It has been one year, six months and 19 days since I came out to you. A year ago I believed I only had two options to save myself from the intolerant and loveless home you created: I would either have to commit suicide, or leave home and fend for myself.
Needless to say, I couldn’t bring myself to do either. I was as much a coward as you said I was; just as I refused to try a woman out of what you described as fear, I also refused to take a leap and leave.
You kept lifting the metaphoric hammer of hate and trying to beat the gay out of me, and I did nothing. But I have since discovered that I am not as fragile as your hammer had hoped, and out of the trauma of your rejection I have learned never to give up. You can try to take apart my life, and you can try and dissect my likes and dislikes. Spit on who I am. Strip away what I believe in. You can even tear my coming out letter into a hundred pieces.
I will not be moved.
I will continue re-building my confidence – my life. I will continue looking inwards and utilising my skills and mind to build a brighter future for myself. And when I am called selfish, I will acknowledge this selfishness. I will own my empowerment and my future, for this is my life and not yours.
As is evident, I am still angry. I am absolutely disgusted at how I must live; at how my sister was able to live a very different life, in a home full of love. We now live in a permanent state of don’t ask, don’t tell. And whilst that may work for you, the trauma of the past and the permanent wounds that accompany it have left me with anxiety and stunted confidence. I am no longer the son you knew. I cannot stand to look at the parts of me you dissected – the books I read, the people I admired. I have lost friends, and I have grown accustomed to keeping myself so busy that I have a good excuse for not living the life I’m entitled to.
I don’t know whether I’ll ever forgive and forget. All I know is that I will keep keeping on. I will not throw away my future and I will not allow myself to be hurt any further. It’s been one year, six months and 19 days, and I’m still here.
–anonymous post submitted to FeministsSA —