Tuesday, October 9, 2012

“What if the Curse Doesn't Get Broken? What if the Curse Can Never Be Broken?”

The other day I caught a small part of a movie that has been on my mind lately. It triggered some thoughts that I think are important to explore. I must however, begin with a caution. I have never seen this movie in its entirety. The basis for this piece comes from my experience with a 10 minute portion of the film and a quick examination of a few plot summaries.
The film was “Penelope,” and it is the story of a girl who is born with a pig nose as a result of a curse placed on her family long ago. When the curse was placed her family was promised that it could be broken when “one of her own” came to love her. The story follows the experiences of this girl, Penelope, and her journey to come to terms with her disfigured body.
At one point, a boy named Max meets her and is intrigued by the beauty of her personality. When he sees her in person, however, he is caught off guard by her disfigured face. As he leaves in the confusion, Penelope stops him and the following conversation occurs:
Penelope: “But this isn't me, the real me is inside here somewhere just waiting to get out and you can make that happen and once the curse is broken I'll be just like anybody else.”
Max: “What if the curse doesn't get broken? What if the curse can never be broken?”
Penelope: “Then I'll kill myself. I promise, I promise I will.”
While my situation, and most of our situations, are different from the physical deformity that Penelope faced, I feel that this conversation carries some of the feelings that individuals with any significant struggle, including same-gender attraction, experience.
One of the hardest challenges I have faced in my life is this very question-“What if the curse doesn't get broken? What if the curse can never be broken?” For a long time, and even occasionally now, I have looked on my struggles with same-gender attraction as a curse. I lived my life without facing this issue because I couldn't bear to answer this one critical question.
To be completely honest, when I first began this long and difficult journey my answer was not unlike hers-“Then I'll kill myself. I promise, I promise I will.” There was a hopelessness and a darkness that was almost consuming. My foundation was built upon sand and when my world shifted everything crumbled.
The beautiful thing is that my answer is different now. Do I still wish that I could carry another burden?


 Do I feel the fatigue and weariness that comes from moving forward with no end in sight?


But can I see past the imperfections, deformities, and challenges to see the inner beauty?
Sometimes it is still hard to face the future. Sometimes it is even hard to face the present. But each and every day I am better able to face my reality. My challenges don't only make me unique-they make me better.
Which brings us back to that original question: “What if the curse doesn't get broken? What if the curse can never be broken?” 
Then I will move forward.
I will move upwards.
I will develop myself in every way I can.
I will help other people navigate through this treacherous water.
I will be a positive influence in the lives of my friends, family, and community.
I will look myself in the mirror and love me for my imperfections and weaknesses.
It is time for me to stop waiting and hoping for something to take away my curse so that the real me can be free. It is time for me to stop wishing I could be like everyone else. It is time for me to end the war against my own self.
What if the curse doesn't get broken? Then perhaps it wasn't a curse at all.


  1. In case you were wondering about Penelope, she broke her curse when she finally accepted herself.
    Makes ya think...

  2. That is an interesting point bale. I think that is similar to us. We need to learn to accept ourselves and stop fighting who we are, but that can be difficult sometimes. I know it has taken me a long time to be able to reconcile my faith and my attractions, but it is possible and it is beautiful. We can take our talents, strengths, and weaknesses together to make a difference in the world.