I’ve always been an outspoken and extroverted individual who was never afraid of being me – except when it came to my race and my sexuality. That I kept under lock and key. I even married a man in my early twenties while I was 6 months pregnant. I lived the traditional married life (unhappily) for 7 years until I met someone who took my breath away. I never believed in soul mates but it’s hard to deny if you’ve ever heard the story of how we met and fell in love. It was time for me to live an authentic life, a life where being with someone evoked incredible passion instead of just going through the motions.
Coming from a predominantly white, conservative area of the world (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada) with more trees than people, I hid my sexuality from my single mother, from everyone until the past several years. I thought marrying a man was the right thing to do for my daughter, so I did it. I remember signing the marriage license with lackluster.
Fast-forward to 2013 and I met someone who would change the course of my life. I recently married the love of my life and finally had to come out to my mother who, to my surprise, didn’t skip a beat about the whole thing. I actually think, looking back now, she knew more than I cared to admit. My marriage came as no surprise to her at all and she treats my wife like a daughter (and then some).
As a mixed race lesbian, my childhood and teen years weren’t exactly smooth sailing, to say the least. I looked forward to adulthood because I believed that I would be accepted for who I was in the adult world and I could escape the ridicule and shunning I experienced for years.
The recent terror attacks and threats aimed at the LGBTQ has been particularly challenging for me to cope with and brings back a great deal of memories in one form or another. The other side of things is that I’m somewhat in the spotlight as a Celebrity Numerologist, two-time bestselling author and featured columnist for LotteryUSA.com (with over 8 million visitors per month). I’ve been on major media and if you google my name, you’ll find over 40,000 pages of Michelle Arbeau. I feel like I’m a moving target for judgment of all kinds.
There’s an extra fear factor of coming out of the closet and being completely open when you’re in the spotlight in some way. I worried how my publishers would feel, if I’d still get media interviews, and how my fans and clientele would feel that their favorite numerologist was a lesbian.
I had come out to myself but it was time to come out of the closet all the way. I decided to nonchalantly post something on social media and held my breath it would be well-received. To my shock and delight, no one disapproved, not a single soul. Given the fact that I have a lot of social media followers, that’s saying something.
As horrific as the recent attack in Orlando was and the attempted attack in West Hollywood, do we continue to live in fear of being ourselves? Hell no. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from not only being gay but being mixed race is that it’s worse to hide it than any other way. There will always be people who will hate you for one reason or another, whether it’s because you’re gay or because you’re simply wearing the wrong shirt. Hatred is everywhere but I want to leave you with one quote from a special older friend I had years ago that applies to this situation in a round about way. He told me this: “The recessions have never affected me because I never believed it was about me.”
We can live in fear or we can believe that an isolated terror attack toward the LGBTQ community isn’t about you, your friends, loved ones, etc. It won’t happen to you, it’s not a part of your reality. As terrible as it is, this was someone else’s path, not yours or mine.
Walk tall, stand proud and believe that your path is a different one than these terrorists want us to believe. Who has the right to decide it is ever wrong to be yourself?
Michelle Arbeau is an internationally recognized Celebrity Numerologist, author, inspirational speaker and radio/tv host. She has a Hollywood clientele base that includes Twilight vampires, Big Bang Theory actress, Pirates of the Caribbean actor, NBC Director, Celebrity stylist and many more.
A media favorite and considered an expert in her field, Michelle is frequently a repeat guest on national outlets such as CBC Radio, CTV Morning Live and Breakfast Television (media list). For more info, visit Michelle Arbeau online.