Living the Truth

I didn’t grow up with the language young people have these days around gender and sexuality. I was 19 when I first met my first gay person and that encounter started me on a path to my own self discovery. Growing up I believed to be “normal” I needed to marry (a man), have kids and live in a regular house, contribute to society, have a circle of friends and grow old. I had no idea that I might be a lesbian, or alternately remain single. Fighting against this notion of normal wasn’t always pretty. Looking back now I know that living a secret, or not living my true self was destructive. As I have grown older and more comfortable with my sexuality I have come out more and more frequently. There really isn’t ever one coming out. The most powerful “coming outs” are with students coming to terms with their own truths. I learned a long time ago that whatever we are, we may be the only example others may see. I think it is so important for LGBTQ2 adults to be out so that young people see the full spectrum. We also have a responsibility to live our truths so that shame does not latch onto what it has no business latching onto! Others can try and project shame on us, but living our truths lessens this grip.
My sexuality does not define me. We are more than the individual pieces that make us. My sexuality though does inform how I see the world. This world is diverse, beautiful and rich because of people that live their truths. I chose to view the world through the lens of acceptance and love. My journey to amazing started when I accepted that I was part of this world, as I am, living my own true life.

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Lisa Hannay

An educator living her life in Calgary, Alberta.