I know what some are thinking: "Oh Lord, here goes 'paulthefourth' . . . again!" - but I'll TRY not to be so long winded this time
First, I want to thank everyone in here for being supportive and tolerant - my post is not 'towards' anyone in here, it's just my general thoughts
on how being gay feels and how homophobia has affected me.
I'll simplify my story so those that have heard it before won't have to sit through it again:
Grew up in a VERY large Southern Baptist family/area.
Went to a Private Christian School, K-12.
Never knew of or met another gay person (except what was on sit-coms) till I was in college.
Never went on a date with a girl (except 2 set-ups, that I didn't want to go on, that went HORRIBLY bad - with no 'second dates').
Pretty much knew from puberty that I was attracted to guys - didn't know what sexual attraction was, but knew I'd rather be around guys than girls-
even when I saw all my friends start to date girls, I was jealous of the girls and the attention they were getting. But I waited for my hormones to
kick in and make me attracted to girls too, but those hormones never came.
Hid the fact that I liked guys like you'd hide a Nazi/Racist-Grandfather with dementia/Tourette's syndrome in the basement if you invited a
Jewish/Black friend over for supper.
Acted just as homophobic (if not more-so) to keep anyone from suspecting me of being a "fag" - I knew what I was, I just wasn't going to admit it
to anyone, not even myself because I 'knew' that meant I would go to hell and I knew if I told ANYONE, that the gossip train would have it all over
town in 2.7 seconds.
Decided at 22-23 that I was just going to be alone for the rest of my life because the thought of being with a girl was disgusting to me, and the
thought of being with a guy was on repeat in my head, but it brought up feelings of being harassed, left out, abandoned, hated, discriminated against,
stereotyped, having the CRAP beaten out of me or even being killed.
By 26-27, I just couldn't take the isolation anymore, finally came out to my best friend (we were born 5 days apart and grew up like brothers) and
his wife, fully expecting to be kicked out and asked to NEVER return, but was pleasantly surprised when they said it was OK and kept treating me like
'normal' - She did make me feel bad a few times, but I believe it was unintentional, like asking me not to be "too gay" around their son, so he
wouldn't be 'confused' - or her asking me if I was attracted to my best friend, I told her that would be like the difference between asking her if
her brother was 'good looking' and "are you attracted to him" - Basically, you can think someone is attractive, without there having to be any
sexual attraction involved.
Around 28 I found a boyfriend through Yahoo personals (who I'm Still With 4 years later - my one and only!) and FINALLY lost my virginity, my friends
were cool with me and I thought "you know, this whole "being gay" thing might not be so bad after all" - at that time, the worst thing was when
someone would find out you were gay and the first thing they'd ask is "so, do you have 'the AIDS'?" Like we're born with it, or we simply
'have' to have it in order to join the club. And no, I don't have HIV, or AIDS, or any STD, or a criminal record or a past of abuse or molestation
or any of that crap that most people assume "all" us gays are afflicted with. In other words, It wasn't that bad, but I knew there were many
unfavorable opinions about it.
THEN - the 2004 election mess started up - and it was time to decide if we should keep an Idiot in the white house for 4 more years, and I truly
started to see how people felt about "the gays" - it was a wedge issue meant to tell the "Goods" apart from the "Bads" - the "Churchies" from
the "Sinners" - the "patriotic" from the "traitors" - it was an assault on my character to hear all that "going to hell" stuff and "It's
Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve" and how I was an "abomination" and how the good church-going folks I was raised with were spouting so much hate
and venom at ALL the gays. -Oh, and my favorite, how I "CHOSE" to be this way - like ANYONE would chose this life - It's not a lifestyle 'choice'
- There is a choice when it comes to living a lie and pretending to be something I'm not to make other people happy, or accepting and being what I
know I truly am, even when I know ALOT of people don't like it.
I started to feel like EVERYONE hated me, even if they wouldn't say it, I knew that's what they felt - they thought I was a disgusting, evil,
demon-spawn that was going to sneak up and "get them from behind". I was going to kid-nap their children and try to "turn" them gay - or like I
wanted to taint the blood supply with AIDS infested blood and burn down churches and make it so ANYONE could marry ANYTHING in any quantity.
During a 'gay marriage' discussion at work between my brother and another employee, I had to hear my own brother (who knew I was gay, and was in his
FOURTH marriage at this time) say that "gay's don't deserve 'special' rights" right in front of me. Can you imagine how that feels? Someone
that's supposed to be on your side, and they say things that make you feel like you don't even exist, he knew I could hear him and it didn't even
matter to him - it certianly let me know that biological family is not necessarily any better than your chosen family (friends)
Ever since then, even with Mass. getting gay marriage, and several other countries making it legal, I still can't help but think that everyone hates
me and I have no idea how to make people see that I'm a good guy - People don't want it "pushed in their faces", so I don't tell people - Then,
they find out and accuse me of "lying" to them all that time, so I'm screwed either way. - If I want to make a new friend, do I tell them up
front that I'm gay and risk running them away, or do I just say nothing and then get accused of lying to them? No matter what I do, people are
either not going to give me a chance at first, or they are going to be left with a bad taste in their mouth if they find out later, which usually
leads to me being left out in the cold.
So - the way things are now, I have 2 friends left - everyone knows about me - I don't go anywhere except work, the grocery store, and my
Boyfriend's house, which would be my "husband's house" if we were 'allowed' to get married - and in NC, we don't have 'civil unions', or
partnership registries, or ANY laws that will protect us as a family unit. And contrary to popular belief, we don't have "all that extra money
since they don't have kids" so we can't afford to move to Mass.
I would like to adopt a kid, or have one of my own with a surrogate, but I could never bring a child into this world knowing he/she would be taunted
with chants of "you got 2 faggot daddies! - nah nah nah nah nah!" I think I could be a good Dad, Lord knows I was a better 'mother' to most of my
friends than their own mothers, but knowing how cruel other kids can be makes me feel like it would be even more cruel of me to put a child through
that. And IF I did have a kid, I would hope that it turned out straight, just so it wouldn't have to go through the same crap I did - it's not
something I'd wish on my worst enemy, but I'd love it still the same no matter how it turned out
I go see a Psychiatrist for severe depression once a week now, I'm not suicidal, but I just want it to end, I don't want to wake up tomorrow knowing
that I'm going to feel the same way it did today, or yesterday, or the day before that etc. . . - I don't believe I could Kill myself because the
last little shred of 'Faith' I have left is that I believe if you kill someone else, or yourself, that's a one-way ticket straight to Hell. Now I
can't tell you what religion I 'believe' in any more, or even if I believe that there's a Heaven or a Hell. There's so much double-talk in ALL
religions, and there's too many religions to know which one is right, so I just try to be a good person and treat others like I would want to be
treated IF I WERE IN THEIR SHOES!(alot of people forget that part) I don't see religion as a bad thing, but I DO see ORGANIZED religion as one of
the worst things that has ever happened to mankind. As soon as a religion (E.I. common 'belief') gets organized, it's all about money and power
and a hierarchy and who's worthy and who's not. That's not for me.
Oh, almost forgot to tell you about my worst experience with homophobia, but wanted to save it for near the end because it's something I almost
forgot about in real life (probably because I was trying to forget it)
When I was 18, had a "friend" that I worked with who got drunk one night, and decided he was going to find out what the deal was with me not ever
having a girlfriend - he got me to drive him somewhere as his "designated driver", then asked me to pull around behind a motel in the back parking
lot where there were never alot of people - I assumed he was supposed to meet someone back there, but I found out he really wanted to ask me if I was
a "Faggot" - I didn't really know how to answer it, I knew I liked guys, but I'd NEVER engaged in any homosexual (or heterosexual) acts - he kept
questioning me and I kept saying NO! but he kept asking me and getting madder and madder at me and I could tell that he thought I was one, but that I
was trying to hide it - I got ready to drive off because I thought this conversation was over, and the next thing I know, He's pulled a gun out and
has it up to my head - He's drunk, and apparently pissed, I was scared as hell, I literally pissed my pants, I thought my heart was going to explode
and I was frozen like a deer in headlights. He said "you'd better tell me if you're a faggot or not! and if you don’t' tell me the truth, I'm
going to hurt you!" -
Just then, his girlfriend and another friend of theirs pulled up and got out of their car, they didn't know what had happened, they just pulled up
assuming they were getting ready to join the group and go find a party somewhere. They came over and he got out of the truck to talk to them and I
just took off - scared as hell! I don't know what he told them, and really don’t' care. I quit my job where he worked, with no reason or notice,
and didn't see them anymore till after I'd moved back from college -
I'd put it out of my mind and had almost forgot about that night 'till a few years ago (about the same time the depression of the re-election/gay
wars was happening) when I saw him at a baseball game and all those thoughts came back to me and I had to leave - I didn't want him to recognize me
and I didn't want to tell my friends why I 'needed' to leave - I just left. I'd almost forgot (and wish I could) But now, to this very minute,
not a day goes by that I don't feel that gun against my temple, and think about the way my heart was racing and how scared I was, and how close I was
to having my brains splattered on the window just because someone thought I might be gay.
If none of the above has clarified how it must feel to be gay to those that still don't "get it" or don't "approve" or don't "agree" with it
- try to imagine the following. (Can you imagine saying to a black person "I don't 'agree' with 'being black'", like it's a choice they made.
Imagine, if you can - being a black person that wakes up one day, and is suddenly at a Klan Meeting with 99 other guys, He's got on the robe and
hood, and no one seems to suspect that he's black - would you recommend he take of the hood? or try to 'blend in' -
Now this guy didn't choose to be there, he just went to bed one night, and when he woke up, there he was, at a Klan meeting, with no idea how or why
he's there - Now this particular black person has heard statistics before that somewhere between 3 and 10 % of Klan members are actually black, and
so he wants to seek out these other 'in the closet' black guys - he knows they are still wearing the robe and hood so they won't be 'outed', so
he has to find out some way to tell - so he starts looking at the eyeholes in the sheets to see if he can catch a glimpse of dark skin - he thinks
he's found a fellow 'hider' but he's not sure - how does he find out? - Is it the way they talk? - the way they walk? How would you tell the
difference? - Now, what happens when one of the 'in the closet' black Klan members accidentally looses their hood? does he get made fun of? does
he get 'reprimanded' - do they take away his membership? do they burn a cross in his yard? -do they beat him up? do they Lynch him? are there laws
to protect him from being hurt? will they be enforced? Are there actually laws that say the Klan is not at fault because it's a "private"
organization? It used to be that way, and in some ways it still is.
Imagine the above situation, I'm not trying to compare gay rights to the black civil rights movement, just imagine that happening - That's how just
about EVERY gay person feels EVERY Minute of EVERY day, and the way I see it, there's not much hope of it ever getting better.
Even in the year 2006, when we're supposed to have flying cars and meals in a pill and traveling the stars and living on other planets, we're still
pretty much just a bunch of talking monkeys flinging poo at each other - a shame really.
I’m glad to know that there are people like y’all in this thread that have stood up-right, evolved above the poo-flingers, support gays, and can
say so without being afraid of being labeled a “queer-lover.”
It makes me feel a little better.
[edit on 3/15/06 by paulthefourth]