I came out

I didn’t come out as a lesbian, but god only knows that the inclination is there — especially after the failed relationships and seemingly endless series of first dates and no seconds. But what the aforementioned Goddamn hippies have done for me is allow me to be free to display my longing for equal human rights in my own nation. Our hippies and our gay group have been handing out rainbow stickers, and I’ve been displaying them proudly on my name badge.

Sometimes, I wear the badge to walk down the street — away from the safety of my hippie convention — and it’s scary and thrilling all at the same time to see people look curiously at my badge, which displays a variety of symbols about me. But it’s the large rainbow that stands out — it’s perhaps the only thing that they see.

And when I leave this convention, I will never wear this badge again. But for a few days, I have known what it is like to be different — to not be accepted as a portrait of the mainstream society. And even in here in the convention hall — my colleagues and other professionals have gotten to know me as me, and it was only two days ago (of this five-day ordeal) that I picked up this vibrant sticker. And now these people look at me and see the sticker. Many look at me and smile, because they are damn proud of me for showing my support of ALL communities. Many look at me and think, “What the hell? She’s a dyke?” And still others look at me like almost dismissively, like, “Oh, she’s one of THEM.”

I know I can never truly walk in another’s shoes, but I’ve been walking around a hell of a lot in my own, and my feet hurt. I can only imagine how the feet of those with one more burden must feel. I salute the gay community, and while I may not be gay, I am still one of you. But it’s a shame that you can only feel safe in such a protected environment as this, and not in the society at large in which you are a huge part.

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