Tag Archives: coming out

Derogatory drive-by

Today I was walking down the street, and somebody hollered “faggot” from their car as they sped by.  I wasn’t really offended.  And this post doesn’t have as much to do with the bone-headed nuances of a simple coward as you might think based on the title.  It was actually just something I brought up to my mother, only to have it used as leverage for shaming.

Shame on me.

To make a long intro short, I have a dying grandmother who does not know my situation.  Sound vague?  Mostly because it is.  You see, apart from myself, my mother has known about my sexuality longer than any other person.  She has been mostly void of negative sentiment, which by her word means she is accepting.  And that’s not to say that she isn’t, or that she’s a bad mother or a bad person.  She has always provided for me the same, and we are never short of communication, it is just obvious to me that who I am is someone she would rather I not be.  She would rather not deal with my situation.

This is why my grandmother does not know.  Because she is dying and it could put her in the grave.  Because I will ruffle feathers and have people talking.  Because it will all fall back on my mother, or my father, or my brother or my sister, and I will be the one to blame.

Shame on me.

I am empathetic to the fact that they should not have to deal with my situation by any force other than their own.  And I am sad that my mother will take the brunt of family gossip, and my father will be harassed with unnecessary comments and suggestions from people at his church.  I am sorry that my siblings will be burdened by questions from their friends.  This is no one’s crisis but my own.  This isn’t even a crisis.  I am sad that people I love are forced to have reservations and concerns.

Shame on me.

Where most of my shame comes from though are these people themselves.  These people I call my mother, my father, my brother and my sister.  These people who over the years have scorned me and belittled me and made me feel lesser through their words.  And I know they don’t mean it.  I know they are unaware.  But the things I say, the clothes that I wear, the places I go and the people I surround myself by are something of an identity.  An identity I have struggled with for a very long time at the hands of these very same people.

Shame on me.

Somebody driving by and calling me a faggot is no skin off my back.  Because you know what?  I am a faggot.  But hearing from someone I call my family to be wary of pictures I share, scowling at my eyebrows, using effeminate hand motions to describe distaste for my outfits, and baiting my closet of shame with my dying grandmother… these are things that hurt me.  More than I can teach them to understand.  Because they tell me that who I am is someone that is not approved of.  They are telling me that I should be ashamed of myself, and to keep my “situation” as ambiguous as the word used to describe it.

I am ashamed."No son of ours..."

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Saturday, June 30th

xxxxx,

“It’s hard to wait around for something you know may never happen, but it’s harder when you know it’s everything you want.”

I read this quote today and thought of us.  Or how I feel about how I’ve been left, rather.  I hate you.  Your secrets, your lies—and how I’ve been both along the way for those you love.  What’s worse is that I don’t hate you at all.  I’ve tried really hard.  I’ve tried thinking about all the negatives, all the fights we’d had, and truthfully I don’t even recall what most were about.  Sure we had our downs, but nothing had enough impact on me to forget for even one day how grateful I was to whatever karmic bone in your body made you approach me earlier this year.

Our time together has been short, and short-lived.  We did little together apart from grow in each other’s company—or perhaps stagnate.  And here I am relentlessly wishing you back.  A part of me fully expects to return to a man who feels the same, yet I feel like I know in my heart this will never be true.   It wouldn’t be the first time I were disappointed by your truths.

Aside from how bewildered I am over everything, I still just can’t wrap my head around your intentions.  I just can’t seem to even ponder the idea of moving on without feeling plagued by guilt, and here you’ve been dragging me along for whatever length of time knowing full well I wasn’t even good enough for you.  I say this sincerely, as it is synonymous with “someone better” being out there for you, as you put it in your letter.

How could you do this to me?  My morals were weak, but nonetheless high.  You knew that in my perfect world, I would live out my life with the man I chose to give myself too.  How could you take such blatant advantage of that?  How could you continue to sleep with me knowing we wouldn’t last?  I’d spent our whole relationship struggling with that—wondering if what we were doing was right, and if what you were sharing with me was real and true.  I gave you so many openings to save me the hurt you’ve ultimately caused.  Every insecurity and every second guess I’d brought to light, you had one to match but continued to use me anyhow and pretend we were fine.

This is why I have struggled so desperately with you since the start.  I have never trusted you, and apparently for good reason.  Your life is this twisted cloud of secrets that you promised me we were free from, but part of me knew better.  I always had the nagging feeling that a man with as many lies and secrets toward his own family as you would certainly have the nerve to keep a few from me.

I meant everything I said in my last letter.  I love you and wish things could be as you’ve always said they’d been.  And yet, despite every pain you’ve caused me, I do wish you happiness.  I just don’t think that I can ever stick around to see you happy with anyone else.

Do you remember my favourite quote I shared with you once?  “There is no path that lets me live my life other than this path, therefore I walk this path.”  I don’t know if you’ve ever cared to understand what that means to me, so let me explain.  I have read and felt this quote every time I have told someone dear to me who I am.  I let myself constantly remember, that no matter what the outcome, this is the path in life I need to walk in order to be happy, and I’d be a fool to walk any other path.  I am gay.  All I’ve ever wanted since before I even knew what being gay meant was an honest and loyal man in my life.  Whatever path you’ve been choosing to follow is clearly the wrong path for you, and I truly hope you can find it in yourself to be you someday, and keep no more secrets.  Whomever you wind up with in life deserves that.  You deserve that.

I don’t know what to call this letter.  A goodbye?  A last chance?  I guess it doesn’t matter.  You’ve come to your own conclusions, and have refused to be blunt and share them with me, so these are mine.  I am a safe person; loyal to a fault, practical, and supportive where I need to be, even if not always in the moment.  But one thing I will never be is your “safety”.  If all you can commit to me is a halfway cop-out, then fine.  I will say it for you.  I will say goodbye.

The boy not yet a man…

The boy, he rests his hand upon

our existential window,

et je sais que ce n’est pas bon,1

si ses yeux sont des ciseaux.2

A life that mustn’t satisfy

this ageless man, he spins.

His boyish face can’t rectify

the weathered heart within.

With broken seams and mended dreams,

I face him, just, and say,

“Why do you frown just when it seems

the hardships go away?”

His heart unkempt and terrified,

the boy not quite a man,

stretches his hands, un-unified,

autour son coeur;3 Tian Shan.4

A pool of realized fears that shelve

a gaze with no reflection–

he tells me I don’t fool myself

despite my insurrection.

To stand before his realm of glass;

To face myself in vain.

The difference, you see, does not surpass

the image I did gain.

He breathed a breath serrated, and

made contact he did not.

Shed soft tears and still was jaded–

his pitied closet of rot.

1“and I know this is not good”  2“if his eyes are like scissors”  3“around his heart”  4A major mountain range of Central Asia, extends 1500ft.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

I wrote this in University September ’11.  Somehow it seems fitting.  My former self must have known I’d need this one day.

–Blue