Thursday, February 2, 2012

How Free I Am

I've had the lyrics to "Changer" by Anais Mitchell rolling around in my head all week.  This has long been one of my favorite songs because of it's heartbreaking lyrics, the beautiful melody (particularly during the bridge) and the simple instrumentation, but these words have been sticking out:

And out in the waking world
Nobody understands
Exactly how light it is
Exactly how free I am

One of the most heartbreaking things about my coming out (both as gay and as, well....myself) has been the distance that has come between me and my family.  They're not particularly fond of the gay thing, and who can blame them really?  It goes against their entire belief system.  I know they still love me in their way, but of the ones that know, only one of them treats me like a regular human being and doesn't have a problem talking about it with me.  That, to me, says leaps and bounds.  I don't know that he agrees or disagrees, but he hasn't let our differences in belief create some giant chasm in our relationship.  We can talk about being gay right next to a conversation about dinner or our crazy aunt.  He accepts that it is a part of my life and has made me feel like it doesn't matter if I'm gay or not, but that he'll love me anyway.  I have appreciated the way he has approached it and am so grateful to him for that.

That said,  I have also come to terms with the fact that I will probably never have my family's approval; that this will never be an easy topic.  And I don't need their permission or their acceptance to be happy, even if it breaks my heart that I'll never be able to bring the one I love to a family event, act totally normal, and have it be okay.  Truly, though, in spite of it all, I am happier than I have ever been.  Ever.  And going back to the song lyrics, "nobody understands exactly how light it is, exactly how free I am."  I don't feel like they do.  I often feel like they are all too busy mourning the fact that I didn't turn out how they had hoped, that they really can't see how much happier I am now that I am following my own heart.  They can't see how light it is, how free I am.  But there are those who do.  And above all, I know the difference.  I can feel the difference.

And that is enough.


  1. Very nice post.

    I like how you maintain optimism and focus on the good that has come into your life.

  2. That is such a gorgeous song ever. wow. love it. and love the post. you always have such a good perspective on everything--and you have a beautiful way of expressing yourself.

  3. I get that free feeling when I'm in a big city and nobody knows me. I don't feel guilty about having a mocha, I just wander and don't worry about anyone else. It's an amazing feeling.

  4. Rad song, Jo. And thanks for sharing. I'm glad you have someone in your family who can treat your relationship the same as before and who can talk about all different aspects of your life. It's hard sometimes for Addie's family to understand that the "gay" thing isn't her whole life, but who she chooses to spend her life with is a big thing and it's not something to be ignored.

    We should be friends. And you should meet Addie because you seem to have a little bit in common. I like how you're realistic about things. Maybe your family will never "approve", but it's great how you don't let that affect the way you approach life--it' doesn't change the fact that you are free. You seem pretty rad.