Letters

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Dear Michael,

Okay, so you married a woman. I want to hiss at you, you rotten so-and-so… You community betrayer. You no good fucking breeder…

Just kidding. I imagine the reactions were something similar to that though – with sprinklings of misogyny (“vaginas are yucky,” that sort of thing).  Men! Am I right?

Funny story – a co-worker was into astrology and all that jazz. When she did a reading of the stars I was born under she said the spiritual side was so strong I would pretty much become gay Jesus. As an unabashed hedonist, I was rather disappointed.
Luckily she noted that the same house that determined religiosity also determined addictions – or something to that effect – so it could be that I’m just going to become the world’s greatest alcoholic. Let us pray… May my liver put the fattiest of fois-gras to shame. Martyrdom is for fucking chumps – no disagreement here.
People always regurgitate the same shit like “it gets better” –  as if they are magical incantations that put broken things right again. When I was 16 and broke under the stress of being different in a small, religious, backwater agricultural town, I wound up deeply suicidal and stuck in a psychiatric ward for a few months.
No friends or relatives came to visit. Nobody asked me how I was doing. A month in I remember my dad yelling at the head psychiatrist “fucking fix him – how long until he’s fixed?” Once I was released back into the wild, good friends were wary and distant. Adults looked at me with reserved suspicion. Word had clearly gotten out about my failed attempt to hang myself from the gym rafters.
I’m young and stupid, but I also feel old and pessimistic. The old man inside knows that people don’t want to emphasize with unpleasantness, and they don’t give a flying fuck about the problem. They just want it fixed, and removed from sight.
So I would love to give you a pep talk about how everything is going to fix itself, but I’m not sure how to do that without feeling like a no-good shyster. For a while I was focused on becoming an activist. I couldn’t change what happened to me, but I could help stop it from being inflicted on others. Ha!
Even as I type this I’m laughing at myself.
I moved to the city, baby-faced and free of my bonds, and got to work – majoring in social work and volunteering with various LGBT advocacy groups. They gay community was wonderful. After drinking too much at a party, three gay men raped me and I remember drunkenly slurring out pleas for help but nobody answered them. People in our incredibly accepting and noble little “community” called me a liar and a slut, and shut me out much the same as the straight one back home.
Make of it what you will.
I don’t think the community turned its back on you, so much as the “gay community” never existed in the first place. It’s just a variety mix of superficial bonds and assholes, and uncaring people inconvenienced by the suffering of others. I think you should stop giving a damn about things that make you unhappy, get a bunch of baby parrots like we agreed, and sail into the sunset with your fiancé.
Congratulations on your marriage,
GP
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GP,
I totally agree…
There was a powerful politician that tried to harm me once, and a sweet couple – they offered me food and delivered brutality.
Nobody remembers that. It isn’t fun, but it’s true.
Don’t stop telling your story. Don’t ever quit.
And don’t forget you’re one of the good ones.
If you quit telling your story, the evil people win. They’ll keep talking. You keep on too.
It all balances out.
Always remember: You don’t have to be a great man. Just do your part.
Always,
Michael
P.S. Jen says ‘hi’ and wants you to know we’ll cook dinner for you in Pasadena.
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One thought on “Letters

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