Love is Fluid(s)

By Žiga Kuhel
(Winner of FREEŠN 2020 Competition)

“There’s this illusion that homosexuals have sex and heterosexuals fall in love.
That’s completely untrue.
Everybody wants to be loved.”

When I heard these words from Boy George, it got me thinking. We as humans seek something beyond just a sexual attraction; we wish for love and affection. Going back to the illusion Boy George is referring to, it makes us perceive gays as not normal, not human. This is one of many prejudices people have against gays. These predispositions are revealed with the unequal treatment of gays. An immense amount of bullying stems from such perception of gays, causing them to feel like outsiders. “How you came into this world is wrong, and you should be ashamed of it,” was echoing for years not only in my head but in the heads of most of the gays as well. It has a massive impact on the development of a child’s self-image since what they are, is also what society disapproves of.

I believe the perception of homosexuality, retained in the opening quote, simply derives from the fact that people who are opposing homosexuality can’t fantom the idea of two people of the same sex being affectionate and having a deeper connection. To love an individual of the same sex is considered as an invasion of something only heterosexuals are allowed to possess.

On the contrary, gays are damaged individuals. In most cases, they do not love themselves and require better self-love. Years of repression does a lot of emotional damage, resulting in many mental issues and unhealthy behaviours gays can take on. That is why gays can be superficial and based on how other people perceive them especially their competition. Their existence relies on the fact that they want to be seen, to make up for all the years of being unseen, lacking a voice. The self-image gays have, is usually distorted due to the heteronormative society they live in. This makes obtaining love hard for them.

I came to terms with who I am when I was about 15. Up until then, I felt like I was only a shell of a person. There was simply no me. I wanted to talk like people around me did, I wanted to walk like people around me did, I loved the way other people wanted me to love. I just desperately wanted to fit in, but as an overly flamboyant boy, I struggled to fit in most of my middle and high school years. Kids are known to be very straightforward, and that was no different in my case. Fairly quickly, I got feedback from my classmates that there was something off about me. So I hid from any source of judgment into the space limited by 4 walls. The silence was my best friend, and I didn’t let the feelings and emotions come to the surface because I didn’t want to lose my safety. But through the years of hiding myself, I developed bad social anxiety. At my worst, this meant I couldn’t cross a crosswalk because I was so ashamed of myself, and I thought everyone around me was observing and judging me as I was doing the most basic human interactions. If silence was my best friend in my dark times, I made self-love my best friend during my self-discovery. I had to. By allowing myself to live my truth and surround myself with people who support me for what I stand for and more importantly love me for who I am. This allows me to finally live a life I deserve.

So, yeah. Love is fluid. It is not restricted by the love that we get only in a sexual relationship. It also portrays in friendships as well as in family. I think platonic love is greatly underrated. This applies to everyone, but especially LGBTQ+ people. They don’t say, “you get to chose your family as a gay person,” for no reason. Some people in a gay’s life might not approve of their choices, abandoning them either mentally or physically. This is why everyone, especially gays, needs to surround themselves with people who support their true-self.

At the end of the day, society needs to realize that false accusations and prejudices emotionally damage people, especially in the early stages of life. I told you my story, so you don’t make anyone go through something similar. To all of you that find themselves in this story, one way or another, I just have to say that it takes time. Don’t repress anything, and talk to whoever you know won’t judge you, but for the love of God, don’t suppress your feelings and your truth. You won’t save yourself from it. It will come back. I can assure you. So just remember:

It’s in our diversity we find our unified strength.

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