Of course, he had decided to take the highway. There was no traffic on the highway, so there was no stopping. He must’ve known that if there was an opportunity to jump out of the car, I would’ve taken it.
I slumped down further in the passenger seat, my arms crossed over my body protectively as his words sliced through my skin. He said we were having this conversation because he loves me, but I wasn’t feeling loved at all. It wasn’t even a conversation; it was a lecture. A lecture about me. About what’s wrong with me.
How long will it be until I can talk to them
And be unafraid of what they’ll say?
Unafraid of what they’ll think?
Will they ever be okay
With who I am?
Will we ever have that explosive conversation again
Where we both just yelled and cried at each other?
Is she still convinced that she’s a bad mother?
Will they ever understand?
Or will they spew disgusting things again
And accuse me of being brainwashed?
How long will it be for me to feel like I’m at home when I am home?
How long will I continue to live with people that claim to love me but still feel alone?
How long will it be until we come to terms?
Is there an easy way to do this?
Is there a way to make them understand without hurting them?
Without them hurting me?
Should I just leave?
© 2014 Vic Romero
Concern causes lines of indentation to appear on her forehead, and her lips curve downward. She tilts her head slightly and then reaches out to me, her arms spread out wide before enveloping my slumped-over body.
“What’s wrong?” she asks after planting a loud kiss on my head.
You, I think to myself. But instead I mutter, “Nothing.”
Thankfully she releases me from her chokehold grip to eye me carefully. I know she doesn’t believe me.
“I think something is bothering you.”
I sigh and begin to list everything in the world that could possibly be bothering me…I’m tired, I’m stressed, I have that damned AP test, allergies…but none of these excuses cause me as much grief as she does.
She begins to discuss with me the perils of being too stressed, of not taking allergy medicine…I converse with her animatedly, agreeing to everything she says.
Then the conversation comes to a halt and we stare at each other for a few moments.
“Okay,” she says, breaking the silence. “Well just relax, everything will be okay.”
I nod my head.
“I love you,” she says as she walks away.
“I love you too,” I reply automatically. I just wish you could accept me and my decisions instead of forcing me to be someone that I’m not.
Things have been crazy lately. There has been a lot of lectures from my parents as they struggle to understand and accept my “no-label” sexuality, tears, stress and anxiety, tension, and lack of sleep.
It’s funny how I thought my mom was going to take my sexuality well…she said I threw a bomb onto the house and she has been waking me up in the early mornings, hounding me with questions about my sexuality, giving me lectures about AIDS, expressing her distaste in my lack of religious beliefs and her disappointment in me, how she thinks I’ve been brainwashed…she has offended me many times.
Conversely, my dad, who also feels disappointed, is not acting that way toward me as much, and I thought he would be the parent that would take this news the hardest. He works a lot so he’s not around much…but when he is around things are generally okay with him.
However, I’m scared to be alone with my mom in fear that we’re going to get into an argument like we did yesterday. With my dad, I don’t think he’s randomly going to bring up my sexuality.
Anyway, things have been rough in my household lately. I’ve been fighting a lot and crying…I haven’t been this distressed with my parents since my sophomore year of high school. It’s kinda weird…I’ve been thinking about how and why we stopped fighting so much…it was because I stopped “rebelling” and started doing what they wanted me to do. Except the problem now isn’t with what I’m doing, it’s with who I am. Although they hated that I am dating Janice*.
This is a reflective essay I wrote for my English class. Thought I should post it on my blog…
Growing up as a Christian has drastically influenced my self-discovery and self-acceptance process. Up until freshman year, I attended church every Sunday, was involved in four youth groups, attended the VBS programs and when I was too old to attend, I volunteered at them. My first concert was even at a church featuring a famous Christian band. I loved the morals and values that Christianity upholds and I also loved the Christian community. However, I never felt as if I truly belonged in it. The conflicts that I felt within myself caused me to feel miserable and disconnected to God. Christianity did little to offer support and acceptance for what I was feeling; in fact, Christianity led me to hate myself.
No one knows
My inner heart
Where my feelings are conflicted
They all say “you’re in the closet”
But I feel more like I’m imprisoned
Trapped inside myself
Dark, solitary confinement
In the dark
I can still hear
The disgusting jeers
Violence and hate are used to create
Humiliation and shame
And loveless preachers preach that hell is a queer person’s fate
Yet the outed walk hand in hand with their dates
Pride shines on each face
I long to be with them
But for now, I’m safe
I’m behind bars
In the dark
Where it’s quiet
Where I’m surpressed
Passion and lust for love
Are all safe from hate
I hate that I have to “come out”
Why can’t a girl loving another girl be a norm?
It’s just the way some girls are born…
But even after many years
Many people coming out
And being proud
It’s still not widely accepted
In some places, being queer is not even talked about
At least I now know
And I can admit it
I like girls
I like them a lot
But journal, you’re the only one that knows
You’re the only one that I can
And it sucks that in this jail
I am alone.
© 2013-2014 Vic Romero
<<wrote this on 14 December 2013 before I came out to a few people…although I have come out to the most important people in my life (excluding my parents), I still feel like I’m in the closet (especially because my parents don’t know) but at least now I have people (and an amazing girl) to connect to and talk about my sexuality with. Anyway, below is the quote that inspired me to write this poem. The quote below that one is a great reflection of how I feel about my sexuality nowadays. Thank you for reading 🙂 >>
“They got it wrong when they called it “the closet.” This was a prison. Solitary confinement. I was locked inside, inside myself, dark and afraid and alone. (Chapter. 23)”
― Julie Anne Peters, Keeping You a Secret
“The best thing about coming out is, it’s totally liberating. You feel like you’ve made this incredible discovery about yourself and you want to share it and be open and honest and not spend all your time wondering how is this person going to react, or should I be careful around this person, or what will the neighbors say? And it’s more. It’s about getting past the question of what’s wrong with me, to knowing there’s nothing wrong, that you were born this way. You’re a normal person and a beautiful person and you should be proud of who you are. You deserve to live with dignity and show people your pride.”
― Julie Anne Peters, Keeping You a Secret