Junior and Senior Years (HS)

July 16, 2011

JUNIOR YEAR:  My dad found me and took me back home, where I spent most of my time for the next several months crying, arguing, and sleeping.  All I did was school (calculus) and band, I had no other privileges.  I acquired terrible eating habits for the sole reason of trying to avoid shared space with my parents, so I simply wouldn’t go into the kitchen to get something to eat.  I was very sad and skinny and angry and misunderstood and alone.  I taught myself how to survive without other people, I became the worlds worst communicator, I did whatever I wanted because I realized that no matter what decisions I made, I couldn’t hurt my parents anymore than they were already hurting.  It was the absolute lowest I’ve ever felt.  My mom tried to get me involved in counseling, individual and family, but it was Christian therapy and overall probably more hurtful than helpful.  Mom cried a lot, she read some DUMB DUMB DUMB article online that says “if your daughter is gay then its the moms fault and if your son is gay then its the dads fault” and she fell into a depression just as deep if not deeper than mine.  Looking back I wish I had been there to support her through that time, but I was young and I needed support for myself first.  I used marching band and sex (and I mean sex, not relationships.  At this point, I was mainly being used as an experiment for “bi-curious” (y’all remember that term?) girls, just to reaffirm that, yes, they were straight) as my only forms of expression.  I threw myself into the band program, was on the leadership team, was helping out with rehearsals and lessons, and at the end of the year I got a phone call to march baritone for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps (<–PLUG) and it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself (seriously, I know I’ve mentioned DCI before, you should check it out).  Not only did it keep me preoccupied all summer, so I didn’t have to stay at home, but it gave me a stage to be openly gay and accepted.  From day one I made sure everyone knew that I was gay.  It was an important part of my identity that had been hidden and damned and it felt good to be able to be me.  I learned a lot that summer, it changed my life, I met people from all over the nation, I met gay people from all over the nation (no DCI isn’t a gay thing, it just happens to be a very accepting sport) and I became more confident in myself and my potential to survive.

SENIOR YEAR:  Stuff with my parents was still in the shits.  We weren’t talking, we gave up on compromise, we gave up on therapy, and we just began pretending that everything was fine (and this began a new phase in my relationship with my parents, I call it the my-parents-love-me-and-care-about-me-as-long-as-I-NEVER-EVER-mention-the-fact-that-I-date-women phase).  This was the year that I developed a close relationship with my little sibling.  We used to be best friends as kids and then I hit that stage where the lil sib becomes annoying and then we began to fight, but over the past couple of years Erin had gotten real quiet (I just got off the phone with Erin and they prefer to use gender neutral pronouns.  This means that instead of saying him/her, brother/sister, he/she stuff, I’m going to use they/them/their/sibling.  I will do a post on pronouns very soon because it is very important).  Erin stayed out of all of the conflict I caused by keeping their mouth shut and internalizing emotions.  They would stick up for me when I wasn’t around and that’s how I knew that they cared.  Erin was a freshman and I was a senior and to Erin that made me to coolest kid in school.  Erin was in marching band, so was I, they played saxophone, so did I, we basically spent the entire year together in school and out of school becoming best friends and making up for lost time.  I met a girl through Erin’s swim team practice from a near-by school and told her that I thought she was very cute.  She didn’t even smile back, just kind of ran off…but two weeks later we started dating and thus began my first serious relationship.  We started dating on Christmas Day and dated all Spring.  She came to see me march drum corps and we lasted through the summer.  I was over high school, I was over it by winter break freshman year.  I got accepted to great colleges, decided on UNC, I got my high school diploma handed to me in a part-time rodeo arena, I tossed my hat, I got out, and I never looked back. 

Here's a gem that I found lingering about on my computer. I'm on the right and Erin is on the left and this was taken at the end of the summer before I left home for college.

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