To Be A Gay Man... With Colitis
From the article written by Jordan Whelan and shared by Rosie O'Donnell, To Be A Gay Man Is To Be A Chameleon
(Jordan Whelan via Huffpost)
On September 8, 1986 I was born a beautiful heterosexual boy.
Though my genetic code would hide a different tale, I am one of millions of gay people who enter this world under the umbrella of presumption.
Beside my crib lay blue paint swatches nearly identical to the shade swaddling my nine-pound frame. A smattering of sports symbolism adorned the walls of the hospital. As a society we offer so little options for a world of people brimming with differences.
By age three, I was a most garrulous one, toeing the line between extreme extroversion and flamboyance.
It was obvious I had strayed from the mould. A chorus of onlookers who were all sure I would "break a lot of girls' hearts some day" successfully drowned out my exaggerated movements. We are creatures of habit and differences make people uncomfortable.
By age 11, my body had started to betray me. I so wanted to gain control over what everyone else around me could see. There was the predilection toward female friendships, gesticulating hand movements or a lisp that was emulated in chorus by my classmates.
My mom made countless visits to the school in an attempt to shield me from what lay ahead. She loved me and knew what was happening. I salvaged pieces of my self-esteem though academic achievements and hobbled into high school. One of my neighbours, Jeff, was without such a reserve chute. Seeing no finish line he took his life before his 14th birthday.
You would be hard pressed to find a gay man with a memorable high-school experience. Sexual experiences are often transient and with male classmates whose one-off curiosity wanes in minutes. Our crushes and sexual experiences are often hidden, like the parts of ourselves we've learned to hate. We learn love late, if at all.
There are little tales of prom photos and first loves juxtaposed with a limousine. We faked it or didn't attend events at all. We were onlookers to a life that wasn't ours for the taking.
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