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.

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Just A Simple Happy Day

I’m sitting in my bed, with my red dog Lexi lying across my lap, I’m watching her breathing as if she was a newborn. The day is thinking about turning to-night but it is not there yet. The sky is white with gray in the background, leafless trees sway softly in the sky.

My husband is in his office working on a project. My daughter is home from college, in her room, most probably watching a series on her laptop, her door, closed and I am smiling.

There is nothing extraordinary about this day and I love that. I took the dog in the car for a long ride. She loves to stick her head out and see the world, she smiles, people smile ather, joyful. It doesn’t take much to make her happy.We headed to the bakery, I heard that they were making mini jelly doughnuts which I must buy and one big chocolate chip cookie for my daughter. We’ll be there again Sunday too for the big, puffy

huge ones and we will buy another jelly doughnut for our son. If there is one food that brings me back to a happy childhood memory it’s a jelly doughnut. My dad and I loved them and we would have them every New Year’s Eve. I’m just carrying on the tradition…and practicing early. He would be so proud.

My son will be arriving in a couple of days, I really don’t know when. I think  Saturday but you never know with him. I like not knowing so the wait does not produce anxiety at all but rather a sweet, low excitement that i can look forward to when he arrives.

It feels like Thanksgiving was half a year ago but it was only a matter of weeks. Parents everywhere are enjoying having their children home. I feel for those parents who have lost their child, I could cry with their pain even imagining it.

We are blessed. Let’s all keep those families in our hearts and prayers.

I should be folding laundry, or washing the floors or organizing the presents that Santa’s helper gave to me to wrap. I’m doing none of that right now. I’m feeling happy as the day turns into early evening.

After many years I am reading again and I am thrilled. I don’t know why couldn’t read a book for so long, I always read. For years, though, I couldn’t read anything and now I can which is a great relief. That treat fills my soul full with hundreds and hundreds of candy canes kissing.

I refuse to focus on the bad news in the world, there will always be bad people and poor judgment and horror. Sometimes I get involved and feel the pain, today I am not focusing on it. While I probably can’t do it every day, I will try to remember this calmness.

My stomach grows for dinner, plain and simple leftovers, nothing fancy here, we don’t have the money to go out. Leftover pizza, salad, eggplant parmigiana, garlic cheese bread.How can you not look forward to THOSE leftovers. And of course, after dinner, my own small, roly poly jelly doughnut, its sugary film, sitting in my delicate fingers, turning it this way and that, taking that small first bite. Happiness is real, especially today. I wish all  days could be so peaceful for me and for everyone else. I’m trying to remember what it feels like, I know it feels good.

How The Movie “Boyhood” Is My World And Possibly Yours Too

If you haven’t seen the movie, Boyhood, jump off the couch, grab the car keys or head to your local bus station and go. Now. This is a movie you don’t want to miss. Trust me. It is possibly the best movie I have ever seen and yes, the most realistic one as well. You may see your own life pass before your eyes, especially if you are a mom and have kids. It is everything you have felt, understated. No, it isn’t a tear-jerker, a comedy or a romance. It’s pure genius.

 

It is sad just because it has been a week since I have seen the movie and I am still thinking about it and relating it to my life. It’s a film about growing up so I cried because my children are not children anymore. They are both adults, wonderful adults, yet my daughter left her pink doll at home, the one she used to sleep with but now sleeps in a room at her sorority house and my son it seems, he just graduated high school will be graduating from college in May.

It’s about time passing so quickly that you almost can’t believe it has really happened and yes, I cried because I miss my dad. I had a really great dad, not those horrible step-fathers in the movie. My dad, died twelve years ago and my memories are fading and sometimes I can’t even remember what his voice sounds like anymore yet the pain, once in a while, seems brand new and raw.

Grieving is a long and hard process and just when you think you are past the worst of it,   out of no where, it knocks you out again at unexpected times. Times you can’t prepare yourself for, just like the ocean washing out sand castles at the beach that the sweet children built so lovingly. It attacks you from behind, it blindsides you.

I am the mother in the film, (though luckily I have a great husband)  but it scares me to see her alone. Her kids go off to college and she is left, not knowing what on earth she is going to do with her life. I am not glorifying her role as a mother, believe me, she makes incredibly poor choices but in the end, her children have left her and she sits in the kitchen, crying and alone.

Her son, her boy, whom we have seen grow up, physically and emotionally, heads off to college and while the ending is a little too perfect, we want it to be for him. We want a happy ending for all our children but we also want it for ourselves and that’s not the way real life works.

There is a part of us who wants our kids to miss us, to turn back for a brief second, to be their four-year old selves who “loved us best” just one more time. That is only for us and certainly not what they need or want and its pure fiction not reality. As they dash out the door with a grin and a wave we know that we have done a wonderful job parenting our grown up children.

All we want is for our children to be happy, we love them unconditionally but it does hurt every time they leave us. The movie is so magnificent  because we know that everything in this movie is so darn true. We love our children more than they will ever know, but from their eagerly awaited first step we also know, that at every turn, they are leaving us, as they should.

333

I look at the clock, it is 4:44 pm. I had just glanced over but I wasn’t surprised. The same number three times in a row, for those who believe in messages from beyond, is fascinating and very meaningful.  Earlier, yesterday and the day before I saw 333 and 3:33 without trying to time it in any way. I always smile and whisper “Thank you, Dad” through my fingers.” I saw 2:22 the day before yesterday. Often in the middle of the night I wake up and I see 3:33am. I smile, roll over and go back to sleep.

I consider this a gift. My dad knew that I had visited the cemetery, of course, that I had cleaned off the grave site from a really long, cold winter.

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th (Photo credit: *~Dawn~*)

I found the special red see through glass stone that I gave my dad many years ago that resurfaced in the grass and dirt and spelled “PERSEVERANCE.” I understood. I cleaned it off and put it back in place.

My dad knows our troubles, our physical, emotional and practical problems and while he can’t change those things because I knew if he could, he most certainly would help us. But, he is there for me, 333, always there for me, supporting me now giving me his new version of a pep-talk “Persevere”contained in one word.

For the first time in twelve years I felt his spiritual presence in a physical way, I felt like he was hugging me; I felt like I was being hugged. A great loss in my life. I would always say “I’d give my left arm to get one more hug from my dad…” and, trying not to freak out, being patient, I received the gift today with gratitude and love. I’m sure, of all people, my dad wouldn’t have been surprised that tears silently rolled down my cheeks.

I’ve given up trying to wish, pray or even think about where our lives are going. The last few years have been very tough but I’m sure down the road we will understand it. It’s just now that everything seems confusing and yes, disheartening. We’re not perfect, it would be silly to say that our attitudes are always positive because they are not.

Sometimes my husband and I fight but then we always make-up. There’s a lot of stress in uncertainty, especially when no money is coming in and you have two kids in college. We try to plan, maybe we will move, or rent but we need to stick it out here a little while longer. The message of what we need to do is definitely not clear yet and so we wait. We will definitely know when it’s time.

Angel of Light

Angel of Light (Photo credit: Jody McNary Photography)

Today is Friday the 13th, and Mercury is in Retrograde which I hear is not supposed to be very good at all. But, I like to remember that my father was born on the 13th and Friday the 13th was his most favorite day. So now, I’m not scared of Friday the 13th anymore, though I used to be when I was a child. It’s a day, like every other, in a place and time.

What you give to the world and what you get is entirely up to you. As I’ve learned, you just need to be patient. I know, it’s not easy at all.

Haiku Heights

USELESS

Snooze, dear old man, gramps

children gone,

all alone, sad.

rock your empty chair.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Typical Finnish wooden rocking chair.

Typical Finnish wooden rocking chair. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blink, joy, blink sadness

numb eyes drool, lips shake, quiver

Alone is black-gray.

******************************************

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Outing Mary Poppins (POP COP)

The Sound of Music (film)

The Sound of Music (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Ms Andrews,

I’ll be honest I can’t  forget that when I was little and bumped into you at FAO Schwartz and my father asked you for your autograph for little, shy, sweet me, you said “NO” coldly and harshly. I heard you. I remember thinking “how could she be so mean? ” Well you were, there were no other people around us but you simply and COLDLY said no, and walked away abruptly. Who would do that to a little girl? Mary Poppins would never do that. Apparently, you had no such problem. I  was devastated that you acted so coldly my dad was furious at my crestfallen face.

However, I still adored your movies: Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. It is for this reason alone, my loyalty to you as a fan of your movies that I refused to watch Carrie Underwood in the live performance of “The Sound of Music” on television earlier this week.I have always been “brand loyal.” I know all about the Broadway play, my sister saw that but I was devoted to the movie version. I knew every word by heart, I sang every song proudly albeit not in tune.

I wanted to remember Julie Andrews the way she was in the movie I adored her characters and her singing voice and still watched her movies when I was feeling blue or nostalgic. I used to watch that movie many times with my dad and my mom. My mom she was from Germany and my dad from Austria.

I will stay loyal to your movies and to your songs, to the characters you played. They will live on in my mind and heart forever. Just do me a favor, think about how a cold, nasty “no” can stick in someone’s memory after so many years. Your resiliency as an actor speaks loudly of your talent but definitely not of your real character.

FWF Kellie Elmore: B Is For Bum

English: Three drug addicts seen smoking a hug...

English: Three drug addicts seen smoking a huge amount of crack cocaine, in a downtown eastside alley, in Vancouver BC Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When you get into a tight place you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Bitches,” Anna growled underneath her breath, what the fuck do they know? These stupid clichéd words were written on a huge, dumb banner in bright red, thick letters right when you walked into the room. A bare room with folding chairs, a typical support group, she was there for what they called “Substance Abuse.” Yeah, you know, weed, coke, meth, snow, uppers and downers and whatever shit she could find to snort up her nose or inject into her spidery veins.

She had gone to court appointed meetings from jail, not like she had a choice, she had gotten busted, “possession of illegal drugs.” Big deal. She only had two more “meetings” to go to get her out of prison and then she would be free. These fools knew nothing. They didn’t even know that right here in the audience she was high.  Hopefully, if she was careful, she could score coke after the meeting but that was tricky.

What did these rich, entitled “group leaders” know about suffering and pain? They stood up there beaming, wearing their matching navy skirts and blazers and talking to us like we were a lower species. Oh sure, they said they had gone through the program too. Really? Maybe they used coke twice or three times at a party  and got busted or hooked and their CFO husbands had found out so they went to some private, fancy, swimming pool facility in a secluded area in the Berkshires or San Diego where it is warm.

They were probably in for  two weeks, paid the fine and out. Simple, easy, if you have money and a really good lawyer. That stupid banner was not for people like me, it was for people like them. Didn’t they get it? The world is divided into those who have and those who have not. My wicked step-mother is one of those kind of people, she lives in the land of entitlement, in a suburb in a big mansion, except there’s no room for her stepdaughter, you know, me the drug addict.

She and my daddy can have five martinis plus and smoke cigarettes but I’m not allowed to sleepover, damn hypocrites with their “own” children now. You know what? You don’t always learn when you are “in a tight place.” Got that? It’s not FOR everyone.  Me? I’ve been pushed into a lot of tight places in my life, gray, dusty, tiny, urine smelling corners and what did I learn? I learned to get out of that space and find another. That’s it. Some people like tiny spaces, especially those whose daddy don’t love them any more.

There you have it twinkle-toes. “Tides don’t always turn” and maybe I don’t want  this tide to turn. Face it, my daddy and I used to be so close, and now he doesn’t even talk to me. She made him like that, I know it. He doesn’t want anything to do with me now, the wicked witch of the north changed him and now I’m trash. So, you see that corner I’m in? Once I get out, I’m hitching a ride to NYC, to live in the streets with my fellow bums, to get drunk every single day with beer and cheap box wine and at night score drugs until I’m dead and gone. You think I want to be alive? Hell no.

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/harrietbee126390.html#CjQDWIeOXQhWKejR.99

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/harrietbee126390.html#CjQDWIeOXQhWKejR.99

FWF Kellie Elmore

Source: We Heart It

Bear and me

my name is greta, i am five. i live here with my bestest friend Bear, we used to live someplace else but no more. we came 2gether cuz wee had 2 cuz of the bad stuff for us  but we love it here. he and i are the ones in charge of all the other friends and family. theres mr.  red cat, an mrs.duck and her yello ducklins, monkeys that make me laugh when they tickle me under my chin or throw me lellow bananas. they swing from branch 2 branch like a circus show some person in the bad other world took me from.

circuses were fun once but not ythe other part where i got losted and the mean man pushed me in the bathroon door an hurtted me a lot. he lockeded the door and i tried to screem but no words came out and my momma culdlnt find me cuz he coverred my lips with a smelly rag. no daddy came neither, but i new they was lookin for me cuz i kept hearing my name in the air. for a little while until i was asleep an i f elt sick.

wen i woke up i didn t now wher i was, and i has to throw up bad. the mean guy was still ther and he was madder than smoke i got sick again and again but i had to. i didnt want to mac him mad, i swear. he hit me a lot. he told me to shut up and used a realy bad wordd but i cant repeat it but it starts with the letter  f—. i tried to stop sayin anythin and to stop cryin but i wantd my momma and daddy sew much.he sayd they didnt want me no more an i was gonna be dead soon after he got some money for me.

he sayed he waz gonna sell me but somethin bad happened an there was lots of bad men fighting an screeming, i herd guns an shootin, i saw red blood flyin aroun the small white room, no win-dows. i tried to pre tednd i was sleepin but th en i messed up. i opened my eyes too fast and 2 guys, one the meanest one, got a shot gun an the other a small gun an they both shotted at me the same time, in my bleedin heart and left me. i waz bleedin an in the beginnig it hurt but i couldnt cry an then it didnt hurt an i was raised up to be here past the blue sky an puffy clouds to be betterer an happier to live with Bear an my animal friends forever. i no peoples say that some mans and womens are good but i dont  care i dont believe them, an i dont have to cuz my world is safe up here with my forest family.

Just One More Hug

Wednesday, November 13, 2013.

Screenshot from a public domain film The Littl...

Screenshot from a public domain film The Little Princess (1939) starring Shirley Temple and Richard Greene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today would have been my dad’s 90th birthday, he died eleven years ago. I guarantee you it will not be an easy day or night for any of us. I’m trying to use this day to remind me of what a wonderful father he was, how he loved birthdays and presents and food and more food and little presents that cost less than a few dollars which we called “shmonsas.”

I miss him, those feelings stab at my heart and reopen wounds I thought had healed. Apparently, there is no complete healing from death and pain.  Since we have talked about my dad lately I feel the pain, as if it was fresh, wounds ripped open, knives sharpened and stabbing pain. Tears are spilling down my eyes, in the catch of my voice.

Of all times, the day before his birthday I found myself making his favorite, home-made pea soup.  I hadn’t even realized that his birthday was coming up because I was focusing only on 11/11 my favorite day and time. That meant today was 11/12 and I realized my husband and I are having dinner with my mom on Wednesday, not even conscious that Wednesday, 11/13 was my dad’s birthday. The world works in strange ways, I still believe there is a reason for everything.

Every Saturday morning when I was a child, my dad and I would watch Shirley Temple movies together, just the two of us. He would take his finger and wipe his eyes quickly and I once asked him if he was crying. He told me he had allergies but soon enough I learned the truth. Every week, another Shirley Temple movie, The Little Princess, Curly Top etc. was on. Saturday mornings were very special for me and my dad.

When I was older we would get bagels which was not technically stealing since the store was not open and once he and I got off the tram in Austria to buy bratwurst thick with golden brown mustard and rolls and left my mother and sister on the tram-car (not realizing they had no idea where they were and that we were gone.) As sorry as we were, he and I still held unto our sides remembering my mother’s fuming face, nostrils flaring. Luckily, he was the one who got in trouble, not me.

We would all go to Pathmark grocery shopping while I still lived at home and we would put ridiculous sized items in the cart while the other person wasn’t looking, 5 gallons of pickles, 10 gallons of ketchup, we thought we were hilarious. Sometimes someone had opened up a bag of cookies (No, it was not us) but we would help ourselves to samples. Once when my mother was away ( working) we went to a Spanish restaurant and got a little tipsy on Sangria, toasting wall paper hangers that did not show up. My kids will be shocked to hear this!  Another time, I was driving home from my married life in Boston, pregnant with my first child and he had come down as a surprise to direct traffic wearing an orange helmet with a bright orange sign with my name and arrows so that I wouldn’t get lost. If I had one sentence to describe him, it would be that one. When there were mice crawling over my bed and feet in my apartment he would pick me up and bring me “home.” Nothing was too much.

My mom, my husband and I will eat dinner at a restaurant and try to celebrate his life instead of mourning it.  I thought I might want to put a candle on my dessert for him but I can’t kid myself, I’d burst into tears before it even came. I think I’ll just say my own few words, privately. He was a wonderful father to both my sister and me: nurturing, warm, supportive. I still miss his warm hugs the most, a true loss. Prone to educational talks that were a bit too lengthy what would I do now to hear one again. I could count on to him to at least understand my side even if we didn’t agree, it’s been so long, eleven years, that I can’t even remember what that feels like anymore. We were so similar, he and I, my mother and my sister, exactly alike.

He has sent me messages from the other side except for a brief interruption which was partially my fault but now those messages will be back. I am sure of it. In fact, I just found an angel that I completely forgot about and now she is hanging happily from my crisp, new bulletin board. There are no more words, except to say, Daddy, I love you, I miss you, I’ll always miss the dad that you were to me. I miss your bear hugs where I knew I felt so loved and safe. I miss you being in my corner supporting me. I will never stop missing that. Happy Birthday, Daddy. Love, from “The Little One.(8)”