Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If I’m Lyin’ I’m Dyin’

When I was a little kid, I used to look straight into the sun and squint. Now I have slowing declining eyesight and depend on my glass and synthetic. Thanks childhood ignorance. I would tell myself that I didn't belong in the school I was in, that I had another place, another family, another life for myself. Delusional? Yeah, but it was a great escape for me, and the being of the lying game for me. I wouldn't consider myself a compulsive liar, but lying comes easy for me. Sometimes I can do it without even thinking. I'll lie about random things that shouldn't matter, like I have an older sister or I was born in Yuma Arizona. In truth, I can't say that I don't know that I'm doing it, I do. I guess I like the idea of getting away with it; deceiving people through trivial details that should not matter at all. I started thinking about this when OLDGIRL came home and was on her Obamanos high (Which I was too earlier in the day). I told her I had gone to campus to watch the inauguration with friends, when in fact, I had just stayed home and texted friends while watching on CNN online. I lied because I didn't want her to have the upper hand, where she is the normal, social one that had fun with friends watching the inauguration at a restaurant, while I, the dysfunctional one, watched at home alone. Although I have lied to her about multiple stupid things in the past, this one kind of irked me. I feel this strange sense of social competition with my cousin already, and I often lie to save face.

If I define a lie as simply as not telling the truth, then I am a much bigger liar than I thought. The longer I let people assume that I am straight and play into the norms of social convention, the greater my deception. I see the benefit in this as a sigh of relaxation. The lie gives me the ability to live without having to explain myself or deal with the baggage of others. A cowardly explanation to be sure. The lie allows me to live without having to do the work of defining my identity. I don't have to grapple as young gay college student if nobody (to my knowledge) knows my sexuality, so it remains in this undeveloped state. I long and desire for my relationships in secret, afraid of both diving into a more subjective and 'exciting' DL lifestyle and living a more open and insecure position of an affirming and open homosexual. Lying is only damaging to me. Other people, however angry or apathetic they would be to my sexuality, aren't phased by the lie, I am. The more I think about it, the more anxiety I feel about what is coming for me. I am a good liar, unfortunately. Despite them having no benefit to me or anyone else, I continue to do it. They buy me time and a false sense of security. One more day I don't have to come to terms with my identity, and one less person's judgment to evade.

Today was a great day, for the obvious reason. I was beaming when I saw the Obamas and the Bidens standing on this white staircase, waving to the Bushes as they flew to Andrews AFB aboard Executive One. I was pleased to see two little black girls excitedly and confidently walk out of the Capitol building and talk their seats as they anticipated their father's transition. I was struck by the love, respect and pride I saw in Michelle Obama's face as she watched her husband complete his oath of office. I was humored by Rev. Lowery comments on color. President Obama has a tough road ahead, and high expectations from the millions that have embraced his message of hope and change. I appreciate that he never assumes the arrogant position of taking full responsibility for the country, he points the load back to the rest of us. We have to take charge of our families, our wallets, our carbon footprint, our careers, and our nation. I voted for Obama not because he was black, or for things that make him singular as an American President. I voted for him because he restored my faith in the American dream. As corny as it is, I have never felt like a whole American until now. I had never cared about politics, the economy, and even my own civil rights as a black gay male, until I saw, heard and felt his message.

Mood: Accepting
Listening: "Lies" by The Black Keys


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