I recently had a conversation with someone whom I grew up with that we reconnected with after not being close friends for nearly twenty years. Out friendship actually started around the same time as Runaway Train mentioned in the previous post. This person touched my soul in ways that most people on this planet could only wish to. I considered him an amazingly close friend at the time, before we drifted off our own ways in high school because he taught me not to live in fear, and the world isn’t completely out to get me.
“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” — Gianni Versace
I knew I was different from the time I was 6 years old. I didn’t like sports, and structure and rules. I liked doing things differently, I liked to cook when I was younger, I played with dolls, used to sneak around in my mothers shoes because I loved the feeling of being taller (and the shoes made my legs look great.) I pierced my own ears with sewing needles and continue to have all of those holes. I wore earrings in school, and when told to take them out because I was a guy, my reply was somewhere along the lines of more man than you’ll ever be, and more woman than you’ll ever get.
While I always felt the need to break the rules where possible, there were certain things outside of my comfort zone I didn’t dare do. As a kid I didn’t leave my own block, I had plenty of kids in my neighborhood to play with, and honestly didn’t want to be bothered by them because I was to different and would only be picked on. Why invite the hurt in when I can be a shut in and avoid it right? Well in Junior High a lot more kids got pushed into the same school and I was on overload. Not only were boys starting to mature and look even sexier to me, but now I had to get naked to change in gym class in front of 30 other naked boys.
I was in the seventh ring of hell, and didn’t know how to cope! I knew I liked boys, and thought it was wrong. I couldn’t be friends with boys because I would get mixed emotions, and if I got them to mixed up and attempted to act on them I might just get my ass beat. I wouldn’t even think of risking such a thing. I figured if I make friends with a bunch of girls that would offset the desire to get close to the boys. All of my female friends weren’t all that shocked when I came out, but my guy friends rejected me nearly instantly.
But there was one lone guy, whom was unstoppable. He didn’t care who or what you were, just treat him with respect and you’ll get it back. We became friends in seventh grade, and it continued until our high school schedules took us to different parts of the large campus. He lived pretty far from me at the time, so when I’d go hang out at his house I was venturing into uncharted territory. I was scared shitless the first few times but that didn’t stop him from encouraging me to come hang out. Eventually we hung out so often, I felt included by his entire circle of friends!
It was nice to have a circle of guy friends who didn’t care that I was gay, If anything I contributed my sensitivity with words to help all of those pre-teen horn dogs score some pre-martial pussy! The girls in the group were the popular girls, the guys the most popular ones. I felt accepted and in some ways even encouraged.
All of us have our crosses to bare, the demons that have made us have relationship issues. Sometimes love and acceptance doesn’t come from who we feel we want or need it from the most, but rather from who is willing to lend an ear, and inspire us. No one is truly damaged goods no matter how they might feel. We’ve all been hurt by family friends and lovers. Scar tissue always takes longer to heal, and longer to penetrate with letting your heart open up. Some of the most intimate relationships I’ve had with people sex wasn’t ever on the table. Because I didn’t have to worry about holding back for fear of rejection of a lost potentiaal sex partner, I could come as I was.
For all the things I am thankful this person did to make my life shine brighter, I still want to slap him for teaching me how to inhale cigarettes!