I am who I am

After reading Sam Shelton’s blog, I’ve started to realize how bland my posts have been lately. I think it’s time to kick things up a notch (thank you Emiril Lagase). I’m in my friend’s car on the way back from Buffalo right now and I e been doing some thinking. Sometimes I take this blog in directions that I never thought I would and right now is one of those times. There are things about me that some people don’t know, but other than that I’m pretty open about my life and don’t hide much. Here is something that most readers don’t know about me.

I am openly gay to all of my friends, my family, and anyone else who asks. Normally, I don’t advertise it like this, but for this special circumstance I’m willing to break my rule. This weekend I realized how proud I am to be accepting of myself and the friends I have who are accepting as well. I have also realized how much joking goes on at my expense. We all have those inside jokes with our group of friends that only we understand, but they are meant to be only known by us. The fact that my friends (and I joke as well) use my sexuality for punch lines has started to bother me lately. I didn’t choose to be gay, although at this point I wouldn’t choose any other way. When someone makes a joke about some stupid thing their friend said or a situation they were in, it isn’t so obvious that everyone around knows about it. When my sexuality is used as a joke is when that no longer happens. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t bother me if people know of I’m gay, but it doesn’t need to be announced.

I’m proud of who I am and I know that homosexuality is only someone’s orientation an it doesn’t define their life or who they are as a person. I’ve been “out” for almost four years now and have never had a negative experience because of it. What I have experienced is my inability to ask someone to not use that part if my life as a way to make people laugh. Each time someone cracks a joke is a reminder that I’m gay and I don’t need that reminder; I already know.

The fact that I’m “out and proud” gives me the strength to put my efforts and dedication elsewhere. I have friends who attend special events for gay, bisexual, and other orientations, but I don’t feel I need to do the same. We all make choices and live our own lives. I’m Steven, a college student attending SUNY Oswego. I’m not Steven, the gay friend.

I do, however, support anyone who is struggling or unsure of their sexual orientation. I just do it in my own way; not by attending PFLAG or a Pride event in a local city. I know what it’s like to go through difficult times and I’ve found ways to deal with them and get to where I am today. I never turn down someone who needs help with anything, especially working through the coming out process. It’s a life changing moment and must be treated carefully.

My point here is that sometimes people are a bit more sensitive with certain things, particularly aspects offhand lives. We should keep some things private, just as I usually do about this aspect of my life. The only way you’d know if I was gay is if you looked on my Facebook profile or asked me. I don’t expect my friends to tell everyone else or joke about it. I don’t go around introducing them as “straight” so why do they need to do the same.

My bigger point here is that everyone should be proud of who they are. Whether gay, straight, bisexual, black, white, or whatever. We are all different and there is no need to point out those differences to the world. It’s sometimes obvious and sometimes not, but those are the times when it’s up to us to let others in, not our friends.

I guess I went on a bit of a rant today, but I hope everyone understands what I’m trying to say. Live your life how you want to live it. Don’t let others get in your way or cause you distress. Be proud of who you are and of what you’ve achieved! I make this promise in front of everyone that I will continue to succeed and have pride in myself and my accomplishments.

I guess this was a few notches more dramatic than anything else, but I think it’s an important issue to address. Until next time readers… Be strong. Don’t give in. Live YOUR life. Be who you are without doubt or fear.

About the Author

Steven DiMarzo is starting his graduate studies in mental health counseling at SUNY Oswego. He completed his bachelor's in human development in May, and served as president of Student Association during his senior year.
Email: dimarzo@oswego.edu
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4 thoughts on “I am who I am

  1. Steven this was such a good post! And remember, when I first met you I had no idea you were gay, I just thought you were super cool because you liked all the same shows as me!

    I’m glad I inspired you to post — it makes me smile 🙂

  2. I am proud to be your friend and colleague. I like you just the way you are. What fun we will all have this year. It will be a great year of learning, growing and becoming. We are off to a GREAT start. Thank you for your awesome enthusiasm.

  3. Never be afraid to show/share something to/with others that might have little opinion, and to those who do have the opinion, a walk in the opposite person’s shoes might wake up and or open up new doors to that individual.

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