My Invisible Gay Culture

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Unlike an African American because of their skin color, or an Asian because of their distinctive features, or even an Australian because of their accent, my culture is invisible. When I walk into a room my culture is not, from my appearance, apparent to others. The dialect of my culture is not orally distinctive. For the majority of my life, thus far, my own family was unaware of who I am and what I believe my culture to be. Yet, as secretive as this may seem, I still share my culture with millions of invisible others. We partake in days of celebration, moments of fear, the hatred of a nation, but the love of a community. We are men, women, liberal, conservative, Hispanic, Jewish, black, atheist, Christian, republican, democrat, pro-life, and pro-choice. We live in every neighborhood, in every city, of every country all around the world. I myself am white, female and English (with some German flair that I get from my stepfather). I have values, dreams, convictions, and disappointments all my own, as does each person within this culture. The only common denominator shared between everyone in my culture is that we are all GAY. My high school was newly built school and had every modem accessory available. The school had an auditorium large enough to front a Broadway play and a swimming pool grand enough for the summer Olympics. What it lacked was diversity. My graduating class of 1988 had one African American and one Asian. That's it. No Hispanics or Native Americans. But, my sophomore year I discovered that within the walls of our school existed several "invisible others." Our school had a news crew that investigated stories and then brought them to the student body every week. One afternoon while I was watching ... ... middle of paper ... ...redity, prenatal development, childhood experiences, and cultural worlds in varying combinations. It is not what identifies me, but it is a blanket of understanding of who I am. When asked by a fellow student what my culture was I said that I would be writing about my gay culture. They responded with a jealous, "Wow, You're lucky. You'll have a lot to write about." Am I lucky? I was able to write about persecution, exile, imprisonment and murder. I was able to draw from my own experience of fear, oppression and uncertainty. But this is all history, the past. Gay and Lesbian people first demanded the right to be left alone, and then more recently, the right to be included, their love and relationships accepted and validated. This is the future and what I fight for daily as I live my life with confidence and pride. So yes, that person was right. I am lucky.

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