There are places in this world...where the sky hangs low and the clouds betray me, where the darkness grabs me in its embrace and refuses to let me go. These are the places where I spend my darkest hours, in mind, even if not in body. Sometimes the sun basks me in light and energy, but I am blind to it and walk in my own night. Sometimes I walk in the night, through the fingers of the lonely street lamps trying soothe the pain of the wanderer's walk, with nothing but sunlight inside me.
Sometimes I feel neither of these, and merely sit to think. Today is one of those days. There isn't any light here, no energy, but there also is not any of the darkness. Today, I just...am.
When I was a child around the age of 8, I have a distinct memory of sitting in my father's car, during one of our routine scenic drives, speaking with him on the subject of love.
Now, it was not uncommon for us to talk about love, because I was always curious about what a father's love entailed. Would he die for me? Had he loved me since before I was born? Before he was born? Would he love me if I killed a man? If I died for my sins?
This day, however, was different. I asked him a question that had been boiling inside me for some time, that I had been too afraid to ask.
"Dad," I asked, "would you love me if I was a lesbian?"
The thirty seconds that it took for him to speak were the longest of my life. I remember sitting there, a terrified little girl, grasping the edges of my seat with my sweaty hands, praying to God that I would never have to find out if the answer he gave me would turn out to be true or not. I never wanted to put it to the test. Never. Never. Never.
A decade later, I sit at my netbook, blogging about this memory, a proud but still closeted bisexual. My father doesn't know about my sexual orientation and I do not plan on telling him until I am fully grown and completely independent. The last time I saw him, at my high school graduation, it was my first time seeing him in almost a year, and I wondered if underneath his proud smile and receding hairline there was that unfailing fatherly love that I had so dearly loved to test as a child.
My father and I had a rift, nearly five years ago, and I refused to keep seeing him. He wanted to sweep everything under the rug, to just be father and daughter again and not speak of all the clouds hanging over us. However, too many things had happened since those car rides through the countryside, and my heart was too broken to continue.
In recent times, I have made the decision to let my father back into my life and to stay actively in contact with him. I know that our relationship will never be able to be what it used to be, but not because of him. Purely because of me.
No matter what though, no matter where my heart goes or who I love, I will never forget that day, when I asked my dad,"Would you love me if I was a lesbian?"
He waited 30 seconds, so that he could find a safe place to stop in the road. After the car wasn't moving, he turned to look me in the eye, and in a steady, firm voice, he said, "Yes."
I don't understand people who claim that we choose our own sexual orientation. Why would I choose to be ridiculed and shunned for loving differently? It's true, I could deny feelings that I have for women, and only indulge those towards men, but as long as those feelings existed, I would still be bisexual. I feel how I feel; this isn't something that can be helped or changed. And I really don't need any helping or changing, because there is nothing wrong with me.
The way I see it, love is love. Any type of love is better than hatred, bigotry, and ignorance. Whether it be the unconditional love of a father, or the loving devotion of another woman. If you deny any type of love, then what are you really supporting?