Caution: You Have Entered a (NO) Free Speech Zone

Standard

Do you have freedom of speech?  I don’t.

I started using Facebook in 2007.  My life partner’s sister-in-law signed up for Facebook a few years later and immediately started telling me what to do.  The first thing she did was send me an email telling me that I can’t use a cartoon as my profile picture.  I was shocked that she had the nerve to tell me what I can do on my own Facebook page.  Then she told me that I wasn’t allowed to post any gay rights issues.  I was gobsmacked that she would tell me that because again, it’s MY wall.

To keep things neutral, I put a restriction on her and all of her family members, including a few of my own family members just in case.  If they don’t want to see certain things then I won’t shove it down their throats by allowing them to see it.  In return, they shove their religion down my throat every time they post religious stuff on their page.  Sounds fair, right?  That was sarcasm by the way.

Yesterday I woke up and found this in my inbox.

I was in shock again because everything that I had posted that was offensive to her was properly hidden, or so I thought.  Apparently on her new tablet using mobile Facebook, she can see EVERYTHING!  Not just the posts that I had shared and hidden but also all of my likes.  If I went through the list of posts on the Facebook “home” page and started clicking the like button, she saw all of those likes.  That means if I clicked like on “Have a Gay Day” she saw it and apparently that is so offensive to her that she just couldn’t stand looking at her own Facebook page because she was inundated with pro-gay stuff.

I went on a rant on Facebook yesterday saying if you don’t want to see my pro-gay shit then unfriend me, and she saw that too even after I unfriended her.  I had to unfriend her and her whole family and then block each one of them so none of them would see anything that might be offensive to them.  My book is also offensive to them.

Normally I would say this is MY life and if you don’t like it then hit the bricks, but this is my life partner’s family here, I can’t be a jerk to them because that would put a huge strain on our relationship, it already has.  So to build a bridge, I had to create a whole new Facebook page specifically for them to follow.  That means I will not be allowed to do anything.  I won’t be able to “Like” any gay Facebook pages or “Like” any pro-gay posts, heck I won’t be able to “Like” a status update from anyone out of fear that I am offending one person.

I am trying to be nice here and not cuss, but it’s very difficult.  I have already censored the F-word four times now.

So why am I telling you good people?  Because I am putting a warning out there for you all.  If you have fundamental born again Christian family members and/or in/outlaws, you are sharing too much stuff that they clearly don’t want to see.  Not that you have to care, but I’m just letting you know because I’m sure you don’t want to put a strain on your relationship with those people.

My life partner refuses to get on Facebook for this very reason.  I have thought about leaving Facebook many times, but I refuse to be silenced.  I want my voice to be heard, not just on my regular Facebook wall but also my books Facebook page.  My freedom of speech should not be limited, even though it has been, but to make up for the censorship, I am going to be even more vocal about my right to free speech and gay rights and equality because that is what I am passionate about.  I don’t give a flying… leap about what other people think of me, I am GAY and I am not going AWAY!  I’m here, I’m queer, GET FUCKING USED TO IT!

Yeah, I say that now, but then I go to that one Facebook page with my tail tucked between my legs and post pictures of kittens and puppies…  My balls have been removed and my fundie outlaw is wearing them as earrings.

I am 42 years old and I am not just being bullied, but I’m being cyberbullied by my own family.  Isn’t that a kick in the pants?

My Family is Reading My Book

Standard

I was nervous to tell my family about my book because I wasn’t sure what their reactions would be.  Some family members were furious, while others who had already read it in February were able to give me some constructive criticism, while others are still reading it.

One of my aunts has a Kindle so I was able to send it to her immediately, the other two aunts had to wait for the paperback book.  The last time I spoke with my aunt in Simi Valley, she was on Chapter 5 which is the same chapter one of my cousins is currently on.  I don’t expect them to read it all in a few days because it is a big book, but I’m curious to know how they feel about me when they finish it.

Letting a stranger read my life story is one thing because they won’t care about me one way or the other when they finish, but a family member is different because if they don’t like it then I have lost a family member and possibly even cousins who share their dislike.  I don’t want anyone to think poorly of me, but at the same time, like my aunt in Simi Valley told me, that’s their problem.

No Apologies

Standard

When I began writing my book, it was not with the intentions of hurting anyone’s feelings. I dug deep down into my memories so I could write what happened to me in my life. It brought up so many bad feelings that I had at the time so when I wrote it, my feelings were hurt all over again. Even though I had forgiven people for what they said or did to me, I felt like I had to type the memories out as if I were still living the experience, as if my feelings were still hurt to convey how it made me feel because I didn’t want to sugar coat anything.

It took me years to write my book because I struggled with the consequences of writing it, like someone yelling at me and telling me that they never wanted to talk to me again or whatever, and today that happened. One particular family member emailed me saying I lied and didn’t mention things that I did mention and unfriended me on Facebook. Although my feelings were hurt that I was accused of lying, as always, but at the same time, this person has not been in my life for a very long time. She has chosen to distance herself from me because I don’t speak with other family members who she is closer to. I don’t know if that is the real reason for her distance, but as it is we haven’t spoken in a long time so what difference does it make if she no longer speaks to me now?

Look, I didn’t lie and I didn’t twist the truth in my book. It took me a long time to write it and I had to really pull out all of the memories with 100% accuracy which meant digging deep and rewriting as I could remember what really happened. My memories were twisted because I wasn’t sure of the chronology of the events, but getting down to it made me remember everything. It does hurt to be told that I did things that I never did and that I didn’t do things that I did, but that is what those certain people have been doing to me my whole life.

The person who has cut herself out of my life today has not read my book and that is obvious because she told me that I left things out that I clearly put in there. When she has read all 400 pages of my paper book, or 293 pages of my e-book then we’ll talk, but as far as I am concerned, she doesn’t know what she is talking about.

When I wrote my book I had to really think if this is what I wanted to do. I had to tell myself that once it was published I couldn’t take it back. I had to write something that I would never apologize for writing because I know it was true. The relationship will probably never be repaired, but it has been broken for too many years anyway so it was only a matter of time before it all fell to pieces. It’s too bad that it had to happen and I am not going to blame myself because I didn’t do anything wrong. I was the one who was mentally and physically abused, I was the one who was homeless and I was the one who was molested and raped. I wanted to tell my story so people would see that I was able to fix my life and I made it better.

I am not sorry and nobody can make me feel guilty about writing the truth.