Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Gleeful Thanks

I cried watching Glee tonight.
Not the normal reason I cry when I watch Glee. There wasn’t a song that tied to HWMNBN. It didn’t highlight my loss. It didn’t remind me of things I try so desperately to cover.
I simply couldn’t believe what I was seeing on television. I was moved. I was thankful. I was filled with hope.
I’ve already noticed on Facebook that many people thought it was stupid and unrealistic. I thought it was perfect.
It was the only episode to truly, truly, deal with the gay issue. There was a scene where Kurt (the gay kid) goes to ‘spy’ on the competition at an all boys’ school (not all gay, just all boy). They completely captured the innocent romance of the moment and the wonder in Kurt’s face as he saw for the first time that maybe, just maybe, there was hope for him. Tears were rolling down my cheeks. Both because of the simplistic beauty of the scene, but also because I thought of all the gay kids out there watching this right now. Sure, maybe you think the scenes where Kurt is pushed into a locker is over-dramatic. That Kurt had never been kissed is stupid. Maybe you think it’s a little too ‘after-school-special,’ a little preachy after so many gay suicides. It’s not. Soon, high school will be twenty years in the past for me, but I remember those moments as if they were this morning. Being shoved into lockers. Being screamed ‘faggot’ down the hall. Having a huge knife slammed into the table inches from my face in wood shop. Dad sobbing in the car as he dropped me off at school, knowing I was being tormented, knowing there was nothing he could do, probably fearing that was I was being called was true. Praying that God would take away this evil or simply let me die. Living in absolute terror that someone would find out the rumors and the names they called me were true—even though my first kiss would be eight years later.
True, soon my experience will be two decades old. Things are better now you say. Really? Those gay kids are killing themselves to be cool? To be famous? To follow a fad? To send a message? Even if all those things are true, what does that tell you?
No, I no longer have faggot yelled at me (although HWMNBN and I did, from time to time). I no longer am threatened with knifes. I no longer get shoved into a locker. I no longer care if people find out my ‘evil.’ Nope. None of that.
No knives, no lockers, very little faggots. However, an equally clear message is offered by my country, my family, and many people that I love and claim to love me. I am not worthy to get married. I may or may not be good enough to die for my country (which honestly, I don’t want to—I can barely make myself vote for this bigoted, un-honest country. I love America, for what I believe she is supposed to be, not for what her people have made her [huh, it seems my God and country issues overlap]). In some places, I wouldn’t be able to teach. In many places, I’m not good enough to adopt or raise a child.
So, you’re right. It’s nearly twenty years later. Thank you so much for not pushing me into lockers still. You’re so sweet, thoughtful, holy.
As I watched Glee, I had hope. Hope one day gay kids (like I was, like so many I see now) will just be kids, like the rest. They won’t be told they are sick, wrong, broken, damned. They will grow up being able to muddle through all the relationship drama like everyone else at the right age, instead of being thirty and just barely figuring things out that most sophomores know. They will dream of an actual wedding, a real one, surrounded by true friends and family.
They will just be.

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