Who Am I?

September 01, 2021 • Lisa Pryor

If someone were to ask you to give the definition of who you are, what would you say? First, I would ask, how do you define a person? The word definition is defined as: meaning, clarity and embodiment of something. Can I give meaning and clarity to myself? Can I make sense of my life thus far? I’m going to try… honestly.

Li·sa [lee-suh]

1. Person who loves with all her heart.
2. Sees the glass half full, hardly ever half-empty. Hardly because she is a person who gets deeply hurt quickly and this sometimes causes negative thoughts.
3. A pleaser and feels the need to put others above herself: their feelings, thoughts, emotions, as well as wants.
4. A fixer of both people and things. She is a student, which means she feels like she needs to know everything.
5. A daughter and sister and niece and auntie who adores the pedestal on which she resides.
6. An extremely loyal friend. She is patient. She is kind.
7. Someone who internalizes until she wants to explode.
8. Likes to be right. She tries to work hard, but can be lazy at times. She second-guesses her decisions.
9. Hides behind a mask now and then. A lot of times, she smiles when she’s sad. She gets extremely lonely. Occasionally, she feels inadequate.
10. Spiritual. She talks to herself, or maybe it’s her way of talking to God.

Okay, maybe this is more of a description of who I am instead of a definition. I think that it’s hard to define yourself, especially when the “definition” includes something that you are ashamed of. Even if it is what makes you, “you.”

I left out one thing that makes me, me in this description, and it is with whom I fall in love. I am gay. I, like some and unlike others, have known this for a very long time. I am estimating that I had some idea when I was playing doctor with the girl across the street and I liked it way too much. But, does this define me, or is it just another way to describe me? Do I need to share this information with people so that they can truly know me? I don’t know; do straight people introduce themselves as heterosexual? Do I need to broadcast it to the globe that I date women rather than men? I don’t think so, but I do know that by pretending that it isn’t there has also caused me serious pain. It feels like I am ashamed of who I am when someone asks if I have a boyfriend and the only thing I say is no, especially when it’s followed up with, I’m sure you’ll find some guy to sweep you off your feet. What if I like sweeping someone off her feet? Is that not allowed? I feel like I’m ashamed of who I am when someone wants to set me up on a blind date (with a guy) and I say, no thank you but don’t say why. I have to know that it’s because in our society it’s just assumed that everyone is straight. It’s what we are taught to see as the norm. But, it’s not my normal. It has never been my normal. And for some, that was his or her normal, but now it has changed.

My normal is not like other peoples in many aspects of my life, but why does that matter in regards to my happiness. I had no father figure in my life as a young girl. I had a grandpa, and he was my world, but the word “dad” never came out of my mouth. Is this why I am gay? No. My grandmother was my best friend growing up. I helped to take care of my brothers and sister. I was a good student, had lots of “friends” and was an excellent athlete. Wait, I was an athlete, a basketball player, and we know the stereotypes surrounding women’s basketball players. Is that why I am gay? No. My uncle, whom I adored, was gay. That must be what happened, he rubbed off on me, right? No. Mom, didn’t you know that by creating a room full of Rainbow Brite accessories that it would only be a period of time before osmosis kicked in? No. No. No.

What if there was a possibility that we were not intended to be able to make sense out of and categorize everything imaginable? What if some things are just the way they are because that’s the way they are? What if a straight woman finds herself deeply in love with another woman? She must then be confused or traumatized and not truly acting on her instincts, feelings or true emotions, right? What if that’s wrong? What if things just are the way that they are because God is using us to do good things? What if God is giving us what we always wanted, just not in the packaging that we expected? What if my being gay was meant to be a blessing, not a preconceived curse? What if finding someone who loves you for you is the point, not the sexual orientation? How would I explain rejecting something good that was meant for me because I didn’t like what it looked like?

What will I say when God asks me what I have done with my life? What if he asks me about the way I reacted to how he created me? “Yes, Lord, I know you made me attracted to girls, but see, society wasn’t comfortable with that, so I ignored it. Hope you’re not mad.” “Well, God, I spent my entire life trying to hide from everyone so they wouldn’t find out about me, so I didn’t really make any true connections with anyone.” “Yes Lord, I helped people by lying about who I really was so that I did not make them uncomfortable.” “But God, the pastor said that I would go straight to hell if I was a homosexual. I was just doing with you said, right?” “Wait a minute, that was my blessing; I missed it?”

"Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." ~Matthew 17:20.

Here is the faith that I have. I have faith that God will direct my path and put the people He wants in my life. I have faith that He loves me so much, that He will give me the desires of my heart as He sees fit. I have faith that He did not make any mistakes on me. I have faith that if I am proud of the blessings that He has bestowed on me, my light may help someone else that is struggling. Isn’t that the point, to help others find God?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” ~Hebrews 11:1

So, how do I define myself? I am Lisa, a child who the Lord made (with his rainbow magic wand).

Lisa Pryor