PART SIX----THIS IS MY LIFE
A child born and raised on the edge of a
swampland I had zero knowledge of the world of homosexuality. I was ashamed of
many things but homosexuality was not one of them. I was ashamed of the log cabin we lived in. I
was ashamed of the out-dated automobile my father drove. I was ashamed of the
hand-me-down clothes I wore to school. I was ashamed to tell my teachers that I
did not own a pair of shoes. Other than that, I was a normal boy in most every way, but many years passed before I realized the direct result of the social pressures
that prevailed within the world of homosexuality. Louisiana
A gay boy falling in love with a straight classmate was a recipe for failure. Nevertheless, I was left with a damaged heart. The question is then asked, “How do you mend a broken heart?” The English language does not possess a word that sufficiently describes how to fine-tune a broken heart and place it in perfect harmony with the demands of society. American society is dominated by a macho (masculinity) culture, therefore it is impossible to mend a heart broken by the confines of social norms.
In an attempt to mend a broken heart actions occurred that require regrets. “Regrets, I have a few,” but the biggest regret is the inability to forgive myself. Forgive me for the things I have done “when I was young.” Forgive me for the years wasted living in the closet. Forgive me for not “coming out” to my parents, especially my mother. Forgive me for the failure to provide better guidance to troubled LGBTQ students. Forgive me for the conflicts I had with God, and the failure to understand my true purpose in life.
The history of the universe is the history of oppression. Christianity has totally misrepresented sexual orientation. They have emphasized Biblical scriptures that fit their lifestyle and ignored others. In terms of longevity it is not even close in the number of years LGBTQ individuals have been subjugated to oppression. In counting the cost, it is unbelievable the discrimination that has needlessly been placed upon LGBTQ people. Religious oppression has been practiced around the world for thousands of years with group after group each claiming their righteousness is superior to all others. Under the present administration American Christianity has proven to the world how fragile religious doctrines really are.
Even though it has been slow, the world is realizing the hypocrisy that is within most religious organizations. For the first time in history the public has witnessed the pealing back of layer after layer of Christianity and what it has revealed is alarming. Christians have incorporated into their standard doctrine acts that are unbelievable sinful, and the exposure has been devastating. They are now supporting murder, pedophilia, cheating, lying, bigotry, and numerous other forms of injustices.
It does not require a genius to read the handwriting on the wall. When Christianity began to endorse sin the outcome was predictable. I began calling for change many years ago. While I was waiting for American Christianity to change, a vacation changed the path of my life. I was offered a job writing for a local newspaper in a third world country. Not only did I find a new life, but I found a novel world filled with new and different people. It is what I call my “second chance” on life. It was then that I was able to bury a constrained man and give birth to a free man in a “coming out” celebration.
Until this “coming out” experience, the highlights of my life were flat notes sung with an element of discord with each note. Now “you can tell everybody” this one time secret life of a gay boy is now the happy life of a gay man experiencing freedoms never before experienced. A mere taste of freedom meant to me never returning to the restricted walls of a closet. If my knight in shining armor never appears, I can truthfully say, “I don’t need you anymore.”
Now I can put to rest a myth. Some say an 80 year old plant will never bloom, but I can tell you that an 80 year old man can blossom. I can also tell you that, “a whole lot-of loving,” can take place at eighty. Lay down the walking cane, put aside the walker, and ditch the wheelchair, I am enjoying life to its fullest. Retirement could never be better!
Congregations are in order to THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD. It is a remarkable accomplishment that students organized a march that will go down in history as one of the greatest events of all times. Millions of students from around the globe marched to bring attention to the climate crisis. Although other children marches have occurred this was the first global climate march. Hooray for students! It is unbelievable, but a number of adults, including some church leaders — pastors of large congregations --- have spoken out against the children’s march. No longer hold my tongue! Shame on you!!! Perhaps those individuals should become familiar with their own scripture: Isaiah 11: 6 --- AND A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM. I stand firmly with the children of the world who apparently are more concerned about the future of the universe than many adults.
Now I send a message to all LGBTQ children, those who are presently living and those yet to be born. Rise up young boys and girls and never be ashamed of who you are. If it can be done for climate change it can be done for equal rights. Join the fight with other minorities who have suffered at the hands of vindictive white men. The responsibility rests on your shoulders to make sure the world never forgets the brave heroes and heroines, who gave their lives so we can enjoy the rights we have today. The world must never forget the LGBTQ individuals, who were beaten, hailed to fence posts, hanged, beheaded, and pushed from tall buildings. We must never allow any government to take away the rights we have already earned, and we must continue to fight for all our civil rights because “it’s been a long time coming, but I know change is gonna come.”
Footnote----quotations represent words taken from Rock and Roll songs that have been made famous in the
and around the world. USA