Growing Up Small Town Gay

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of my life growing gay in Small Town America.

Submitted: April 28, 2008

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Submitted: April 28, 2008



April 7, 1983. That was the day my mom introduced me to the world. The day I was welcomed with open arms by the best family anyone could ever want. Little did they ever know what journey they were about to endure.

My life started in Grand Prarie, TX. I was born into a family with little income, hardships matched by none and beautiful minds with hearts kinder than even your grandmother's. I spent a very small amount of time in Texas before moving to San Diego, CA where I spent an even smaller amount of time. I then moved to a small town in Tennessee by the name of Munford. This part of my life is where this story comes from. To give you just a small idea of what it's like to grow up small town america.

At age two, I moved to Munford, TN. I lived in a three bedroom trailer with my mom and dad in the typical trailer park. Yes, the one you have envisioned any Southerner you encounter living in. I remember when the moving company was moving us in. They had sat it down on the blocks incorrectly and this trailer and all it's massive tonnage came down. Luckily a light pole had just been installed about a foot from the where this thing was to stand. That slender pole held what was to be our home at bay while the workers scurryed from beneath this death trap. Seeing that pole hold up all this weight was to be my first sign of how something so small can be so mighty.

We finally got settled in a few days later where I spent nine years. In this nine years I experienced a lot. At five years old I was given a brand new baby brother. I was outside playing with a yellow tonka truck with a few of the neighborhood kids when mom and dad arrived home with Nicholas. Nicholas was just the coolest thing to me at that moment. At that age you truly know nothing other than happiness, aside from being forced to put a smiley face on your dinner plate. When he came home the first couple of years was hard and expensive. He was always sick and had his own room at the hospital. The doctor blamed his illness on my parents for smoking, of course. One of my fondest memories of Nick was at the hopital once, he had pneumonia. There were too many family members there to go in the room so they, my mom and dad, brought him out to us. Barely two feet tall and down with this horrible illness all he could do was smile. He had this huge get well soon balloon tied to his wrist. He came home just a few days after that.

This tailer park I speak of was rather small. Full of kids and adults alike. Also full of legend. My Aunt Emily, only three years older than I, lived only four trailers down from me with her mother, My Grandmother, and her two brothers, My Uncles Mark and Jay. Emily and I got along well as small children. We would do everything in our neighborhood together. We once had this old monster truck power wheels vehicle that we saved from the trash company and we would push ourselves down a hill and over a hump that would send us flying for what seemed miles through the air. Looking back im sure it was merely feet and probably not such a good idea.

In the back of the trailer park there was an area of flat land and burned furniture placed in a circular pattern around what seemed to be a fire pit. Someone, somewhere had conjured up this idea that this area was a place for Devil worshiping. A place where witches do all their work. We believed this. We had no reason not to. We would sometimes hide in the woods waiting for hours just to see anything at all. Never saw the slightest bit of withcraft. What we did see was the neighborhood teenagers congregating at this spot. Boy, can you imagine the thoughts we had in our head. Knowing what we know now, as adults, that spot was just a meeting place for the big kids to get away from parents, make out and have sex. The witchcraft story was put in place to keep us runts away so we would not tell mom and dad I'm sure.

I spent alot of time spending the night with my grandmother, on my mom's side. Nanny is what I call her. She is into crafts alot. We had this plan when I was little to one day have a crafts store and I was going to help out inside the store. Probably more my plan than hers. As a child you have a vivid imagination and expect to get everything you want. Her being an adult probably knew that this would never happen. She just could not bring herself to tell that to a kid. You cannot just stomp on the images in their minds.

My grandparents on my dad's side, Nanny and Pa, were around alot as a child too. When I was five they puchased five get-away acres in the Ozark Hills in Hardy, AR. The prettiest five acres I had ever seen. Purched on a mountain top you could see every type of wild life you could possibly want to. I was lucky enough to be able to take the trip up when they were bringing the very first camper they ever bought up too. This camper had travled 260 miles without incident and only ten miles from its desitnation we were hit from behind. After the camper my grandparents bought a wooden shed, probably 8' X 8'. Nothing huge but it did the trick. It stood on that lot for years and thats where we slept on our trips to paradise.

This new land had not been, and has still not been, geared for running water or electricity. Eveything at night was done with lanterns, flashlights and strategically placed headlight beams. We would have to take a bath in the river at the bottom of the mountain introducing me to a whole new meaning of cold. A makeshift outhouse with a five gallon bucket as the hole in the ground was placed as far away as we could possilbly get it. It did not take long for them to puchase another acre of vacation land in a park on the river, complete with running water, electricity and bath houses. Boy that was a sight for sore eyes. I spent at least two weeks out of every summer in Arkansas from the age of five to twenty.

At eight years old my mom and dad gave me another brand new baby brother. Timothy was born just three days before Halloween. I was anxious to meet him but equally anxious to be able to go trick or treating. My mom came home that Halloween just to take me and Nick out to get a boat load of candy while my dad stayed at the hospital with Timmy. After just having had a baby you don't expect someone to go out trick or treating. Someone other than my mom that is. Every single Christmas Eve Timmy was in the hospital for something. My parents could bet their bottom dollar they would be sitting in the ER on that night. The first few years were an allergy to Christmas Trees. After that was determined they bought us a fake tree. That was going to fix it all, they thought. That did not work for Timmy though. The boy goes from being sick every December 24th, to having an accident. I was beginning to think he had a Christmas curse. Thinking maybe it had something to do with being born so close to Halloween. The accidents soon stopped too.

I was out riding my bike one summer day in the loop and I hear my mom frantically calling my name. I hurry over to find out what is wrong and she is just screaming "where is Nick, where is your brother?" I had no idea where he was. My parents had the whole neighborhood out looking for my brother. The adults, the kids, the raccoons from the woods. It did not matter. Anything with eyes was good enough to find their son. Afterwhat seemed like hours of looking for this little shit he was hiding under our own front porch. He could not do anything but laugh, until my mother got a hold of him. You would think my mother instilling the fear of God in him would be enough. Nope he did it one more time. I do not know what happened when Mom took him in the room and shut the door that second timebut whatever it was, it worked. He never did it again.

My days at this trailer park were closing. Not a moment too soon as far as I was concerned. I was at that age in school where you get picked on for everything you do. Or so I thought. That trailer park that I had so many memories in was now my worst enemy. I wanted nothing more than to get away, far away. My dad's cousin let us use some of his land to move our home to. I was so excited.

At age ten we moved to this new place about 20 minutes from the trailer park. This place was just a spot of land in front of a beautiful home on a lonely, half paved road barely large enough for two cars to be able to pass one another. We had to first clean it up. It was overgrown with weeds. We were cleaning it up one day and I just happened to stumble upon a Wood Bee nest. I was ambushed by these bees and they became tangled in my hair. I was stung only a few times. Luckily my mom is a smoker and she ripped open a cigarette and put a bit of the tobacco in her mouth to moisten, as to make a pancake and placed it on every sting I had. The pain went away after only a few minutes and we carried on with the cleaning of the land.

I soon realized that I was now friendless. I had only one neighbor and had not met the family yet. Just as I was beginning to get very bummed out with having no friends I finally met the neighbor. He was only a year or two younger than me and he was the coolest person I had met. He had everything a kid could want. A pool, an ATV, a bow and arrow and a pellet gun too. We became really good friends, Even tamed a wild raccoon that had fallen from its nest in a tree. We named her Sugar because she would suck on your neck giving you hickies. Sadly, she crawled into the wheel well of a car one day and got killed. That was traumatic for me as a kid. I mean a raccoon, who else do you know has pet raccoon.

This is the time in my life is where I first started getting the "feeling" for guys as opposed to girls. My neighbor was cute to me, not sure how you can think about cute at ten years old, but I did it. Obviously I never mentioned this to him or anyone else because I did not know what was going on. I thought it was normal and that was the way I was supposed to think. It came so naturally for me to think of him as cute rather than is sister. And she was super hot but didn't give me that curiosity to explore as he did.

Between the ages of eleven and twelve we had moved once again, still the same trailer just different location. Once again, friendless. I was becoming depressed this time as I was a little older and grew tired of playing games. I needed people, or at least one person to hang out with. Low and behold another neighbor. This one a little more like me and two years older. His name was Jason. He didn't grow up with everything he had always wanted. And this one was really cute to me. Months had passed and we would just hang out and do kid stuff. Venturing into the woods just to see where we would end up. Staying the night with each other just watching TV. The normal things you do when you are that age.

One day I found my Dad's stash of porn. I had never watched it. I knew it was there and I wanted to so bad. I was always scared that he would find out. Plus I was still a little too young to be at home by myself. Well my parents ended up trusting Jason to watch me while they were gone. After about the third time he babysat me I came to him and asked "have you ever seen a dirty movie?" His response was "what is a dirty move?" I guess I was the only one that called them dirty movies rather than porn. "A porn!" I exlaimed. "Yes, do you have one?" he asked. "No, but my dad does."

We put a movie in the VCR and wow. Instant erection for the both of us. Me, having never seen anything like this was not quit sure why this white stuff was coming out of this guys bird (thats what I called it back then). So I questioned Jason on everything from the erection to the orgasm. I really wanted to see what Jason looked like down there. It was a burning curiosity that just needed to be explored. So one day he asked me if I wanted to see real sperm. Exstatic, I answered "yes." He went down the hall and turned his back to me and did his thing and came back with a hand full of sperm. That was not enough for me, I needed to see more. So I asked him, "how do you do that? Show me, I want to see it come out." I had my first gay experience with this hottie and I was happier than I ever could have been.

At age twelve I moved again. This time into a real house. I was so excited to finally get out of a trailer. No one could ever call me trailer trash again. With this move I lost the friendship that Jason and I had. I was upset about that. I had emotionally attached myself to this guy. Now, he was gone. But I could never get the thoughts of the things we did out of my head.

At age thirteen I began to think that something was not normal with me. "Why are all my friends from school talking about how hot this girl when I am looking at guy's crotches in the locker room?" I thought to myself. I just did not understand what was going on. So I pushed Jason and the things we did out of my mind. Or so I tried. I tried making myself think dirty thoughts about girls. Think about things that I could do with them. I could never get anywhere with that. Still I tried.

My freshman year in high school was going to be the change of me. I vowed, to myself, to only think about girls. To only think about what dirty things I could do with them. I met a guy that lived only a few houses down from me once the school bus on the way home one day. I began to go to his house rather frequently after school to just hang out. We would listen to music and play video games. One day we came across a calender with nude women in it. Being two fourteen year olds of course we did not sit it down. Nope, we looked at it. My new friends name was Jason also. I found myself looking at his crotch to see if it was gettig bigger rather than the calender. Eventually we got into the conversation about how big we are. You know, the I bet I'm bigger than you conversation. "I dare you to pull it out" Jason said to me. "You want to see it?" I asked. "Yes" he said. So I did, as did he. He was the second person I had done gay things with. The vow to myself to never do it again was gone.

Now I'm starting my sophomore year of highschool. Again, I made a vow to myself to not do anything even if someone wanted me to. I started dating this girl. We dated for seven months. During this time I did not do anything with any guys. I didn't even kiss her though. It just did not feel like it is what I was supposed to be doing. I did not feel real. We broke up, as you can imagine. Still months and months had passed before anything with another guy had happened.

By my junior year I did not care anymore. I did not care that it was not "normal" to feel the way about guys that I did. I was rather promiscuous as a junior in school. The most memorable was with a guy that I was in band with. He played the same instrument as me. I will call him Bob, as I do not want to out him. We would meet in woods, under bridges, at the river bottoms. Anywhere and everywhere to mess around. Another was with another guy from my section in band. I will call this one Bob II, again, as not to out anyone. He was talking me home from a football game and I had the idea to play truth or dare in his car on the way. He was a little curious I think because that was just way too easy.

My senior year I had a new friend, Sean. I was dating this girl named Kendra and Sean was dating a girl named Crystal. Kendra and Crystal were friends too. When Sean and I were not with our girlfriends we would hung out constatly, as did Kendra and Crystal. The entire time the four of us were dating me and Sean were messing around behind closed doors. My first sexual experience with a girl was with Kendra. We had sex four times in an attempt to curve my gay thinking. That of course would not work because after dropping her off I would pick up Sean and, well you know the rest. This went on for months until Sean's parents sent him to a boy's ranch. While he was there we hung out a few times. I tought him to drive a car during that time. Then he vanished. Never heard anything from him. Crystal and I once drove up to Nashville because we caught wind he was up there. Well he was, we found him. We hung out again for a night then he was gone again. Unfortenate because he was a really good guy. To this day I still hate his parents for sending him away.

After graduation I cared very little about who knew what I was. I had never opened the closet door to anyone "officially." The four years of high school was pure hell. Thisis where I learned just how far being bullied can really go. I blame every bad grade I ever got on the torment I received just for being different. And these people never even knew for sure that I was gay. They just assumed and bullied the absolute hell out of me.

About three months after graduation I came out for the first time to a girl that I worked with because she promised she would not tell anyone. Remember, I'm in small town America. It is taboo and an abomination to be gay. I promise you two days later no less than eight people came up to me telling me that this very girl that I put all this trust in had told them that I admitted to being gay. I was flabbergasted. I just told this girl something that could potentially kill me and she plays with it, tossing it around like a toy. I swore to never trust anyone ever again.

I finally came to the realization that no one is going to hurt me. In fact, I now had more red neck friends than enemies. And ironically, the very ones that bullied me in school were now the ones that wanted to "go riding around with me." This was bliss to me. To have these people that once stomped me into the ground now wanting to hang out with me. So what if it was just for the sex. So what if I could get something deadly. I had not one care in my mind about the type of disease I could get because I had never gotten so much attention from so many people.

A little less than a year after we graduated, my now best friend and sister, was at college and I called up one day after talking through instant messaging. I told her I had something to tell her and that I did not want it to change what we have. I told her I'm gay. He response, verbatim "SO."

I knew then that everything was going to be alright for the most part. I still did not want my family to know and especially my parents.

At nineteen years old I went to my moms work to get some money from her for a bill. I was on my own at that point, living in an apartment in Memphis. We were outside smoking a cigarette and I knew something was coming. I could feel it. I knew she was about to pop the question. This lady was walking in the store where my mom works and I said "man, she is pretty." This was an attempt to prevent the question. I had a boyfriend at the time. My very first boyfriend. His name was Jonathan. "Son, is Jonathan gay?" Mom asked. "Yes." I stated. She paused for a brief second. "Are you gay?" She asked. "Yes." I stated. She then began to cry.

I ended up moving back in with my parents just before my twentieth birthday. I was still dating Jonathan and while my parents did not agree withit, itdid not effect their love for me. My relationship with Jonathan became a little rocky at that point. We lived 45 miles from each other and could only really see one another on occasions, and briefly. Jonathan and one of our friends came over to my house one day and he and my brother got into an argument and I took Jonathan's side. I made the mistake of calling my brother, Nick, and bastard to my parents. Dad told me I needed to find a new place to live. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. I had never been kicked out. I had never even had my parents yell at me like that. I was a good child for the most part. I never really hit a rebellious stage because I always pretty much had freedom. My parents are the type that let me live and learn. They'll never let my completely fall down but they will let me hit my knees to see what life is all about.

I ended up moving in with one of my friends for about four months. The worst four months of my life. I felt hopeless, homeless, any -less that came to my mind, that is what I was. Jonathan and I had two friends down in Mississippi that had just bought a church and were renevating it into their home. A beautiful home might I add. They let us stay there for a week or so in exchange for helping them out with the renovation. Within that time we were able to get our own apartment. That began well. We had dinner every night at the dinner table like a real couple. We would go to bed at night like a real couple. We would even watch TV at night just like a real couple. Then things went worse than worse when he lost his job. He became a big ball of depression. And some was my fault too because I did not know how to react to him or his state of mind at the time. I only cursed myself during that time.

We had a huge and the relationship ended. I still miss him today and its been five years. However, life does go on. I did not have a real relationship for quite sometime. I didn't even really have sex with anyone.

On my twenty-fourth birthday I was really discouraged. I had no relationship, no prospects, no sex. Then my job transfered me from Managing a restaurant in Memphis to one in a city called Millington. About twenty minutes from home. One of the people I hired I ended up falling in love with. I thought he was so cute. He had a lazy eye which did not bother me because I don't like perfection in people. I do not like their attitude towards others or life. We started dating and his grandmother kicked him out of her house. My grandmother allowed him to move in with us. I moved in with her about two years ago because she kind of lives in the hood and I could not have her living in that place by herself. After about two months she kicked him out. I just could not understand why these people kept kicking him out of their homes. So, for once in my life i rebelled. I signed for my third apartment just so we could be together. This went well for about a month.

About a month after we moved in we were drinking and had some friends over. Two of his friends, his straight friends, were downstairs and they were fighting. I was sitting on the couch with his friend trying to talk about it and solve things and TJ(my crazy ex boyfriend) felt like I was trying to cheat on him. He kicked them out. I went upstairs where he was to try to figure out what was going on andhe pushed me into a grandrather clock. We faught, physically, for a good while. He ended up breaking my eye socket and costing me a fortune in medical bills and the loss of two teeth. I was forced to run for my life outside in just my boxers only being able to see out of one eye in the middle of Janurary to wait for 911 to arrive. Even after all this I gave him a second chance. Yes, I am sometimes stupid.

Finally, I realized what type of person he is and just how low I let him sink my life. The things I let him ruin for me. And just how much for me he is not. He has the "I'm always the vicitm" attitude. You know, he does nothing wrong. Someone is always causing him to do bad things. He is just always the one being hurt. Blah Blah Blah. And \\by this pointI want him as far away from me as physically possible. It never really occured to me how much I need him away from me until the last time we were drinking when he started to get violent and I called my sister for help and he DARED lay a finger on her. I could not defend her because I was drunk. I'm still mad at myself to this day for that. I did however call 911 once again on this piss poor excuse for a man and they hauled him away. And even today he still tells lies to make himself look like the victim. This boy cannot even spell truth.

Now my life is just were I want it. No distractions. Just me. Just free.

This story was meant to tell you the truth about growing up small town gay. It is hard, yes. No doubt about that. However, it makes you more of a man. It makes you see gay in a way that you cannot get from a big city. Being gay is not all about drugs, its not all about sex, its not all about wanting to be a girl and it is absolutely not a choice for real gay people. Not the ones just doing it for the attention like two I know. If being gay was a choice what makes you think anyone would chose it. Why would anyone pick the hell of growing up gay over growing up "NORMAL?" Please, think about that when your son or daughter comes to you and says "I'm gay." I am so proud to have grown up small town gay rather than big city. I have had many friends that are gay and grew up in the city and I would not want to be them for anything. I would honestly rather be dead just because of the way they live their life. Not all, there are exceptions to every rule. I have even met some small town guys that make me shake my head. Just know that growing up gay in the country is not an unfortenate thing. It's a blessing. Trust me.

Small Town American's by nature want to judge you, they want to change you. They want you to be just like them. But you as a person can defeat them and be proud of who you are. You too, can be small and mighty just like that light pole. Do not ever be ashamed of who you are.

My life started in Grand Prarie, TX. I was born into a family with little income, hardships matched by none and beautiful minds with hearts kinder than even your grandmother's. I spent a very small amount of time in Texas before moving to San Diego, CA where I spent an even smaller amount of time. I then moved to a small town in Tennessee by the name of Munford. This part of my life is where this story comes from. To give you just a small idea of what it's like to grow up small town america.

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