Well I Thought it Was Whitney Singing…

By David Small

In a rare moment of sentimentality, I asked Pandora to sing me some Whitney Houston as I lay awake in bed on another sleepless night upon hearing the great diva had died. I’m not awake, heartbroken over her. I’m not that sentimental. I’m just awake. Again.

Being unemployed in my civilian career, while also facing a medical board in my Reserve career, has left me with a lot on my mind and very little activity to distract me. Hence the sleepless nights.

Pandora decided I needed to hear Mariah on the Whitney channel and is playing Hero. At 3am, I thought it was Whitney so give me some latitude in my musings here.

“And then a hero comes along, With the strength to carry on. And you cast your fears aside. And you know you can survive. So when you feel like hope is gone, Look inside you and be strong, And you’ll finally see the truth: That a hero lies in you.”

I never listen to fricking lyrics. I have no idea why at 3am I’ve decided to pay attention to these. I always thought this song was about some guy on a white horse sweeping in and rescuing a lovelorn damsel. But it turns out the song is about inner strength.

I think my inner strength has been working out like a dog with a sock these past few months as I endure my reverse course in life. It’s been character building for sure, and I’ve had my share of bourbon too. But I’ve stepped out of my comfort zones, kept a mostly positive attitude, and kept my eye on the goal of getting my life back on the rails.

Fortunately for me, my inner hero isn’t alone. Mariah sings: “It’s a long road, When you face the world alone, No one reaches out a hand. For you to hold.” That’s not me. I’ve got a really fantastic crop of friends and incredibly supportive family helping me out.

I can’t imagine, though, how others work through their personal struggles without such support. I think to gay kids in that Minnesota town where their town is actively promoting anti-gay hate. It makes my stomach boil.

We in OutServe are pretty lucky to have such a large network to support each other. But I know there are still some in the military who are gay, struggling and don’t know or realize that its okay now. While everybody has different circumstances, not everybody has Whitney’s inner hero at the forefront helping them through their rough spots. And not everybody has the same overt support network that I have or OutServe provides.

So as the world mourns Whitney Houston, I want more people to sing out these lyrics. Maybe they’re not hers, but Pandora made me think they were. Perhaps somebody in need will hear. “Hold on. There will be tomorrow. In time, You’ll find the way.”

Oh, and crack is wack.


About David Small

David Small, editor of OutServe Magazine’s blog, is a Major in the Air Force Reserve, stationed in New York, N.Y. Small’s perspective speaks to the everyday service member who may be working side by side with an LGBT coworker.

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