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

*”Bye, Bye Borders, Borders, Bye Bye”

Borders store closing

Image by scazon via Flickr

Closing all Borders stores is an out-and-out major disappointment. It stinks, big time. What now? Adios Barnes and Noble too? I’m not saying that I don’t love Amazon.com because I do, I like it for its convenience and low prices. Sigh, but really, you can’t sit at Amazon and drink a cup of coffee. You can’t leisurely and lovingly stroll down the aisles to see what the new hardcover books look like or how the new in paperback books are all lined up in a perfect row begging for hands to fondle them. It’s just not right and it’s sad.

Now, there is no where to go and stroll through the aisles, looking at book jackets, stopping to read the titles, gently touching my fingertips to the outline of the illustration. Borders was a great place to meet, it was in the perfect place for so many people from nearby medical offices, stores, office buildings and deli’s to meet.  Closing Borders is closing a network of people who like to linger, socialize and have a damn cup of coffee even it tasted like dirty dishwater. It was a place to sit and not ever feel rushed. You could linger among magazines and mochachinos. You could also meet like-minded people, give unsolicited advice about books, make friends, start a book club, read books to their springy, enthusiastic children.

So now, what do we do? Read our lifeless Kindles (I don’t use the one I ordered years ago) by ourselves, never touching a piece of fine, heavy, cream-colored paper? Part of  closing this particular business is not like saying good-bye to a furniture store or a nail salon, it’s saying good-bye to a way of life. A nice, peaceful way of life where people could talk, they could exchange ideas and suggest books for each other or lend coupons. It was a social place as well as a store. My children may never sit in a bookstore and linger over a heavenly array of different books, with different colorful covers and  eat snacks. They won’t meet other people or share a cup of coffee or talk to other people their age. They will be hunched over their iPhones and all they need, it seems, is a credit card and a computer. It’s a sad statement for our society.

*Sung to the tune of  “Bye, Bye, Baby, Baby Goodbye…” By the Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons

Pop Cop: Celebrity Apprentice

I’ve sunk to a new low, although I seem to say that quite a bit. Watched a rerun of The Celebrity Apprentice tonight, a show that we watched when the children were little and loved it, we all used to watch as a family. If someone wasn’t able to be home to see it live we would tape it and then watch it the next day together. Family time. The only thing that was missing was a big bowl of popcorn.

Tonight, however, I have bronchitis, feel miserable and was in bed. Nothing I wanted to watch on TV, my “shows” Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice were repeats last night apparently because of some (stupid) basketball game. The clicker on my TV found its way to a repeat performance of the first Celebrity Apprentice of the season. Famous women vs famous men. It set women’s rights back about 50 years.

I could say that I was watching the show for a Sociology Project but then I would be lying. I would, however, not be lying to say that watching the men and women work and fight together should have been a Sociology 101 course. It was sad. Sad and true. The men when confronted with who was to leave had no problem looking at each other in the face, calling a name and there were no hard feelings. The women? They were pathetic and it was not their fault. It is how women are socialized in this world. No woman could name another woman who should leave, it was too hard, they all worked together, they were a team. What they really were was a pathetic mess and it was hard to watch. Finally, one brave woman, meekly suggested a name after Donald Trump cursed his way to finally get an answer. Then, the women suddenly became more empowered with the exception of Cyndi Lauper who kept shaking her poufy and disheveled blonde hair head from side to side, unable to utter a word.

Buck up women!  There is no time for this in business, in the corporate world. Men/boys will fight with each other and three seconds later they stand up and begin to play basketball together. Women/girls have hurt feelings and will start whispering and attacking the other girl behind her back and act all catty and upset. They don’t shake hands and continue to play together, they side with one girl and pretend the rest of the girls are invisible.

That’s no way to run the world. Show the men up with your independence and strength, dominate the world with your power. I know it’s only The Celebrity Apprentice but it gives us women a bad name. I know it’s not easy but please, for the sake of all women, man up!