There have only been a handful of times in which I truly felt; my life was in danger and that, perhaps, I could die!
As a child my life had been barren of love’s touch. There had been very few moments of physical abuse…But the threat? The threat had always been there in the form of verbal an emotional abuse.
With a childhood not made for fairy tales. Suffering from the debilitating and chronic illness of addiction. None of the events peppering my early childhood memories come close to the two times I had been told,
‘Dyke, I’ll show you what a real man is!’
The first time encountering this vulgar statement I had been at a Gay Right’s March in Atlanta. Surrounded by persons with a bible in one hand and hatred in the other.
Fortunately, there had been a strong police presence and I walked away with cuts and bruises and disgust.
The second time, had been a darkened parking lot in Asheville, North Carolina. Having just left a club called, O’Henrys’, it was an evening of dancing, gossiping and doing what people do…people who feel a kinship towards each other. It was a gay club. None assuming and basically, a wall flower of clubs.
As my partner and I headed to the car, just after midnight, a gang of young men with sticks and bats and hate, came out of the shadows!
I could go on and on and on about the banter.
It was the typical shit poured upon one person, from another. With the other being filled to the brim. Filled to the brim with an unending need to hurt.
The look in someone’s eyes that conveys this horrible hate, is very distinctive. There is a glare and/or an icing over the pupils. No matter the color of their eyes…they turn black quickly. The look can best be described as, hollow.
A young white man pinned me up against the Escort…passenger side. My partner having dropped her keys on the ground…time was ticking slower than the walk of a turtle. My life seemed to start at the street I grew up on…Memories of getting into trouble, slumber parties and the game winning home-run…I had hit. All these… flashed quickly before me.
What came next was just a miracle. A group of about eight gay men had been piling out of the club. A little tipsy but not so drunk that they could not see the event taking place in the dimmest part of the parking lot.
Why is it cowards always hide their hate in the shadiest of places?
My story from there on out…is simple. We were saved. And, other than, several years of post traumatic stress…in dealing with confined spaces…Life went on for me.
I do not understand hate crimes. I dare to say, I hate…hate crimes. Homosexuality is not a nationality. It is not an ethnicity. It is a choice. A difficult choice. For the simple reason…those who come out of the closet, know, life will be all the more difficult for them. On top of living life on life’s terms…a gay person makes a cognitive decision to…place themselves in harm’s way!
I pray for those in Florida. I pray for their choice. I pray for love. I pray…for more understanding!