A Boy and Sexuality
In today's American culture, it is not uncommon for a child to experience the divorce of his or her parents. It can be quite an event in a young person's life. However, when I brainstormed for a significant event in this specific portion of my life, I was left full of cliché memories. Then, the memory hit me.
I was born and raised in Eatonton, the dairy capital of
Georgia. It was a small farming town with a warm, humid climate
and a welcoming community. I don't know the population, but I do
know that the cows out numbered the people until I was thirteen.
My dusky white double wide trailer sat about fifteen feet off of
the street and was one of the twenty residences on Crooked Creek
Road. I spent most of my teenage years there.
I would sit cross-legged in the center of my room for hours with my mouth about thirty five percent open, still as a corpse. The only movement you would see was the occasional blink of my eyes and maybe a quick twitch of the game controller. I knew it was the end; my final obstacle before seeing the credits of this game. All of the sweat and blood I had shed as I shot missiles and maneuvered my way through the virtual galaxies had come to an end. My heart raced, and my focus was narrowing on Andross, the evil android that was destined to die by my hand.
I heard an echoing voice calling my name from down the hall. The living room was only about eight feet away but I couldn't devote my attention away from my enemy. The voice seems to be getting louder and louder. My opponent is almost at an end. Then, out of nowhere my mother is hovering over me next to the TV with a gentle and slightly concerned glare. In desperation and fear of defeat, I press the pause button.
She asks me if I heard her. "No, I was about to beat the greatest game ever" I replied. She requests that I come into the living room and after about two minutes of pleading, I submitted. Still lost in anxious thoughts of the postponed defeat of my enemy, I left my glorious chair that consisted of a mound of clean clothes and made my way down the hall.
I took a seat across the armrest in our charcoal gray recliner with a most impatient expression. My mother and her new friend that she had been spending a lot of time with were examining me in silence. I knew I wasn't into any trouble so I began questioning them about the relevance of what they wanted. Mom begins to break the ice. "Son, I have made a decision that will possibly affect how you look at your life, how people treat you, and all that you have known before." As she is slowly building the climax of her news, I am slowly attempting to convince her that there is nothing more important than the battle that is currently frozen in time on my Nintendo. "Ma, whatever is gonna happen, is gonna happen! Andross needs me to destroy him!" She rambles on about principle and morals.
My interest has completely faded and I have no more reserve left. However, I respect my mother and am quiet as she asks me if I noticed anything different about mom and her friend's relationship. She tries pointing some specifics out like hugging and kissing, so I inform her that at school I see girls being affectionate with each other all of the time. Still, she rambles on.
After a little longer she began to grasp the understanding that I could care less about her reasoning. She sighs "I'm gay, Josh." I freeze. "You mean to tell me that you and your new friend are…You know…Doing it?" She explains to me that it is not about the sex but that she was afraid to raise me and my two year old brother alone, and that she couldn't trust a man. I was infuriated that she had stopped my epic battle to tell me this news that doesn't even pertain to me. I had decided to cut her a deal. I said "If you allow me to finish what I was doing, I will love you forever and not ever hold this against you. However, if you do not let me beat Andross, then I will disown you."
Mom and her girlfriend looked at me in astonishment and disbelief of my composure. After that moment of shock, mom broke down and told me to go ahead and play the game. I was victorious.
I didn't really understand the repercussions of my mother's
decision until later. As a nine year old boy, I was certain that
dishonesty and secrecy was the core of our shortcomings as a
society. So, I told everyone I knew about my situation just so
they would ask me how I dealt with it. I would tell them that
Mom's sexual preference wasn't my concern and the fact that she
was a good mother was all I could ask for. My plan backfired
because I found out that the other sixth graders could care less
about my good intentions. The other children just wanted to
torture me. The community did eventually get over it. Now, the
most of the town will rough up anyone who disrespects her. She
was good to people and in time, they were good to her.
I was forced at a young age to confront issues that couldn't be postponed. She believed in a Christian way of life and taught me everything I know, but her teaching was against her own lifestyle. It took a while to understand that there is a balance between right and wrong. That we only strive for good but perfection is only a myth for man. I am bold enough to say that I don't necessarily agree with homosexuality. Yet, I know that it is not my place to dictate or enforce morality. I know that as men we are flawed and that in my own flaws I can find humanity.