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Who I am

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"Nick," my mother said, "will you do the honors of saying grace tonight?"

"Sure," I replied. I closed my eyes, took my mother and fathers hand, and began. "Dear Lord, I thank thee for the roof over my head and the hot, delicious food on my table. Amen." I released my parents hands. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mother beaming. She enjoyed when I said grace before dinner, even though I usually said the same thing.

"My little boy is growing up!" she always said. “Someday, he’ll also have children who’ll love the Lord just as much as us. Praise be to God!” My father would nod silently and help himself to food.


My parents told me since I was a young boy that God and Jesus were the Almighty; the ones who’d forgive me for my sins. I attended a Catholic school and went to church every Sunday. My parents loved God, and hated homosexuals.

In other words, they hated me as well. They just didn’t know it yet. I just didn’t understand why they’d hate me. God forgave us for our sins, and if being gay was a sin, why couldn’t we be forgiven? I’ll never know. What I do know is my parents will never love their son again.


I can’t tell them. I know I should, that I eventually have to, but I cannot. I can’t tell them who I really am; that I really love guys as opposed to girls. Sure, I’ve dated a few girls, but deep down I knew it wasn’t right. Therefore, the relationships didn’t last. I want love, love that is right for me.

I want a boyfriend; a clean, cut young man who will be loved and accepted by my Catholic parents.

Keep dreaming, Nick.






***


Days pass, and each day I feel my rage building up inside of me. My anger towards my mother and father continued to grow, but they didn’t even know. Anger, sadness, desire, all raging inside of me, looking for a way out. There was no escape path, though. I am constantly at war with myself. “Tell them!” I think, “JUST TELL THEM, YOU IDIOT!”

But I don’t.

I’m starting to hate myself. “Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I like women? Maybe I’m not really gay,” I always think to myself. But I know better. I can fool my family and friends, but I can’t fool myself. I feel so alone. There’s no where to turn anymore.

There are a few times where I’ve been tempted to tell my parents. About three months ago, I swore in front of my mother. “Nicholas! Say you’re sorry!” she yelled.

“Sorry Mom,” I replied. She stared at me.

“I’m not the only one you have to apologize to.” I sighed.

“Dear Lord, please forgive my sin and give me the strength to never swear again,” I mumbled.

“Good, Nick. God forgives our sins when he knows we really are sorry.”

“Then why won’t he forgive me for being gay?” I almost said. I kept my mouth shut, though. My fear held me back.

When will I find my inner strength?






***


“Today’s the day,” I told myself this morning. My chest is aching, my head is going to explode. “Goodbye, loving parents.” I went downstairs after showering and putting on clean clothes. It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. “But it’s about to get ugly,” I muttered under my breath as I walked down the stairs. Butterflies were fluttering around my stomach. I felt as tough I was going to get sick. “I have to do this. I WILL do this,” I kept telling myself.

I began having flashbacks. My first kiss with a boy…when I realized I’m gay…the shame I felt…listening to my parents rave about homosexuality being a sin…

…and how I cry myself to sleep at night thinking about it.

“Mom? Dad? I need to umm…talk to you guys about something.” I sat down at the kitchen table and waited for them to enter. I heard their footsteps…I heard my heart beating faster then it ever had. I began shaking. “You have to do this,” said the little voice in my head. They wandered into the kitchen with smiles on their faces. Oh, if only they knew what was about to happen.

“Good morning, Nicky,” my mother chirped as she went to sit down. “How are you this morning?”

“Um, I’m okay.” I was still shaking. I’m surprised they couldn’t hear my heart beating faster and faster. “Listen…I, um, need to talk to you guys about something pretty, um, important.” They stared at me blankly. My parents didn’t have a clue. This was going to be more difficult then I thought. “Um…there’s really no other way to say this so I’m just going to throw this out there. Mom, Dad…I’m…I’m…I’m gay.” Silence. I took a deep breath. And another one…and another one…

“How dare you!” my father yelled. I can’t remember him ever yelling at me. He barely raised his voice. “How could you even THINK that?! You better start begging for the Lords forgiveness, boy!” His face was beet red and his hands were balled into tight fists. My mother began to cry.

“Honey, how could you be sure?” my mother asked. “We didn’t raise you to be like this. We raised you as a child of the Lord, not as a…homo.” She seemed to shudder as she spat out that last word.

Homo. My mom just referred to me as “a homo.” I sighed. “It doesn’t matter how you raised me,” I explained, “it’s just who I am. I was born this way. I’m telling you, I am gay. God has nothing to do with it.” My dad started banging his fists on the table. “Dammit, Nick! Stop saying that! You are NOT GAY!” I could clearly see the veins popping out of his neck; his face went from red to purple. For a moment, I was speechless. I’ve never, ever seen a person so enraged before. I could feel tears burning in my eyes, but I refused to let them escape. My mother saw this.

“Sweetie, calm down,” my mother cooed to my father. She tried rubbing his arm and tried to soothe him. It didn’t work.

“CALM DOWN?!” my father screamed. “How can I calm down? You disrespectful fool! After all these years of teaching you the words of God, you’d think that you’d remember that being a homo is a SIN! You know what? Either you cut this nonsense out or GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! I don’t want any of this gay crap in my home!” Then the tears came. I couldn’t help myself. Finally, I was out of the closet…and now I wish I could run back in.

My mother began to cry. She looked at my father and said “He’s not a sinner, Mike, and you know it. Our son was a gift from the Lord. Nick may have some…sinful feelings as far as love goes, but we will NOT kick him out. I can’t believe you would even say such a thing!” I couldn’t listen to them anymore. I jumped up, grabbed my car keys, and stormed out.

“Where in the world do you think YOU’RE going?!” my father hollered. “Get back here NOW!” I ran out of the house, hopped into my car and drove out as fast as I could.

Without realizing where exactly I was going, I found myself in front of my church. I got out of the car and looked up at the building . I lost it. I dropped to my knees. “WHY?!’ I screamed, with tears streaming down my face. “WHY?! WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG?” I continued to cry. I couldn’t stop. I stared at the church, knowing I could never step foot in there again. Then I came to my senses. “I think you’re the one who’s wrong,” I said out loud looking at the sky. If God was there, I hoped this All Mighty one was listening. “I am not a sinner. I’m just…gay. This is who I am. This is who you made me. So, you’re the one who’s wrong here. Not me.” I started shaking again. Mysteriously, the wind began to blow heavily. “Can you hear me?” I said. “Are you even listening?” The wind continued to blow, and a stack of papers flew my way and collected at my knees. I picked them up. It was pages to the Bible. I sighed. “The Holy Book of…Lies,” I said. “If I’m a sinner for loving who I want, them damn me to Hell!”






***


The years passed, and I began to develop into…me. I found a wonderful boyfriend (who my mother adores), I am more open with my sexuality, and I’ve learned how to be myself. My mother and I continue to be close, even after I moved out of our home about a year later after I came out about being gay, and my father hasn’t spoken to me since I’ve moved out. He’s a man of the Lord; a man who won’t have “a homo son.” Sad? Maybe. But I’ve found my happiness in life, and all I had to do was be myself.





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emb1111 said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 10:41 pm
Wow. This is an amazing story. Beautifully written. Absolutely love it!
 
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