One of my favorite stories to tell people about my sister is the time that I discovered she was gay. Which, is a story more about me, maybe that’s why I like it so much.
So, the summer before my 9 grade of school, I was bored and home alone. I liked to snoop a lot and still do to this day. What somebody has in their room tells a lot about them. You can know so much by the things they keep. A statement never more true than the day that I went into my sister’s room. I had gone snooping in their before and most likely read in her diary before as well. That day was no different then any other, I went to the bookshelf and found the diary and started to skim through the pages, reading chunks of different entries until I stumbled on a recent entry. She was talking about a coworker who was gay or something but the thing that caught my eye was one sentence that read, I am gay. I, very shocked, continued to read the entry and eagerly looked on to the other pages but nothing else was written about the topic. My sister was gay and I had just found out by reading her diary. I quickly put the book away a little shakily and left her room vowing to never read her diary again. My sister was gay! I don’t think I knew an openly gay person or wasn’t aware of it at that time in my life. I saw gay people portrayed on TV but the notion was very foreign to me. I was a shitty thirteen year old kid (if you couldn’t already tell by the snooping and reading very personal property) who said the phrase, “That’s so gay” on a regular basis. A fact that I am not proud of by the way.
I did not tell my sister that I read her diary, I wasn’t stupid, I knew she would have killed me. A week or two later my sister, my mom, and I went out to Joey Garlics, a fine establishment that has killer eggplant fries. Anyway at some point, for some random reason, you can call it fate, the topic of gay people and lesbians were brought up and thoughts on gay/lesbians kissing on TV. My sister remained somewhat quiet and I finally outright asked, “Well would you ever kiss a girl?” obviously knowing the answer. Then she basically came out to my mother and I. So I outed my sister. But to be fair it was in a safe environment, what a better way to come out then at a Joey Garlics? It was only later that she asked me if I had known she was gay and I admitted that I read her diary.
Up until the moment I discovered Geena was gay I had never thought of what it meant to say the words, “It’s so gay”. It was just a phrase that everyone said because it was like saying that’s stupid, it was the older version of, “Bye Felicia” or whatever other
stupid phrase my generation has coined. But when I discovered my sister was gay I decided to join G.S.A when I went into high school a couple months later. I stopped saying that phrase and told my friends every single time it came out of their mouth not to say it. It annoyed the crap out of most of them but they all said it less and less, or at least in front of me. Or they would apologize after they said it. A gesture that was rather weak and counter active but I had other people thinking about what those words meant and how it could offend somebody. Very quickly I became an ally not just to my sister but to all LGBTQ people.
But lately I have been thinking, what if my sister wasn’t gay? Would I still be the same person? Would I still be fighting for the rights of others? Or would I still be saying that’s so gay? It’s funny how much people can influence you as a person. My passions and things that I stand for have a lot to do with personal experience. Issues and clubs that I were involved with in high school were mainly G.S.A and Relay For Life. Because my aunt has cancer and my sister is gay. My point is, is that everyone supports causes that they are affected by. I hope that if my sister were straight, I would still support gay rights. That I wouldn’t be the same shitty kid I was, but I just don’t know that. Maybe if we took time to look outside of ourselves and stand up for things that have nothing to do with us the world would be better off.