Being homosexual is something that has been taboo since before the Shakespearean era. Traditionally, a male and female belong together and anything else is unheard of. It’s been a struggle for homosexuals since day one, living in fear, confusion and secrecy.

In the 21st century, people have more freedom and a stronger voice than ever before. Homosexuals have even been granted permission to be legally married in most states. Yes, there is still a long way to go, but the progress is moving along. Maybe not as quickly and fairly as some may want, but it is getting there.

Recently Lauren Morelli, writer of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black has left her husband for an actress on the show. During filming she realized she was gay. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s great. She realized she would be happier living another lifestyle and is pursuing her happiness. A person can’t help who they fall in love with. Love is a mystery all on its own.

Throughout the 20th century and even before, people have married and lived their lives the way society has told them to. Acceptance is a major part of this world and is not always given where needed. People have to live a double life: traditional marriage, house in the suburbs and children, maybe a dog or two as well. Never feeling fulfillment and the constant thought that something is always missing or running around in secrecy subtracts happiness from our lives.

No one is saying they don’t love their significant other and the life being lived. There’s just a void that sometimes needs to be filled. For the “Orange is the New Black” writer, living her everyday life, going to work, going home to her husband and one day realizing she is attracted to women is something that happens in our culture. There’s no explanation for it, but people are constantly changing. No one is to say she was never straight or could have always been gay, but life is full of twists and turns.

For Morelli, her life seems to be twisting and turning a new path to be traveled. She is definitely a leading example of how the behavior and reactions toward society are changing. Her coming out was bold and admired by many, and I’m sure she is now an inspiration to adolescents and other people who may feel they need a role model.

Although it may be hard for anyone learning that they are different and don’t fit the traditional mold, it doesn’t mean they won’t live a happy life. Whether it’s girl to girl or boy to boy, people need to do what makes them happy. Regardless of what other people may think, always know you are not alone, and there will be others who feel the same way as you. People get embarrassed and become sad, depressed and sick. Of course it’s easier to focus on one negative than three positives, but it’s those positives, whatever they may be, that need to be held close to keep a person going through their day to overcome any doubts, confusion or sadness.

Turning 30, 40 or 50 and finding out you are attracted to someone of the same sexual orientation for the first time is undoubtedly confusing, but turn it into positivity like Morelli did. Being gay is a part of who you are, and you should embrace it and own it.

Email Jennifer Greenberg at jennifer.greenberg@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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