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Let's face it. We all want to be happy and live gynormously, right? I believe one of the keys to living that most amazing life is to LIVE FEARLESSLY! I try to live fearlessly, but it is difficult, challenging, and down right impossible at times, right? Wrong. The definition of being fearless is to be scared, even terrified, but doing it anyway. We all get frightened and we all have our issues. Sometime this week, take a fear of yours, and live fearlessly, if only for 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or 24 hours. Be afraid, but do it anyway! The power that rises within will be overwhelming, incredible, and a little bit addictive. I guarantee it. It's just a little tip from the Smile From The Inside guy. :)
Speaking of Living Fearlessly, this past weekend, i attended a wonderful baby shower for a dear friend of mine. I am usually "the token gay" at these events, but at this particular event, there was another gay. Sometimes i might feel a bit of jealousy or sadness that I am NOT the token gay (what? i'm human!!!), but not this time. Nope. This time, with this particular gay, i felt no competition whatsoever, I only felt the utmost respect and admiration. So much so, in fact, that i was intrigued and dumbfounded.
What i haven't told you was that this particular gay was an 11-year old boy. Excuse me? Yup. His mother, in fact, told me that he had come out to her when he was 9 years old. Are you kidding me? 9 years old!!! (At 9 years old, i had just given up sucking my thumb and was still making odd animal noises, which lasted until I was about 12 or 13). Talk about FEARLESS. Him not me. Can you imagine coming out at 9 years old? The maturity level. The trust. The enormous fear. The confusion. I mean, honestly, how can anyone know at that age that this is who i am and/or who i want to be? I mean, even yours truly came out at 14/15. I had known since i was about 5, but i didn't start telling people until i was 14 or 15. Knowing and Sharing are two totally different things. Gay-ness aside, this kid had had quite the complicated and complex family life as well. Translation, it wasn't easy!!! Adding to this already complex situation, his family is predominantly African-American and a tiny little bit religious. :) As if coming out isn't scary enough, i can't even imagine what was going through his mind and how exactly he came to this decision, which could only be classified as a frightening and terrifying...at any age, let alone 9 years old.
In a couple of words, i was inspired. I was inspired by his truth, sincerity, and honesty at such a young age. I kept asking him questions. A LOT of questions. Poor kid. He was a bit reluctant at first to answer my 50 questions. I probably was the first older gay "mentor" that he had been around... probably ever. In all fairness, i did ask him if he felt comfortable talking to me and answering questions. On one hand, he was a typical 11-year old kid prancing around and handing out all of the baby shower games. On the other hand, he was an incredibly brave little boy and the first out 11-year old I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Toward my 100th question (literally), he got a bit annoyed and said, "Jeez." I took the cue and stopped asking questions. In speaking to him, I learned that he was out to his entire family and closest friends. I learned that he thinks of it as no big deal...just a little part of him. To be honest, he actually knows himself better than a good deal of people I know. He did affirm to me that he would NOT come out in school until he was 13. Perhaps a wise choice for this young gay boy. I mean, it's pretty obvious, but honestly, who knows? All i know is if he is our future, then I have hope. And LOTS of it.
This 11-year old is being the example he wishes to see in the world. This 11-year old is breaking down barriers and prejudices. I can't even imagine he knows how incredible he is, unless he was deaf, because i must have told him at least 5 times that day. Hehe. If it takes a village to raise a child, this child is definitely raising the village around him. This 11-year old child, essentially, is living life fearlessly and we can all take a huge lesson from him. Never be afraid to Just BE YOURSELF.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS:
1) What would you like to hear about next in an upcoming blog? I'm currently taking suggestions for a limited time only!
2) I have officially started Coaching again. If you know anyone who might be interested, send them my way, please!
3) Have you helped someone Smile From The Inside today, please pass this on via fb or re-tweet on twitter. The re-tweets and re-posts are working!!!
4) Don't forget to be Fearless this week on one thing...and tell me about it.
Love you all!
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A Smile From The Inside Production