By Charles B.
“oh, make it like the old days.”
I thought back to my high school days and reminisced on the things that stood out to me. I remembered being spit at and called a “fag” in 9th grade when I lived in Louisiana. I remember my Aunt warning me not to ride home with anyone – except family – because she heard stories of what happened to other kids who were thought to be gay. I remember being scared to wait outside with the rest of the kids at school and asking my coach if he would wait until my family came to get me.
I remember moving to Florida and starting school there. I remember when my dad got mad at my mom and told her I was gay and that it was “her fault.” I remember her telling me at 15 that, if I was gay, I could not live with her. We didnt talk about it for two years. I remember trying to lie to myself and dating a girl that I eventually told the truth to and ended up breaking her heart. I remember fighting every single stereotype just to play sports. I remember guys on my own team telling me I “wouldn’t last the fucking season.” I lasted all of high school. I remember a kid calling me a fag, then running up the stairs to get away after he saw me trying to chase him down. I was tripped and dislocated my knee.
I remember going to clubs at 17 because it was the only place I felt accepted.
I remember my mom throwing me out for hanging out with gay people. I remember her letting me back in on Christmas eve…only to throw me out again on Christmas day.
I remember standng up for all the gay people in my school who weren’t strong enough to stand up for themselves. I remember working every day Senior year to make end’s meat. I remember struggling so hard to graduate.
And, what I remember the most…when it was finally OVER!
Some people may want to go back to the old days. Not me. I enjoy now being comfortable in my own skin. I enjoy not having to fight the world to be who I am. I enjoy having people in my life who accept me that way. I don’t miss being made fun of. I don’t miss being spit at. I don’t miss having to break stereotypes, having to prove people wrong every day of my life. I am proud and absolutely comfortable with the man I have become, despite all the hardships I endured at such a young age.
Some people may miss the old days. But, I’m guessing that, like me, most gay people have some horrible memories of growing up in a world where they weren’t accepted or respected for who they are. Where they had to hide…had to struggle…had to persevere through some terrible prejudices and hard times to finally make it to an age where they could live their own life, make their own decisions and truly be who they are.
Some people miss the old days.