My participation in this project was last minute, when I ran into one of the film makers just before the editing process began and ended up talking on camera about one of my more unpleasant coming out experiences (my sister).
Not all my coming out experiences have been negative – as a sex worker or as queer. But in terms of my family many have. I do however feel compelled to provide a positive to balance the negative.
My brother Steve always, without reservation, supported me. When I came out as queer he supported me. Despite that I did not tell him I was a sex worker. I would never have told him. My history & personal experiences with police stood like an invisible wall between us. When he became a Buddhist, changed his way of living and more significantly (to me) left the police force, I decided I would come out, again. But when you only have two family members that regularly stay in contact, it’s a bit daunting to potentially screw that up. I didn’t. Or rather he didn’t. His continuing acceptance was – effortless. When I experience bigotry & hatred I often look at the effort involved, the energy expended and remember that effortless acceptance. I only wish that there had been longer to appreciate it.
[excerpt from eulogy for my brother]
“Steve accepted everything about me, loved me for who I am & celebrated my life with me. It’s unfortunately a gift rarely given. Because of that I was able to include him in all of my life.. I will miss Steve forever.
It still doesn’t seem real that he isn’t here with us.
But that’s just because I don’t want it to be – I never will.
But – Steve was very pragmatic, he’d want us to get on with it.
So I will simply say his love gives me strength – it always did & it always will.”