It’s Okay To Be Queer At The Academy

 

My name is Matthew, I’m standing in the Director’s office in the Academy waiting for my release papers. I always imagined that the sky from this room would be a baby blue but what little I can gleam through the shuttered blinds is not blue but a mixture of gray and white. Nothing is as you imagine it to be.

I’m 22 and there are things that should make sense to me now but they don’t. My parents, well, my dad, insisted I go to this Academy to “toughen me up”,  I don’t even know what that means but to him it means  “becoming straight.” As if. I am who I am, who I have always been but he won’t accept that, he thinks a therapist or a school could change me. I AM me.

My militant father refuses to accept all gay people, as if we have a choice. We were born this way! Hey, it’s a lot easier to be straight with prejudiced people like him than it is being gay.

Once, when I was younger, I challenged him about his narrow-minded views. He looked at me for one second and then pummeled me so badly I was black and blue for a week.  I looked so bad my mom called the school and said I was in a car accident. She tried to stand up for me but I said it was okay, I didn’t want him to hit her too.

My mother accepts me being gay and loves me for who I am. I have confided in her and while she worries that it is a hard life (and it is) she has accepted my choice and she loves me and supports me. My father is a mean bastard, when I first told him, he threw chairs around the room and would not let me even say the words out loud, ever. I tried to tell him that I was still his son but he viciously replied “I have no son, I have a faggot. You are not part of this family anymore.” How could he do that? I haven’t seen him since.

I love men, not women, is that such a crime? I wanted to go to college and be free but my dad forbid it. He sent me to this stupid Academy “to make a man out of me.”  I guess he thought the Academy would make me straight and I would start liking girls. I had the last laugh though, all the other guys were there for the same reason.Their parents sent them there to “toughen up” too. My father had no idea that most guys in the school were gay. I guess the joke was on him.

We call each other “queer” here in the Academy, it’s used as a term of endearment, I don’t understand how a parent can just stop loving a child, I really don’t but a lot of the guys here have had the same experience. I envy the men and women whose family love and support them no matter who they choose to love.

My mom has tried to talk to my dad many times about accepting me but he won’t budge. Fuck it, I guess I’m better off without him. I don’t need his lectures, his abuse and his screaming. All i ever wanted was his love. But, I knew, I always knew that I would never get that, ever. Yet, deep down, in a child-like way, I still hope that one day he will change and he will accept and love me for who I am. Yeah, I know, keep dreaming.

Dedicated to the LGBT community who do not feel loved by their families.

No photos due to Zemanta broken.

Advertisements

Life 101

PEACE!

PEACE! (Photo credit: Snapies ~ hiatus!)

Norman Rockwell Mosaic  "The Golden Rule&...

In my fantasy career, I’ve always wanted to teach a class, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s old show, a class about nothing yet everything. It would start with young children, kindergarten or nursery school age so they learn, at an early age, what is right and what is wrong. Maybe there would be a corresponding class for parents as well. It would be a class about life, a place where kids could ask any questions they had; it would be a safe place, teaching children about valuing differences, good vs bad behavior, being kind to one another, volunteering and diversity. That’s the agenda. If you start talking about love and different families early on maybe there wouldn’t be such horrible numbers of teen suicide and bullying. You also need to talk about all kind of different people, that each person is equal and should be treated with kindness and respect.

I expect naysayers and scoffing but the truth of the matter is, that life as we know it, is not going very well at all right now and hasn’t been for a long time.  We can’t say it won’t work if we don’t try it. Teach them that children and parents are all different so respect them equally and that families come in different varieties, they are families just like your own. Love is love. Our goal is that no one will know the word “bullying” anymore.

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s we were pretty much sheltered from the “real world.” I remember having drills where we would hide under our desks because of the Cuban Missile Crisis but no one ever explained it to us. The world has changed, technology has changed, violent killing games are readily available for kids to play, violence on television, it’s everywhere.The world we live in now is a scary place: devastating losses, natural disasters, friends and loved ones dying of cancer and heart disease and many other things, people with psychiatric disorders that go untreated. We saw that on Friday with the mass murder of children and adults in Newtown, Connectict’s Elementary School.  I used to try to shove the thoughts away and put them on the back burner. We, as a nation, can no longer put these issues on the back burner. Things need to change NOW.

I wrote this article months ago but never published it. After Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Ct. of little children, babies really, and staff, I’m even more convinced that a program of this kind needs to be started as early in a child’s life as possible. There will always be children who have special needs or need psychiatric help, there is nothing wrong with that. However, these children need to be diagnosed and treated and cared for responsibly. I don’t respect the press when they declare the shooter had Asperger’s to explain the motivation.That is NOT okay and isn’t true at all. I think they are terribly WRONG and irresponsible. Do we need stricter gun laws? Yes. We also need, more and better mental health facilities that people can go to get the help they need. There is no shame, there shouldn’t be.

Parents, teachers and therapists need to be involved in the care of your child. Everyone should work together to give your child the best help available. I know it takes time and I know it takes money but this is not something we can “think about.” This should start right now. For the students: if you have problems, please involve your parents or the school counselors and get the help you need as soon as you can. If the therapist is a wrong match for you, find one that you like. It’s important. Talk about your problems; we will listen.We will be your support system. We will be there. We DON’T want to let you down but you need to communicate with us so we can help you. Please try and know that we will too.

An Open Letter: To The DJ’s In Austrailia

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace ...

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace balcony after Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. Kate wears a wedding gown by Sarah Burton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Call it whatever you want, a prank, a practical joke, a hoax, but now, one person is dead, DEAD, because of the “prank” that she fell for at the hospital where Kate Middleton was staying in Britain. Do you think it’s funny now? I don’t care how you thought that you wouldn’t get through, you did get through and if you were so concerned, you should have hung up right then and there saying “Sorry, wrong number” or just about anything instead of belaboring your joke. Your joke has just killed someone’s daughter or spouse or mother or sister. As you can tell, I don’t think it’s funny at all. I’m sure her family would agree with me.

What do we need to do to shake up the world and make people THINK before they do things, think before they speak? Does anyone ever think about consequences anymore? Did these radio personalities ever think that this could go wrong? Probably not. How do they feel now? Fine, keep following your instinctual “Don’t you think it would be hilarious if……” but then pause, sit back and go around the room and say “what could go WRONG?”

I don’t think these clowns at the Australian network set out to kill someone, definitely NOT. But, when they said they thought for sure no one would put them through, why didn’t they stop right then? They did get through, they embarrassed everybody and the person they blamed for her indiscretion (which really wasn’t her fault at all) killed herself. KILLED HERSELF over a prank.

I’m glad it didn’t happen here in the States. We’ve made bullying a high priority here but it still happens. I hope schools can use this as a teaching lesson about pranks and jokes that seem harmless,  the emphasis on “seem” harmless. Think about the whole picture, think like a lawyer, ask “what if” from every single angle. If it’s safe and no one could potentially get hurt, wronged, embarrassed or ashamed, you have your answer.

In this situation, the answer is quite clear. Guilty, as if you had shot her in the head. Next time: THINK before you SPEAK.

That’s just MY opinion, but then again, I’m still fuming.

“Bullies Are Cruel” – Our New School Song

The kids playing together while dinner is prepped

The kids playing together while dinner is prepped (Photo credit: Alexander N)

“I want to sing like a hyena, and dance like a ballerina

Make ice cream out of your toes

Flip sausages for your nose

I want to run, jump and hide

with my friends at my side

We want to play and never go to sleep

we want to giggle and flop into a heap.

On the days there is no school

we can be found jumping in the park’s pool.

Life is great in every way,

just have friends

like mine, it’s the only way.

If there is someone who seems alone

go up to them and ask them to play along.

It’s not easy being new

so try your best to be kind and true.

It was that way for me

before my friends were nice to me.

So give a helping hand, whenever you can

give everyone a chance to hold hands and play

Peers become important in middle childhood and...

Peers become important in middle childhood and have an influence distinct from that of parents. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t hurt someone’s feelings

not on purpose and not by chance

think of how you would feel

if you were in their PANTS!

No BULLIES at our school

because we know BULLIES ARE CRUEL!!!!”

Mama Rose and Little Ted Mouse – A Children’s Story

Mouse

Mouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mama Rose cuddled her little boy mouse, Little Ted close to her and whispered to him, softly and gently. Little Ted was frightened, there had been mean mice at school and they were calling him bad names and teasing him. Ted declared to his mom, he never, ever, wanted to go back to school again! She told him that he had to go back to school and that he would be brave and strong, and that those other boy mice were being unkind. They had a problem not Little Ted and that he should keep his head held high and ignore those hurtful words.

Ted wasn’t so sure about all of this. He just wanted to stay home nestled in his mother’s lap, safe, warm, eating chocolate chip cookie crumbs and an occasional raisin or two. “No, dear boy, I’m afraid you can’t run away from hurtful things” his mother said. “In life, there will always be things that we may not like but that we have to do.”

Mama got up and went to their little desk. She looked inside it for a long time. Finally, she took out a small, brown, box which held a silver coin. Mama Rose  had used this when she was a baby girl mouse when she was frightened and she passed it on to Little Ted Mouse. “Keep this with you, son, and when you feel frightened, press it hard and know that I am right there beside you giving you courage.” Little Ted Mouse looked up at her and asked with his big, wide eyes “Really?”  “Of course, little one, this will remind you of how much I love you AND like you AND believe in you. Whatever you do will be the right thing. This problem will go away, if not today, than tomorrow but remember, it will be fine.” Love can fix everything and those other mean mice just might need a little more love in their lives. Could it be that they are lonely or insecure? Just keep an open mind.” If it doesn’t get better very soon, tell Mama Rose, right away and we will talk about it again. Now, come, it’s time for dinner and then I will read you some books and then it is bedtime.

Little Ted Mouse nibbled on some cheese for dinner, he wasn’t really hungry and then he went to bed, without a word. His Mama came with him and read him five different books which he loved. Mama Rose saw his eyes get sleepy and so she gave him a big hug and a kiss on both cheeks and told him that “everything will be alright” and she would see him in the “morning sun.” At breakfast, Little Ted was quiet but Mama Rose took Little Ted Mouse’s tiny hand and they walked to the bus stop together, his silver coin securely in his pocket.

Mama Rose waited at home all day, nervously, not that she would ever admit that to Little Ted. She was relieved when the little school bus came and she saw Little Ted’s smiling face. Like all mothers, she felt happy. “How was school today, son she asked? “Oh Mama, he said “it was better than yesterday, not at first because the kids were a tiny bit mean but when I told them I had something special that I wanted to show them they all became interested…” What did you show them, my dear? “Why Mama, I showed them my special coin for bravery and they really liked it a lot!” They asked me to bring in again tomorrow so I said I would, is that okay?  “Of course, Little Ted, of course!!”

They walked back to their teeny, tiny little house, they sat in a corner on their favorite step and drank milk and shared a chocolate chip and an oatmeal raisin cookie, together and chatted, happily, about their day.

THE END