Moving to San Francisco (specifically the Castro), men are gay until proven straight. As I was promoted to a leadership position, I gained the respect of my peers. I still had some layered question of this respect, was it gained and earned or simply a required acceptance due to my senior position? As a gay man, I felt the need to prove myself as strong, masculine, and confident. But was this me? Sure… was I putting myself back in the closet, maybe at times?
Unfortunately, those fears of labels and discrimination never escaped. My professional development plan did not seem realistic. “Bro-culture” is real, it is present and can be uncomfortable; but an act I learned can be easy… heteronormative me. Am I being my true self? Not really. Is it hard? Not at all.
The Black Lives Matter movement really affected me last year. There I was, living my life; full, successful, married, and thriving. Living as a white man provided me everything I hoped, desired, and dreamed. If I wanted, or needed, I could step right into the heteronormative world whether I was in Houston or Hong Kong. The women, men, and children that were being targeted specifically due to the color of their skin was and will never be something they could cover, or selectively sublimate.