and though I have never (until, perhaps, recent years) flaunted the fact, having witnessed what those who did flaunt it had to endure made self-evident the old saying “discretion is the better part of valor.” In the case of gays and lesbians, it was often a matter of “discretion is the better part of survival.” And because my sexual orientation is such a major part of my character, it is axiomatic that I would and never could feel “normal” in a world of people so different from myself.

To be normal is to belong, and I have never belonged—again, largely through choice. My family, bless them, have always fully accepted me, even though they all knew I was gay long before I told them. I have heard far too many stories of individuals cast out from those they love and are supposed to love them, and every time I hear of this happening, my heart breaks for the outcast even while I am filled with renewed gratitude for having the family I have.

There are so many things—many of them touched on in these blogs—that I honestly and sincerely do not understand, such as bigotry and hypocrisy and hatred, and blind acceptance of what other people say is right or wrong. How can people not question? How can people not see the utter lack of logic which underlies racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation prejudices?

It is the “likes o’ mes” of the world—the outcasts, the ones who have been repeatedly told directly or indirectly but always emphatically, that they do not belong with “normal” folk…who push civilization forward. And I am embarrassed to acknowledge that while I, personally, share their attitudes and opinions, I am nowhere as brave as they in expressing them. I deeply admire and envy those who put everything on the line for the things they fervently believe in. I am not a barricade-stormer, or a flag-waver or soapbox orator. I do what I can far more quietly, through words on paper and computer monitors.

Deeply held beliefs and how they are expressed are, like so much in life, a two-sided coin. The difference lies in whether the belief and its expression is inclusive or divisive, positive or negative. Any belief based on the denigration of others in any way is unequivocally wrong.
I suppose, on thinking it over, that the constant strife that humanity has always endured…the wars, the conflicts, the diametrically-opposed belief systems—might be a calculated (by who or what we cannot know) means of keeping us sharp and alert as a species. Without conflict, agonizing though it often is, there would be only complacency. Conflict creates progress and keeps us moving fore.

There must, therefore, always be people set aside for scorn and persecution, for it is they who initiate change. And it is “the likes o’ me,” I would truly love to believe, who, without shouting or fighting, can quietly hold up small arrows along the rough and twisted road to the future saying: “This way!”
This blog is from Dorien's ebook of blogs, Short Circuits, available from and; it's also available as an audio book from Amazon/ You can find information about Dorien's books at his web site: 

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