Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"I Am The Only Gay In The Village"

Maybe it just feels that way? Until I went away to undergrad, I did think just like that. Obviously, we learn as young adults that we're not "the only gay in the village." That's when the blossoming begins for us homos. When we learn we're not alone and we're ok. I'm ok - well better than I used to be? Just recently I've realized how my childhood circumstances fed into my loneliness as a child and teen. I was so busy trying to hide my deep, dark, horrible secret feelings from my family that I never noticed that they were keeping real, deep, dark horrible family secrets from me (another whole story). We (my family & myself) were so fixed on not letting the other know our own respective 'secret' - that I cut my family out of my life with ease and few questions. Then when things were becoming increasingly obvious - off to college I went, where I was no longer 'the only gay in the village' and rarely returned home except for holidays. In hindsight, I now understand why my family chose to keep family secrets from me - for my own good, or so they thought. I can only say now, it hurt and I didn't understand when I finally did find these things out in my early 30's. Things that I should have known. Things that changed the way I looked at my childhood situations and the people involved - gayness aside. The truth was out, and I wasn't set free. I was confused, hurt and didn't understand. Who would? Questions filled my head, they still do. I don't have answers; only questions. My point never-the-less is, had being gay not been so taboo or unacceptable in society; I would have been more present to what was going on around me in my childhood home. I had successfully cut my entire family out of my life and they didn't even know; I didn't even know. I was merely doing the best I could - surviving the only way I knew how - in the closet. Today's kids have so much opportunities in their schools with gay awareness groups. When I was in High School, we had a gay who was out. Well, not so much out as continually harassed and made fun of. No one wants to be treated like him. The other students were brutal both physically and mentally. To this day I wonder what happend to him? Tommy, with the cigaretts, bleached hair, and tight clothing befriended by the girls in his grade only. I watched his harrassment from a distance, knowing that his torture was sooner or later going to be my torture. The unavoidable torture, was a burden that went along with being gay I thought. It's only a matter of time before I'm made that miserable on a daily basis. I hid myself away and awaited this treatment from my peers. And it did come, but never, ever as bad as Tommy got it. I used to avoid going to the mall (or anyplace public that my classmates may also be) with my parents for fear that I would be addressed inappropriately by some kid from my High School. And I'd have to deal with not only the humiliation of non-popularity; but of the truth that I was gay.


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