Follow Up To "Am I Gay Enough?"
Well, thanks for the feedback from "Am I Gay Enough?" When I'm feeling bad, I'll go back and read those comments. They make me feel a lot better.
I was still stewing about this "am I good enough" question, when something happened. A professor at the college where I work talked to me about the tutoring services for her class. In the process of this conversation, she slammed the whole process of how I deal with matching students with tutors. She just plodded along about only having tutors who understand economics on a "deeper level." I've just tried to find someone who passed the class (usually non-majors). When I had taken enough of her time (even though she came to see me), she just abruptly walked out. I felt like shit by the end of the conversation.
I don't think she even knew that I was taking her critical comments so personally. She was just so wrapped up in her own class, that she didn't care about me or what I did. I was simply a tool for her convenience.
This got me thinking about my "am I good enough" question I was pondering. I had complained that I didn't feel gay enough or militant enough. But I realized that I feel this way around certain individuals. Like this professor, these people are often too involved in their own agenda to see me as more than either a tool or a hindrance. The people that make me feel inadequate don't care about me (ultimately). They are concerned for their own pain.
For many of the people who make me feel inadequate about being gay, I've heard someone say in their defense, "They are speaking out of a lot of pain." I have no doubt that is true. However, I also have realized that people who are speaking out of their own pain simply want to spread that pain around. There is some pain I don't want to accept, and that's where I feel this fundamental difference with these folks.
That same day, I ate lunch with J, from Grover's Corners (yes, we are not just virtual friends). We both decided that there are just some people who make you feel like shit. J has them. I have them. I bet you have them. J and I were discussing making a list of current "put-downers". I haven't started yet (I have enough else to do).
I'm somewhat comforted by the fact that the problem is not me. It's a different set of expectations about what life is and what we are called to do. I'm sure I'll still have encounters that makes me question who I am. However, I will be able to add them to my list!