• “Forge meaning, build identity, forge meaning and build identity. That became my mantra. Forging meaning is about changing yourself. Building identity is about changing the world.” – Andrew Solomon

Today is the first day of Gay Pride Month. With the recent gay marriage referendum landslide in Ireland, one of the most conservative Christian countries of the world, the LGBT community has lots to be proud of and celebrate this month.

Andrew Solomon’s TED talk, “How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are”, lucidly articulates the many challenges the LGBT world faces on a daily basis. What is apropos in this blog are his perspectives on how his strength of character forged these difficulties onto positives…

  • My last book was about how families manage to deal with various kinds of challenging or unusual offspring, and one of the mothers I interviewed, who had two children with multiple severe disabilities, said to me, ‘People always give us these little sayings like, ‘God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle,’ but children like ours are not preordained as a gift. They’re a gift because that’s what we have chosen. We make those choices all our lives.”
  • We don’t seek the painful experiences that hew our identities, but we seek our identities in the wake of painful experiences. We cannot bear a pointless torment, but we can endure great pain if we believe that it’s purposeful. Ease makes less of an impression on us than struggle. We could have been ourselves without our delights, but not without the misfortunes that drive our search for meaning. ‘Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities," St. Paul wrote in Second Corinthians, ‘for when I am weak, then I am strong."
  • I would have had an easier life if I were straight, but I would not be me, and I now like being myself better than the idea of being someone else, someone who, to be honest, I have neither the option of being nor the ability fully to imagine. But if you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes, and we become attached to the heroic strain in our own lives.”