Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chasms of the Heart

Dear Mom and Dad,

How do I even begin this? I have started this letter so many times that even as I write it now my stomach twists up in knots of fear and panic. You two mean a great deal in my life. I love you both beyond words. I ache so much to just tell you this in person, to walk with you somewhere (anywhere) and talk with you for hours. If it were in my power, I would talk until you understand where I'm coming from and accept me for who I am. 

As I write this, I realize that I have been trying to tell you this ever since the day I came out to you. Eight years later and the fact is that I'm still gay. Nothing has changed. My heart remains ever bound to the male gender as it did in the beginning. 

I am as scared now as I was then when I sat on your bed in the house on Gray Mare Way. My palms were sweaty then and I was so terrified to admit what I had come to realize. It was you, Mom, that I talked to first. I was too scared to actually ask to talk to you. I had to make you ask me what was wrong first. So when I told you and you didn't even respond I was devastated. It felt as though some chasm had opened up and I was falling down into a dark hole. But then I felt betrayed when days later I discovered that you told Dad and he never thought to share that he knew this about me. That knowledge hurt so much. My parents knew of the terror that was overtaking my life at the time but didn't think it necessary to talk to me about it. 

I stood alone then.

Now I stand here once again. I don't know how to close the chasm that I feel has opened up between us. I'm afraid that you don't want that chasm breached. But I have to do it. I have to cross over and reach out to you. I am your son! I love you guys more than anything in the world. I'm no longer afraid of who I am. I'm no longer afraid to walk through life as I am: a gay man. But I am afraid of losing you two. I know that I can't wait for you to come to me. You won't. But I will come to you. 

Stand with me. 

Love me for who I am. It's all I'm asking. I want more than anything to tell you about how my heart beats over a guy that I like. How I look forward to the day when I have kids with that special someone. How I ache so much to be loved and needed. I want to share with you my pain and joy. Not to torture and torment you. But as an expression of love. Let me have that with you. You have that with your other children. Why not me? 

I am the one that will happily care for you when old age has at last caught up with you. I am the one that will happily and willingly strive to make your life easier for you. I only ask that you do that for me in return. Be there emotionally. Don't pull back, please! We are a family and I want to do my part to be there for everyone. Why is it permitted to ignore who I am and then to lash out at me to be something I'm not? I love you and always will. 

Your son always,

End of the World

Arch Nemesis,

This is quite possibly my favorite sad song. You should like it too.

May you see reason someday,
Mr. Sanity


Arch Nemesis,

Compassion. Forgiveness. Communication. Understanding. These are qualities that are essential to friendship. They transcend the arbitrary barriers of religion, race, sexuality, gender, and age. Love, in all its forms, rests upon these most simple and yet difficult qualities. Without these qualities, friendships and romantic relationships whither and die. Upon these qualities rests the entirety of a relationship full of experiences and commonalities that reside between individuals bound together by the cords of friendship and love.

Humans are social creatures. This is most apparent when some of the cruelest forms of punishments that can be dealt out in civilized society takes the form of ostracizing a member from a peer group. The pain of loneliness, isolation, or being ignored are heavy and almost impossible to bear at times.

Those qualities listed above are essential and for that, arch nemesis. But I have learned more than just that. Who am I? Am I the sum of just labels? Do they offer any real insight into me as a person? Am I the sum total of characteristics, quirks, and the odd smile now and then? Am I who I am from my actions or what others see of me?


What do these three things tell about me? Very little actually. None convey the joy that I have for reading, the compassion and love I have for my friends and those around me, or even the zest that I have for life. They cannot because they aren't meant to. They are simply labels of the most mundane kind. Rather, I am what I am by how I treat others. What I think, feel, and say matter very little except to only reinforce how I react to others. We are all defined by how we treat others. A prophet is nothing unless he is serving others according to the calling God has given him. A father will never be a father unless he has children to raise, support, and love. A dictator is nothing unless there are those cowering beneath the lash of his tyranny.

I am more than my labels. Labels are one-dimensional, shallow descriptions of nothing more than just a flimsy description instead of the depth and eloquence of truly knowing someone for all their faults, strengths, quirks, sorrows, and weaknesses. Whatever you are, arch nemesis, far outweigh your labels (evil, terrified of women, sissy, etc.).

So, arch nemesis, what are you?

May you see reason someday,
Mr. Sanity