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I live in a city called Katy. It’s one of the larger suburbs of Houston, so it is basically one big melting pot of people. It started off as a rice farming town, and still maintains a country-hick feel. Unfortunately, it also comes with people of that personality. Thus, I began my journey as a homosexual first through darkness, and how I found the light at the end of the tunnel.
I lived with my parents until the seventh grade, when I was forced to move in with my grandparents. This was the year I proudly proclaimed I was bisexual. People in my school didn’t have the enthusiasm I did about it. Many of my ‘friends’ no longer talked to me and I was forced to go to the one place that accepted me, theatre. All of my friends until ninth grade were from theatre and I was glad they were there. Others in my school looked at me with disgust and how I could be the gay kid.
After much thought, I decided to tell my grandparents, and that fueled the fire. My grandmother, a religious woman, told me I just hadn’t found the right girl yet and I was going through a phase. My grandfather told me he couldn’t understand, and probably never would.
It was three weeks before my tenth grade year when my mom called and said I was to move home immediately. My grandparents wouldn’t tell her what their problem was, but they refused to have me in their house. Ironically, I have a very good relationship with my grandparents, even if my grandma still asks if I found a girl yet.
I packed my bags and moved home. It was then that I went into an emotional depression. My mother couldn’t figure out what was wrong and my father was never home to know anything about my life. I became deeply religious and studied the Bible in depth. I went to church each sunday and tried to purge myself of gayness, but it just wouldn’t work. I started dating a girl my eleventh grade year and we dated for four months, but nothing ever clicked. Finally one night, I sought out support.
My twitter feed for June 14th of 2013 is full of entries chronicling my emotional distress. It would be the night I came out to my mom, and later, my friends.
I came into my mom’s room and layed down next to her, and she asked what was wrong, so I told her I thought I was bisexual. She laughed and informed me that I was wrong. I was gay. She didn’t understand it then, but now is very supportive of me.
My father wasn’t as accepting. As a high ranking police officer, the first thing he thought of was his future in politics was no more. He couldn’t run on a ballot from the right wing Republican party with a gay son. It wasn’t until I had my first boyfriend that he began to be more tolerant.
Next were the only other people I cared about – my brother and sister. I informed my sister and her comments were, ‘So when is the Gay Pride Parade, because we’re going now that we have an excuse!’
My brother wasn’t as thrilled. He, like my father, didn’t understand, but told me I was still his little brother, and family was family. The last people to find out were my great aunt and uncle, who have disowned me. They refuse to accept me, and have called me ‘Lucifer’s son’ on many occasions. This is standard behaviour in Texas.
People come from different backgrounds, but one thing that hurts to see to this day is how LGBT+ teens are treated. Houston has a surprisingly high number of homeless LGBT+ youth. Even with a lesbian mayor, it is clear, beliefs are hard to change. Tolerance is simply the first step towards acceptance, and Houston is just one example of this. We can choose our friends, but we can’t choose our family.