My Gay Timeline: Seventeen Years of Tolerance, Part I.

July 1997: I fall in love for the first time. She’s a girl. I cry because I think God hates me. I pray that he’ll change me.

August 1997: Mom and Dad find out. They tell me I’m going to hell. They call me a dyke. They threaten to kick me out of the house, “No lesbian will live under this roof,” they scream. They scream sexual obscenities at me while I curl into a ball and cry. I am a virgin and I’ve never even kissed a girl.

September 1997: I come out at school. The word “dyke” is keyed into my gym locker. The principal won’t look me in the eye and seems as he might throw up every time he sees me. So, nothing is done about this tiny hate crime. Other kids at school are called fags constantly. Nothing is done.

October 1997: I’m sent to a therapist so he can convince me not to be gay.

November- December 1997: My family just stares at me during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My entire senior year of high school: I change in the bathroom stalls in the locker room because there were some rumors I was looking. I wasn’t looking.

Spring 1998: Friends remind me that I’m going to hell. For the Bible tells me so.

Fall 1998: Holding my girlfriend’s hand and some men in a truck yell, “Dykes!” out of the window.

Spring 1998: Holding my girlfriend’s hand and walking when a woman stops what she’s doing to turn around and curl her lip at us.

Summer 1999: I kiss my girlfriend on the cheek. Some people in a truck see it and yell, “FAGGOTS!” out of the window.

Spring 2000: I quit wearing rainbow things because I’m afraid of someone hurting me. I learn to be more quiet.

Summer 2001: Someone I love very much breaks my heart. My family refers to her as, “my friend.”

2003: Walking alone, a Jeep full of 20 year old guys speeds by me and they yell, in unison, “Fag!”

This one time: I meet my cousin’s new boyfriend. I say hello. He says, “I like to eat pussy, too.”

2004-2007: In graduate school I meet open minded people. But somehow, guys still say, “It would be hot if you kissed that girl over there.”  or “C’mon, Christina, just one fuck. I promise you’ll love it.” or “My wife and I are looking for…”

By this time, I’ve quit holding hands in public. And kissing, that stopped years before this.

2008: Mindy and I get married. I insist the wedding look and feel like a “regular” wedding so everyone realizes that our love is real. We have a huge turn out. I assume everything is wonderful.

Spring 2009: I let myself feel comfortable around family again. I think they love me. I think they don’t even think about sexuality anymore.

2009: Someone says to Mindy and me, “Jesus, you two bicker like you’re married.”  We say, “We are married. You were at the wedding.”

2009: Mindy gets pregnant. No one knows what to think.

March 2010: Cyrus is born. Our lives turn upside down. We isolate ourselves from everyone. We are now lesbian AND preemie parents.

January 2012: We get a divorce. Someone calls Mindy “my friend.” I weep.

Often: People ask, “Who’s the man?”

More often: Men beg me, “Just give me a chance. I can do so may things to you.”

Not long ago: I am told how tolerant the family has been of my choices and friends. (Code for “gay” and “wife/girlfriends”)

Just now: I guess I am naive to think all that is in the past. To think that I am (finally) just another person. That I can just be and be left alone. Or that I can be judged based on asshole things I do and say, like everyone else. But. I’m still gay. I still need to be reminded I don’t fit.

Today: I drive by a billboard that says, “Marriage is 1 man + 1 woman.”  I cry. I remember that this has now been half of my life.

Tomorrow: I add another brick to that wall around me.

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