Posted in Establishment of Self, LGBT Coming Out, LGBT Couples, LGBT Families

Out and Staying.

I hope I can articulate this with the words needed. This is personal and my personal leads to the public person most see fighting for the improvement of mental health for the LGBTQ community. Feel free not to read. First, I must pause and thank all the individuals tunknownhat helped or hated me along the way.

Both were bumper pads that I bounced around on, creating who I am.

Each child /teen I help in the LGBTQ community I think, ‘that is one that might be able to do it different. With a healthy perspective they can move forward not with the narrow mindedness of ‘I’ but with that of ‘I am a part of….”

 I fell in love in the 80’s but instead of being able to just say to myself or others, “I am in love” or “this is who I am in love with” (mind you, they were straight and did not know) I started my spinning. Being a good person, people would step in to be a friend or to have a relationship with me and they to would be pulled into the spinning. In my head I truly believed; If they saw me they would never REALLY love me.

I hurt many people as I was trying to claw my way out of my own skin. I own that.

I was blessed with a son. Being a Mother, being his mother, was more important than anything else in life. He saved me on a daily basis. His smile. His giggle. His unconditional love. I had so much growing up still to do. Losing him was not an option. EVER. I would have become anything I needed to in order to keep that boy.

I thought, ok, I will be gay in private and straight is public. As long as I am honest with him and myself I am doing the right thing. I looked like I had it together. I gave my son the responsibility of loving me as me and had to hope that would be enough. He saw me split myself open and try to find the parts that were really mine.


I remember a conversation with him, my mom, and myself (this was years ago) when I was going to try to do it the RIGHT way. I just wanted peace and a life like others had. I wanted to pay taxes as a family, have insurance, go on vacations and have family dinners. You know the things that all gay people with children, at that time, had to hide. Anyway, I had dated a couple of guys as an adult. I tried, I did. We had fun but nothing on the inside was real. Anyway, the three of us are sitting there and she said (this is as close to what she said as I can remember), “ I had just hoped you know that you could keep trying to be straight.” Before I could say anything, because I did love my mother and my son and if I could; I would have, My son says (as close as I can remember) , “ She is gay Grandma. She tried. It is weird to ask her to be something else.”

I was choking on self-hatred and when I looked up my self-hatred had broken the hearts of people around me. I did this pattern over and over again until I was ready to just love myself as myself.

I dare to say when I came out of the closet no one really even had a reason to still be standing there. Some were however. Unconditional love is a crazy thing.

I had to do a lot of cleaning. My social skills were awful. I did not know how to interact with people honestly. Just like in an alcoholic life; I had spent years playing the role society told me to be in order to keep my son and I had mastered it, I thought.

When my mom died. I had already been working for years on getting healthy and was proud of the growth. When she died it was the moment I could not do fake. I could not do politically correct. I could not carry anything or anyone. I was raw and broken again. This time I realized it was not in a bad way. I have been blessed with the powerful and scary freedom of being responsible for my actions. Alone. I had to decide. Everyday. Will I try to respect that today? I let go and picked up the pieces of my life.

I work with teens in hopes that they don’t have to choke on self-hatred for being gay or live in a closet. I don’t want them to spend years clawing their way out.

Instead teens, I hope that you understand; this is who you are. Pick up the coat and get out of the closet. If you like wearing it, great, but if not then put it back and get another. Society is not responsible for which one you wear. You are. I hope that being responsible for your actions make you proud. I hope the actions that don’t make you proud, you work to correct. I hope that you want to be responsible because what you have been taught; to love yourselves and others as they are.

I am sharing this piece of my story because I can not stand quietly and pretend that there is not a real issue in front of us. I know what self shame, societal shame and bigotry feels and looks like. I don’t want that for our youth.

The wheels of hatred are in motion again towards the LGBTQ community. There will be losses and pain. I want to be standing anywhere but in the closet against it.

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter

http://www.melindaporter.com

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Posted in Establishment of Self

The Secret or Life.

As you move through your day, where is your focus?

"LIFE"
“LIFE”

Working within the LGBT community, I sometimes find that the focus is on secrets instead of life. This allows for the secrets to have all the power.

What would happen if you allowed life to be the focus?

The LGBT community is learning how to interact socially instead of locked behind closed-door. This is difficult but healthy. It is also a new level of responsibility. Don’t push issues under the rug because no one wants to even know who those issues are with. Hurting alone about relationships that no one even saw as real can be dangerous. It leads to confusion and minimizes the importance of your connections and processing the emotions. How will you move forward with all that pain wrapped around you?

Instead of all your energy being used to keep a secret, allow yourself to move pass the secret. That does not mean you have to blurt out, “I”M GAY”  or “SHE STOLE MY TWINKIE” or MY PARTNER IS GONE” but if the moment arises and you need to. then do so. It will be comfortable something and uncomfortable others.

Living in away that is safe and respectful of self is key!

Find the pieces of your puzzle that make your outside self and inside self congruent. Stay away from non-responsible statement. The government, your mother, your dad, or your boss do not determine how you treat your partner and children. Unless your goal is to put the focus somewhere other than where the real work is. Self growth. Self respect.

Families, friends, and pets do not just disappear anymore in the LGBT relationship breakdown. They are more present and feel the pain of their gay loved ones. They may not know what to say and you may not know how to answer but allow them to help you see the relationship as real and important to process.

In giving “life” the power instead of the secrets; you develop self-worth and growth!

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter

817.733.7206

Posted in Establishment of Self

What Does a LGBT Person Look Like?

How do you see yourself?

rainbow eye

What pair of eyes do you use to determine who you are?

With all that is going on in the LGBT community, I ask, how do you see yourself. What does it mean to you that in some countries, even a tourist can be arrested for being openly gay or how do you deal with legal issue about marriage from state to state in the USA. Over the decades, the world ebbs and flows, looking at one thing and seeing something different. History shows, we as the human race are continually redefining the understanding of what freedom is. Questioning why color, sex, sexual orientation, or shade of your hair has so much power. At the end of the day, what does a LGBT person look like?

Horns, pink, blue, worthwhile, sweet, mean, fem, butch, ugly, beautiful? When you look in the mirror, who do you see?

There is a person in there, in that face that looks back at you in the mirror. A being that holds the power to personal understanding and growth.

Strength, flexibility, patience…that is what I see! How many years did you live knowing the secret but told no one? How many uncomfortable situations where you placed in because of your sexuality ? How long have you waited to fall in love?

Find your you. What do you want in your life? YOU get to decide what a LGBT person looks like! If you are tired of living in fear of not fitting in, know that everyone does not fit somewhere~ so find your fit.

Some Thoughts to move you forward~

* Enjoy the places that work for you.

* Create your ‘self’ not as one single dimension but as you, wonderful from the inside out, not just a person that has a different sexual orientation.

* Start seeing the peace within yourself, there is enough to worry about in other systems that will be effecting you. Make seeking out peace for the inside a priority.

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter

Posted in Establishment of Self

Story Pieces~

ImageStory pieces in the LGBT community are not all fairy tales; some are of painful interaction with family, friends, or self. Stories that tell of the coming out or the solidification of one’s self as a whole person. Pieces of the ‘story puzzle’ that don’t make sense until they are put together. My job, my passion…putting together the pieces with love and respect.

Growing up, I knew that my filter looked different than others. I did not jump to conclusions about people but instead questioned the building of self they used. My family was not a ‘feel good’ family but one that believed in self growth. Never standing still in fear or ignorance, we hunger for knowledge! We respect the ability WE OURSELVES have to understand, accept, deny, or have faith in all things.

Pieces that make sense SOMETIMES to me:

* If I can see, truly see, where you are…I can respect it. What pieces are you working on and how do you want them to look? Who are you ready to allow to see them? For me, getting to the real self was the most important thing….it was not the prettiest but it is the most comfortable skin I’ve ever worn.

* Respect yourself, when telling your story understand that you are allowing others to hear and participate in what is now a piece of them too. If you are not ready for someone else to be apart of your story~ Respect yourself and wait to share.

* Enjoy who you are becoming during the journey! I am forever a learner and I love that…I grow and as I grow the details and the edges in my story puzzle soften and become more malleable.

*In this moment …I is me… to the best of my ability

          • We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.

Lynn Hall

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter MA

Posted in Establishment of Self, LGBT Families

Summer with “Family” and Family…

ImageSummer is a great time to get together with the ones you love!

That can look any way you decide for it to. Make your summer fun for you by building your calendar of solutions first. What will that look like? What are the possibilities you have?

*If you know, just as in any family, that members do not get along then set up dates to be with different sections. Instead of taking on everyone at one time; take small portions. Allow you and your partner to be a team in supporting each other during the difficult interactions.

* If you are introducing your new partner to your family this summer; set it up for success. Introduce them to someone who is warm and welcoming first and allow them to establish a connection. Then add members into the mix; no need to overwhelm them with 25 people who don’t like the fact that you are in love. View the decision-making as respecting your partner and yourself by allow your level of stress to not skyrocket. Remember, these are people you love meeting someone you one, handle with care.

* If this summer is your coming out; make it about being you not about your family. You have been living in your mind for your whole life; your family has been on the outside of that mind. They might have known something was different but until it is talked about, it is simply not the same. Being you is being the person they love, so let them love you, even if that takes some uncomfortable conversations to get there. Set yourself time limits for conversation and then step back to breathe (everyone). The steps may not be easy but they are doable!

Be at peace with the journey and know that there will be ups and downs…work to set up successful interactions; that may be 10 minutes in the same room with no one killing the other or hugs for all! You will not know the outcome until you attempt the journey.

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter MA

Posted in Establishment of Self

Middle of Where? LGBT Community

ImageBeing in the middle can be a great thing! The space is kept warm on both sides and never feels alone…until one side is gone…then the chill of reality hits~

Legally, emotionally, and spiritually the LGBT community can get stuck in the middle. LGBT is changing; discovering who they are not just accepting who others see. LGBT are introduced as the fun aunt or uncle, friend of my son, roommate of my sister, or after ten years of being in the family just “name.”

Being in the middle can be warm and comfortable but is it where we need to be? For years I was at peace with being in the middle; for me raising my son was the focus. Now, I have strong friends that are fighting to raise their children in an open home, filled with love and same-sex parents. They stand on the side; independent of societal approval. My, My…what a decade or two can do!

Today, we need to understand how we are responsible legally to our families. As a younger Mom I may sure my son was covered to the best of my ability at the time but today’s parent has more options and knowledge. Being able to be legally married is not just about the name or wedding date, it is about the safety of the family. I do not bang on the door of change very often but I’ve felt the pull of being in the middle.

Find out about who you are! Research states, their laws and decide if you are willing to work within those laws. For me, Texas is home and I live within the laws of this state but growth is everywhere! Can you get married? If so, can you get divorced? Is a child born into a gay family legally both parents or do you need extra paper work? Right or Wrong these are questions you must ask…or just stand in the middle and see if you reach a level of uncomfortable-ness…

Emotionally and spiritually, what does your family need? If you believe in a high power and want to share that with your children; where and how will that look? Will you teach your child to call you Mom, Dad or friend of my Dad…Where is the middle and is it somewhere you can be? If so, fabulous… If not, then where?

I have inner peace about who I am, where I stand at this point in my life and that I can not judge others for where they stand…I can only say, know yourself and what you need for inner peace…

There are solutions to your questions~asking the questions helps you assemble the solutions that work best for you…

Melinda Porter MA

Posted in Establishment of Self, LGBT Coming Out

Peace past the breaking apart; Rainbow Colors…

MelindaThe LGBT community has developed just as the light does in creating a rainbow. Individual colors too strong to be hidden in the background or fade into another… each color standing as a group and as an individual.

Learning how to be yourself, a couple, and/or a family when it looks different to the world can be challenging…but possible…

Life is about change. LGBT individuals go through the everyday changes and the weight of being uncomfortable in their own skin. Some have a million reasons why: family, friends, girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife, children… but only one reason ‘why’ they do not fit. Having all these blessings and feeling that they belong to the person you are thought to be…not the person you are.

What if the person you are was SO talented, they were able to create an outer self that kept them safe until they were strong enough to handle life as they are? What if the individual had solutions built-in and just needed some assembly done? I believe that the truth in your colors is there!

*Decide who you are aside from sexuality: hobbies, dreams, politics, sports, family, kids…and so on.

*Determine your goals as an individual: career path, travel, etc.

*Grow! Grow into the person you want to be and as you love yourself in your journey others will be able to fall in love with your ability to stand as an individual within a group of beautiful colors that was found in the light~

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter MA