This is Melody’s second submission for The Little Miss project. First it was her battle of breast cancer, and now, read on to see what she wasn’t strong enough to share before.
Last month my story about a recent scare with possible breast cancer was published on the Little Miss Project and it was a message for all of my female SugarFamily members to make sure you do not pass on those mammograms. As I was writing that story there was something buried even deeper inside of me that I wanted to write about, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take that journey. With the help of Jennifer and Kristian, telling us to “stand up and use your voice” and with the support of my SugarFamily, I think I am now ready.
For over fifty years I have lived a lie and chose instead to hide in the shadows as it was easier to deny than to be true to myself. After all, acceptance and fitting in with “the norm” is what we all seek isn’t it?
For the first thirty years it was self preservation and wanting to belong. Who wants to be left out, broken and less than perfect?
The next sixteen years were spent protecting my son. I could not and would not scar or have unfair judgment past onto my son. After all this was my burden, not his and I had no right to ask him to take this on.
I grew up in a time when women were fighting for equal rights. We wanted equal job opportunities, equal pay, and the freedom to be able to explore endless possibilities, but it was also a time when you “went along to get along”. There really wasn’t room in the 70’s and 80’s to “march to the beat of a different drummer” unless you had a very strong will and the backbone to stand up.
Each time I thought about stepping up and being true to myself I would read an article or see something on the news about people loosing their jobs, being beaten up or some cases even loosing their lives and for what? All because they were gay.
I will never forget about people like Matthew Shepherd, who in 1998 was beaten, bound to a fence and left to die all because he was gay. I lived in constant fear that someone would “out me” and I would loose custody of my son, my job as a basketball coach or even my very life.
Last July, I had been listening to Jennifer and Kristian’s music about love being all around and finding the “love on the inside” and I took my biggest step ever by getting a tattoo of the gay pride flag on my ankle. I wanted it near my foot as this was a symbol of my first big step.
In November, the fan club site moved over to it’s new home and with in one week, a very brave young woman, who I now call my hero started the LGBT thread. I had always felt at home with the SugarLand fans, and now I had a special room in our new home where I could bond even more with family members.
Last month, that same young woman asked if we wanted to share our “coming out” stories as a way to help others who might be going through this process. I was one of the first three and one reoccurring theme that took place in all three stories was that in “coming out”, we had all been cut off from family members. For me, my son asked a few years ago if I was gay and since I have never lied to him, I told him the truth and he responded with “that’s cool” and has been supportive from that point on. My lost family member is my mother who couldn’t wait to run out and tell her friends, my employers and anyone she ran into that she was in need of their support because her daughter was “one of those”.
When I was coaching high school basketball, two male coaches thought it was funny to talk behind my back and make jokes at my expense. I have endured the looks, the jokes and the pain of those who don’t understand or just don’t care about others.
My SugarFamily on the other hand have always been supportive, accepting and caring and Jennifer and Kristian would not have it any other way as that is the kind of example that they have set for their fans to follow.
“Little Miss hide your scars”
“You are loved”
Thank you Jennifer, Kristian, Madelblue and my entire SugarFamily and for the record, I am more than okay!