Mindfulness and being gay: on sexuality and happiness - sexuality
When I was budding up in the tiny town of Gaston, Oregon (population: 325), there was a week-long festival in the "big" town of Jungle Grove six miles away.
It was called the "Gay Nineties" and featured a parade with townspeople exhausting clothing from the late 1800s. There was adequate of ice cream, a petting zoo, an imported cavalcade in the shopping core parking lot, and a dunking booth populated by local teachers and affair owners.
Back in the 70s, this was seen as the highlight of the year for kids in my town. Sure, we had the Gaston Good 'Ol Days parade, and we were certain a spot by austerely performance up with our beloved farm animal, but it was not just about as elaborate as the Gay Nineties. After all, Reforest Grove had over 10,000 people, so their measures were much more exciting than ours. They had a marching band and a queen!
I went out of state to be there school in 1978, traveled about the world at some point in my chief year in 1982, and when I came back to Gaston for a visit after graduation, I wasn't too astounded to learn that the Gay Nineties had been discontinued. You see, "gay" was no longer a word that meant "happy"--it was a word that meant homosexual. Gay Nineties was no longer well thought-out an apposite name for a town's yearly festival.
I moved to Japan, met my breathtaking husband-to-be, and after our wedding, we spent time in Palm Springs. My aunt Linda, a divorcee, lived in a charming bungalow there and gave us the scoop on her new city. Unconvinced by the pool of eligible males, she told us that Palm Springs was referred to as the Gay Nineties--because all the men were both gay or in their nineties!
In 1988, my half-brother Dennis, a brilliant ex-Foreign Advantage administrator and executive executive of an worldwide affair council, called to tell me that he had been fired by the board for marching in Chicago's Gay Pride parade. An openly gay man, he was stunned that his good work could be viewed as less chief than his appearance of pride in his sexual identity. He moved to San Francisco, became a high educate annals teacher, and abruptly thereafter, became ill. He was diagnosed with AIDS, and died in a year.
During the 90s, my father--who announced he was homosexual back in 1964, his speechless Mormon wife affected to pack up the three preschoolers to go live with her parents--would vent aggression at the mere cite of the word "gay. " Never one to speak honestly about his own sexuality to his kids even though the fact that it was attractively obvious, he felt the word "gay" was by hook or by crook demoralizing.
In 2003, my younger brother Lynn, who had struggled decidedly since the age of three with depression and an overshadowing sense that he was not who he was, took his own life. He had been in psychoanalysis to find the courage to explore and accept the seemingly dishonorable but constant notion that he had been meant to live as a woman. It didn't take.
I never miss the Gay Pride parade here in Portland. Every year, it's held on Father's Day. It is a elated celebration of diversity and acceptance in all shapes, sizes, insignia and preferences. I see a hardly bit of my loved ones there.
It bears categorically no resemblance to the Gay Nineties parade of my youth. There may be petting, but no farm animals. It is raucous, bawdy, bittersweet, and full of tremendous affection and humor. There are wild costumes and vivid ensign accented by burning music and lively dancing.
In short, it is gay--in every sense of the word.
Maya Charm Frost is a mind masseuse in Portland, Oregon. All through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she teaches creative and able eyes-wide-open alternatives to meditation. To subscribe to her free weekly ezine, the Friday Mind Massage, entertain visit http://www. MassageYourMind. com
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