Reflecting on Self-Acceptance by Lyndey McCurry
LGBTQ therapist Marietta
I read “Call Me By Your Name” by Andre Aciman at a perfect time in my life. I had not read any reviews or kept up with the fact it would soon be a movie. So, I was pleasantly surprised at how close it felt to my own evolution as a person and quite honestly as a lesbian. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read the book or see the movie, here is the spark notes version.
It takes place in 1980’s Italy. Elio is a 17 year-old who spends his days with his family in their villa. They host exchange students each summer, which is how Elio and Oliver meet and form a beautiful relationship. A quote I really enjoyed reading the book, “Amid the sun-drenched splendor of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.”
Similarly, as a tween I was discovering my sexuality and values in rural, conservative, religious Georgia, and it is an experience that I am thankful for, but would not wish on anyone. It was lonely and anxiety provoking. There was a lot of shame and a lot of praying to the God I worshipped at the time to remove the very thing that made me-me.
Now, as someone who is completely “out”-it is like a million pounds were lifted off my shoulders and my heart. Living out my truth is beautiful, raw, vulnerable, and frightening. I have lost people, but I have gained a community that I hand-picked and who love my future wife and me unconditionally.
At the end of “Call Me By Your Name”, Elio has a moment with his father that touched my heart. His dad said, “We may never speak about this again. But I hope you’ll never hold it against me that we did. I will have been a terrible father if, one day, you’d want to speak to me and felt that the door was shut or not sufficiently open.” This quote brought me to tears because it was such a beautiful way to say I love you, I accept you, and I am here for you.
As a therapist that identifies as a lesbian I want to create a similar environment for my clients who may be struggling with family acceptance, self-acceptance, or identifying who they are and where they fit in this world. Contact me at [email protected].