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.