Change, Growth And Self Pride
A Gay Opinion 5/22/02
by R. A. Melos

I know how much I've changed over the last few years. I remember being in love, when my lover was with me, and feeling there was nothing the world could throw at me which I could not handle. Love is funny that way, in that it makes you feel invincible as part of a couple.

Well the lover is gone, and for a brief moment or two I felt as though my invincibility was gone, but something amazing dawned upon me at the lowest point in my life. I may not be invincible, but I'm the same person I was before the lover left. I'm the same person I was before the lover came into my life, and I am able to handle things not because I was in love, or because I was part of a couple, but because I am willing to handle the obstacles which come up.

The knowledge of my own inner abilities to handle life's obstacles was in itself a major change. I no longer had any excuses for not doing something, or being something more than I was. My excuses for not achieving or even striving to achieve were gone, and in there place was responsibility. I had choices to make. I could let the world beat me, slinking away defeated by life and by my own insecurities, or I could face the world and make decisions for myself.

A lot has changed over the course of the past several years, and only recently has the light at the end of the tunnel actually shone brightly, leading me toward a positive future. Its not easy to learn something which should be so basic to human nature, but seems to be programmed out of us at early ages by our parents or our peers, or society itself, in an effort to subjugate us to the will of others. I understand the fear of that which is different, only I've always been the one who is different, and have always embraced that which is different. I don't see where there is anything to fear, and am tired of fearing those who insist upon my conforming to their views.

I realize life is in a constant state of change, and if you are not changing with the times, the moment, the world, you are stagnating and missing out on many wonderful things while you try to hold on to a fleeting moment. You can't stop progression. Oh sure a person's actions can stall and detour changes, and make something otherwise pleasant an ordeal to be tolerated instead of a joy to be celebrated, but in the end the change will take place. the only difference will be someone had to suffer instead of enjoying the ride. I'm tired of suffering, and am now looking forward to enjoying life's ride.

Unfortunately, when I sit to read a news article, more often than not, I am confronted with the ignorance and intolerance of those who are desperately trying to cling to outmoded and unchangeable thinking and this disappoints me. I want to believe in the good of humanity, but sometimes all I can see is the bad. I know it's not all bad, but a majority of what I see proves the world is fighting change. Or more accurately. people are fighting the changes which will lead to harmony.

I'm gay, and proud of having accepted myself. I will not go back to the time I lived in fear and denial of who I am in order to please others. I am finally happy with the person I have always been, and am only now able to face and acknowledge myself with a level of understanding I once lacked. It takes much strength of will to realize I've always been able to face life, and have spent so many years hiding from it and hiding from myself. The realization of having wasted so much of my life living in fear is almost overwhelming, but I won't be overwhelmed because I refuse to allow life to overwhelm me every again.

The changes are not all readily visible to the naked eye. Some changes are so subtle, so far beneath the layers, they will not be seen for years to come. Yet all the changes are all working in conjunction with the universe to help make the world a better place for each of us. The changes are inevitable, and I won't fight them. I'll embrace the changes, even when the rest of the world fights those steps with legislation and ignorance in an attempt to cling to something which must evolve.

Change is coming, in many forms, to the world as we know it. Specifically changes are coming in the way we view relationships, and marriage and love, and even sex, and while some are dead set against these changes, they are going to happen. I'm going to fight to help make them happen sooner rather than later, because I don't want to miss out on them. I'm tired of struggling against the selfish people in the world, but I won't quit.

A new generation of homosexuals are ushering in a new sense of understanding, with more and more student groups offering support and compassion and guidance for young homosexuals coming to terms with the fact they are not inferior to their heterosexual counterparts only different from them, and this is a good thing.

I don't look upon the times when "these things just weren't heard of" with an air of nostalgia, because I was once one of those "things" which just weren't heard of, and I think the real shame of those who rejected and reject change is what they are missing by denying themselves the chance to know the changes, embrace them, and learn from them.

I encourage everyone to learn from change, and feed on it, for nothing will ever stay the same and it is naive to think it can or will.


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