Much like Jesus turning over tables because he was unhappy with the financial decisions and shenanigans going on in the church, I too must rip through a belief set that says : black fag your limits are defined and you must not play big in the world and limit what you can think, be or dream for yourself.
As I am consistently approached to offer my written opinions and well thought out world views, my desire to be seen and heard and known begins to shrink. This is the glory and efficacy of internalized homophobia.
As a child, it was not safe to be “seen”.
Being different could mean an ass kicking with no one to complain to or seek help. Often when someone was attempting or being highly successful in their attempt to terrorize or humiliate me my well meaning but clueless and overwhelmed mother would offer the helpful advice to “ignore” them.
This would have been a great idea if this was before the onslaught of brutality.
This would have worked if these people were bears or bees.
Visiting my parents recently and viewing some very old photographs sent me down a road of recollection that I was certain had been handled and dealt with (forgotten about). While looking at these old photos, I began reflecting on my dreams both then and now.
Having a panic attack four days after coming back to my California home reminded me that those demons were still present. They were waiting for the right music that would inevitably invite theme to dance.
Memories remind us of both nightmares and as Mr. Hughes would say : Dreams deferred.
I remember wanting to conquer the world with my special brand of singing, dancing, acting, comedy and showmanship.
Then I turned 7.
I do not recall ever not liking myself or feeling less than until this very young age. Perhaps, homophobia really turns up things a notch or two once it feels that you are at your most vulnerable.
Why did I think I couldn’t do certain things ? Why did I suffer silently all the while plotting to get away ?
To break away from this very oppressive way of thinking and being in the world, I have designed an effective and highly actionable set of points that will help us all.
To crush Homophobia’s grip on our minds, the first step is recognizing the anger surrounding limits that we accepted to survive and the purpose of their creation: silence and domination.
Often the minds and hearts of those that say they love you will be confused by this “culture of lies” we are all forced to live in. As a result,those of us who revel in our difference and embrace it unapologetically will be branded:angry,stubborn and crazy.
I have been labeled all of these things and worse.
This is a way to discredit and dismiss us and our thoughts.
This threat of being ostracized prevents us from being mentally healthy and holding on to our right minds.
Julia Cameron states: Anger is a call to action not the action itself.
Many gay men have serious problems with both anger and a close result of its application, power.
Growing up with confused and emotionally unhealthy individuals, anger and power were always improperly directed. Many gay men were often terrorized as young boys for not being like other boys. Many adults wielded their power in our direction to ridicule and shame us. Much like the school yard bullies who physically threatened us, we were taught early and often that power and anger were negative forces and could cause us harm.
Many gay men I know spend and inordinate amount of time angry at the wrong things or not angry for fear of what they or their anger might to do the public at large.
Many times anger has kept me safe or motivated or pissed off long enough to make and stick to some changes that would severely positively impact my life.
My anger has never caused any bloodshed or dismemberment although I have often wished for a Catherine Tramell moment and some deftness with an ice pick or a pot to shove someone’s rabbit into.
These things have never occurred.
I have had the good presence of mind to change my life by not dating bozos and losers, fighting to make sure that my loneliness and need for love and acceptance didn’t allow me to make life threatening decisions.