50 Thoughts #8: I’m only 35 in gay years! (And how to use the calculator)

You subtract a year from your chronological age for every year you spent struggling to be something you’re not and living in misery for it.

I call these the “lost years.” You can’t go back and change them from anything other than a colossal waste of time, so consider them well and truly lost. Why let those years count against you now? Lop them off. Eliminate them.

What you have left is your gay age, your spirit age, your true age of living the life you consciously intend.

You don’t have to be gay to age only in gay years, though when I introduce the concept to gay people, they get it, instantly.

Other folks need some explaining.

You may know from the “It Gets Better Project” that life for gay adults is way better (though they leave out the caveats: IF you live, work and play in socially progressive circles).

But the fact that life is better now does not make up for the “lost years.” I’m with Rick Mercer on this: We need to make life better for gay kids right now.

They have a right to happiness as much as any kid. If they are miserable, not only do they lose, society loses out on the best of what they have to offer.

It’s lose, lose, get it?

My experience growing up gay was not nearly as horrific as it is for gay teens now, given that 20Teen teens know all the queer markers and ruthlessly bully hapless victims.

I wish I knew the markers when I growing up, so that I could at least see them in myself! In high school and university during the 70s and early 80s, virtually all girls wore jeans, sweatshirts and runners or work boots. It was okay (and often pretty easy) for girls to be smarter than boys. Sexuality wasn’t turbocharged by the pedophiliac pink princess culture consuming girls now. Few wore makeup or frilly nonsense. I didn’t even have to try to fit in. In fact, I didn’t even know what “gay” looked like.

But I did know what it felt like, and it was awful. The derogatory remarks, the paranoid and insecure attitudes, the relentless, oppressive heterosexuality of society, it all tells you that being gay is abnormal, bad, sick, despicable. I didn’t think I was any of those awful things; therefore, I was not gay.

From high school (subtract five years), through university (four years) and a heterosexual marriage (six years), I tried on the straight jacket. Yes, it kept the gay feelings under wraps but, often, all the happy feelings too.

Which left a whole lot of misery. Too much misery. Misery is a black gob of useless weight. It saps energy, obliterates vision, gets in the way of learning, excelling, contributing to society, of living a full, joyous and meaningful life.

I managed to get a degree and start a career, but I was a shell of what I could be. And if I let myself look back on those lost years, I can get spitting mad furious in the time it takes to say “Rob Ford.”

I like being happy, so I don’t count my conscious years as properly starting until I came out when I was nearly 30, which puts me at 35 now, plenty of joyous spirit time left to do the things I want and help save the world too.

So, if you’re looking for a little boost to help you through a little midlife crisis, there it is — the gay age calculator. Feel free to use it to lop off your own “lost years,” whatever they may be, to calculate your true spirit age. Just remember to pay back the gift by making life easier for gay kids now.

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