To start, I would like to suggest that anyone who has not seen the TV movie “Prayers for Bobby” to watch it. For those who do not already know, it is the true story that serves as a cautionary tale to parents of LGBT youth. The plot sees a fundamentalist Christian mother discover her son’s homosexuality. Upon this revelation, she pounds the bible into his head and eventually drives him to suicide. In a time where other countries are still outlawing LGBT activity among consenting adults and even going as far as to kill the people in some cases, I feel it is important to tell my own story, which could easily have ended with suicide, like “Prayers for Bobby”. I want the community to band together in a way that will shake the Earth and stop this false piety. To do this, the left must become acquainted with the customs of the right, stories must be told, testimonies revealed. This is my two cents. Please, attend the tale.
I was raised in a very strict, religious household. My existence was a sheltered one. Repression never seemed to be a fitting word to describe life with my family, at least not until I abandoned the nest. It was just a part of life. Seclusion and denial of friendship with others my age was the norm for me. Other children were always viewed as liabilities and negative influence by parents, my mother in particular. But, I digress. I began noticing other differences in myself and other people age early in life, especially once puberty struck. Even before then, however, my desire for the touch of another male, for his love and affection, was intense. All of my dreams and fantasies (romantically speaking) never included me with a woman.
At last, by the age of sixteen, I could do nothing more to resist my urges. It felt unnatural and unkind to myself to do so. I told my best friend in school that I was gay (which was no surprise to her), and through her I met a kind gay couple a little older than myself. They would come visit me at my house, met my parents and things were great. Unbeknownst to my parents, they were entertaining homosexuals, one of whom was their own child. This time of bliss was short-lived, as a family friend soon found out about my escapades and outed me to my parents. In their mind, they were saving me from myself. So, my parents put me in a different school where no one knew my dirty little secret and I was back to square one. I got a job stocking shelves at the local grocer and was starting over. Things were about to get worse, though.
I eventually got a boyfriend who lived in the next town over. I kept it all under wraps for a short while, until ANOTHER righteous family friend found out about my escapades and I was outed a second time. I was taken out of school early by my parents and this is when all hell broke loose.
“So, you really are a faggot?” my mother said.
“I guess that’s one way to put it,” I replied, unwilling to deny the truth.
Wham! She struck me in the face twice. In the hours and days that followed, the world simply stopped turning. I was made to quit school and my job. I was forced to hand over my truck keys, my licence, any and all media devices, and give up any clothes that remotely suggested flamboyance. For a solid year, I was kept at home. No education, no job, no friends, no entertainment of a secular nature. The only time I was allowed out of the house was to attend church with my family. Of course, I was also seeing the preacher of the church regularly to cleanse my perversion and realize God’s true plan for my life.
It felt like an eternity, but I finally turned seventeen (the legal age of emancipation in my home state) and my parents let me go back to school at a private Christian academy. Three days after starting school again, I took the opportunity placed before me. I called a friend’s mother in secret and had her meet me at a store in town, where I abandoned my truck and left my family behind. Ever since then, I’ve been on my own.
I encourage no one to rush into things as I did. But if one young person suffering through what I was dealing with or worse reads this, I want you to know this is not the end for you. The community has made progress, but times are still challenging. Those like you who have gone before and lived through this love you without even knowing you. We are doing all we can to make this world see you for the beautiful part of nature you are. And we will never stop. We will stand in solidarity against this arid jungle of tyranny and unite against prejudice and oppression. Never give up, and never forget who you are!