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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sat Sep 5, 2015, 02:43 PM

2. About 14. But it was an extended hair-rasing realization, at first, for me.

My older brothers realized my preferences long before I acknowledged such. I wish they'd given me more (information, courage), but being preoccupied with their own adolescent conundri, I was on my own.
Here was the real shocker to me. Over 2 years I was coming to the realization I was homosexual. This was the early 1970's in a very small, isolated and backwards western cowtown. The only resources available in our school library were published in the 1950's (not unusual, the local population had voted down any education-related funding, ordinances, support for years. our building were overcrowded and resources so old and useless it was ridiculous) and... listed "homosexuality" as a disorder to be treated, hospitalized, electrocuted, shunned, oh my fucking ghod.
I kept my deep, dark secret to myself for 2 years. Some of the materials I had read referred to homosexuality as a "stage" towards heterosexuality. So I kept waiting for the "change" to come around, that never came.
I know I was 14 when I finally mustered up the courage to talk to someone about it. One of my older, occasional babysitters, Debra, was a "hippie", and very open-minded. She enlightened me to a few things, that at least I wasn't alone, that there was a great movement for homosexuals to live openly that started with some riot in NYC, but... she still damaged me with "It's probably a phase you'll grow out of".
The same year, I made a mistake. Oh, I made a horribly miscalculated trust mistake. I told one of my closest friends (suddenly my nemesis after) that when I grew up I didn't want to marry a woman, I wanted to marry another man.
My life went straight to shit. The next two years were sheer hell until I ran away from the bullying. I even had an ugly encounter with the master of hate himself, Fred Phelps, whose extended relatives lived in our town. They held a "hate fest" in my honor, a trick: invited me to "party" at their house that I quickly realized was an ugly ritual "send my soul to hell" gathering. There was no outreach, no love, nothing but the ugliest man I've ever seen in my life spitting and screaming in my face. Needless to say I didn't hang around for this long.
But the bullying from all peers escalated on the Phelp's families fanning the flames. No one, not my parents, no faculty, no authority lifted a finger to protect me. My mother's words in response to her attitude change towards me: "Love you? I don't even like you anymore". Between that and all that I knew was one odd factoid Debra had told me 2 years earlier: something about San Francisco being a refuge for homosexuals.
After a few trial runaways to local friends, to come back home to no better conditions each time and winter coming on fall of 1976, I'd had it. I packed up a large backpack with all the clothes and food I could steal and was gone before morning. It was snowing, but I got rides all the way there.
Coming out can be a very convoluted process. I will tell you I very nearly ended my life hanging from a freeway overpass one night I spent under one with all the PTSD in my head from my rough adolescence. I had very little contact with my parents until many years later when my other half attempted a forced reconciliation, a hair raising surprise to find out he'd flown my parents out to visit just before I graduated from college. He was sorry he did that. And I'm afraid my coming out was not pleasant for either side of the equation. I lambasted them up one side and down the other until my mother was in tears and my dad took her to a motel room.
I explained to Eldon that I appreciated what he'd attempted, but he realized himself this wasn't going to turn into the happy family reunion he'd planned.
I can't change the past. I have to swallow and just live with the PTSD nightmares of it all which even nearly 40 years later sometimes still haunt me. If I could sue every last idiot who made my coming-of-age into a nightmare I'd leave them every bit as devastated as I was as a turnabout fair play. The list of defendents in the case would be quite long. But I assure you I have thought about class-action towards the Phelps bunch. I've thought about it a lot. It makes me wonder how many other young lives have been wrecking-balled by their hateful "ministry".
Sorry for the long explanation, the whole thing is a novel in the works with lighthearted spiritual details mixed in. Had my circumstances been different, I'd have busted out of that scary closet at 14. I cringe that there are still the likes of this dipshit county clerk attempting to demonize gays.
I am so happy to see this day when our president himself said: "It gets better". I'm shouting from the rooftops inside that we got our day in court to no longer accept second-class citizenship. I keep the ugly angry monster who wants vengeance in check.

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MarianJack Sep 2015 OP
Betty Karlson Sep 2015 #1
MarianJack Sep 2015 #3
Betty Karlson Sep 2015 #8
MarianJack Sep 2015 #9
Betty Karlson Sep 2015 #11
nomorenomore08 Sep 2015 #12
LineReply About 14. But it was an extended hair-rasing realization, at first, for me.
nightscanner59 Sep 2015 #2
MarianJack Sep 2015 #4
Prism Sep 2015 #5
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MarianJack Sep 2015 #10
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