I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Actually, I have no idea what I was going to say, so let’s pretend it’s my first time. Even my husband pretends that line works when I use it on him. Moving right along, readers have been very kind regarding my pleas for submitting an entry for the Face of Gay series. I think the more of these that get posted, the less hesitant folks have become in speaking their mind and sharing a part of themselves. Three of the six entries so far have been written by people I know and have met. The other three have not. Today’s entry is from someone I’ve never met, never spoken with on the phone or shopped for Blu-Rays with. Regardless, Sue Brown is a well-known name in the GLBT literary world. It surprised me in a good way when she e-mailed and asked to submit something. I jumped at the chance.
Three final things before we get to this latest entry. First, Sue will be unable to respond to any comments left until much later tonight or tomorrow. Second, please actually leave a comment for her. Third (and you know this is coming), please consider submitting a Face of Gay about yourself to share. Each one we’ve had has been unique, well-received and important to have been read. I continue to be grateful to the six people who’ve submitted and to all of you for reading them. Thank you!
The Face of Gay (Sue Brown)
Get a drinkie, get comfortable and snuggle up together.
Today I am going to talk about Jo, and NotJo. You may wonder why Jo has a Not side. Be patient, my friends, all will be revealed.
Jo could be described as a figment of the imagination. She is an online persona who has a job she adores, and many friends who cover the whole of the sexuality alphabet soup. Straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, pansexual, asexual and every part of the spectrum. Jo is out to the world as a bisexual – even if it is mainly online. She has been lucky enough to be able to meet some of her online friends and they don’t care about her sexuality, just as she doesn’t care about theirs. She is friends with them because they are awesome, and hey, she is too.
NotJo, on the other hand, has decided the closet is a lovely warm place for her to hide. She has her fleecy denial blanket in a fetching shade of purple, a kettle, coffee, and an endless supply of chocolate.
You have to understand that NotJo lives in a straight world of heterosexual couples. She’s known plenty of gay people over the years but aside from the odd attraction to a woman, NotJo has been Mrs Straight, living in Straight World. Then a few years ago NotJo met someone, a lovely woman, and suddenly NotJo’s world went a little wavy – okay, a lot wavy. Wavy World is downright scary.
If, dear reader, you are someone comfortable in your own sexuality, then you probably haven’t got a clue what it is like to be something, and then not.
NotJo had a relationship with the lovely lady, and took a tiny step into the world of being out. She found the closet very comforting but at some point she tried to be honest. There were gobsmacked faces and some comments that made her want to stab people with chopsticks but on the whole NotJo survived the “I’m going out with a girl,” conversation with most people. She is still partially in the closet, and it’s a very safe place to be.
But NotJo had more than the practical issues. She had the squirmy-wormy headstuff to deal with. Having one identity and then ripping it away isn’t like changing your clothes from Camilla to Diana. It’s not just a set of new clothes. Accepting your sexuality has changed is fundamental to who you are. NotJo didn’t understand that before she chose to act on her desire.
Which comes a crucial point. Do people ever make a conscious choice about their sexuality? There is an oft-trotted out argument about homosexuals choosing to be gay. Why yes, they just die to be spat on, assaulted and denied their rights and lives.
Jo made the conscious choice to be honest because NotJo acted on her desire to love this lady. NotJo could have ignored the attraction as she had in the past, but she decided not to. This time she decided to be honest. She didn’t choose her sexuality; she chose to act on it.
So yes, for NotJo, it was a choice. The right one. Now NotJo has to be as comfortable with her sexuality as Jo. The day that happens there won’t be a need to be a Not anymore.
Author Bio: Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has got expert at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.
Previous entries in the Face of Gay Series:
Kage Alan is the Hereafter watching, Roxette listening author of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins” and the first book in a separate series, “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell.” He is pleased to announce that he has a version of Spacehunters that he’s happy with and has given it to three friends to start reading and telling him their humble opinion about where the went wrong so he can consider fixing it. Or he’ll disagree with them, raise his nose and taunt them behind their backs just as every good gay boy has been taught.