The long, lucky streak of nothing but acceptance, joy, relief or at least polite tolerance from those I know and care about since I came out in 1992 has ended. The rather adult words “U ARE A FAGGOT” were delivered to me by a boy who is not yet a man. He ended a streak of positivity that began when he was a child who was barely even a boy.
Some back story: I grew up in what can only be called an idyllic household; I have two parents who to this day love each other, make each other laugh, and often showed simple affection and just a general liking of each other in front of us kids. My strong, personal sense of abundance comes not only from their constancy, but also their consistent encouragement and optimism towards the Future. No, we didn’t have a lot of money, but we had enough, or at least we were shielded from the bulk of the worrying about not having enough.
Sometimes I think that having had three children (all boys) in four years might classify them as insane, but it would be a fun, zany, kicky kind of crazy and not the vituperative kind of crazy my family has been facing of late.
As the rest of us bear witness to (and bear scars from) the breakup of my brother’s marriage, our suffering is nothing compared to what my brother’s children must be going through; it was one of my nephews who uttered the personally historic words, and for reasons I cannot fathom. It smacks of powerful inducement.
One might think that living 3000 miles away from their Ground Zero—and having almost no contact with their family except for giving them reassurances that my relationships with each of them would not be significantly altered—would earn me Neutrality in the War of the ‘Boses. They’ve always understood that the only side i choose is the truth.
Instead, I’m tossed upon the pyre along with everyone else, to be burned in effigy.
I wonder if my soon to be sister-no-longer-in-law will sell tickets to the bonfire. It should be quite a spectacle: we flamers burn especially bright.