I really doubt this will get on the rec list, but I wish it would. To those who know me, this diary is the most public I have ever gone about my sexuality. I live in a State where I cannot only be fired for being gay but where, if I was killed for being gay, have only the federal government to step in and defend me.
Tomorrow, my employer could terminate me for writing this diary. Though I already work two jobs, I am going to my primary employment on Saturday and Sunday (already been there Monday to Friday) just to ensure that things are ready for the one Monday afternoon I must take off from work --- so my widowed mother can see the doctor.
If it's any consolation to those whom have read thus far, I have already spoken to my employer, and while she wants to make sure I am legally protected, she is a committed Roman Catholic who also believes that I am as deserving as any other American human.
Now back to the diary title, and the prose of it will be presented below the scroll...
I was the gay adolescent male who was more than willing to kill himself but ultimately did not. I was tortured every single day of my high school experience, and I never once did anything to "flaunt" or reveal or exploit my same-sex attraction. I had a steady girlfriend who, though she was not a schoolmate, was known to most in my class.
I am effeminate and I was effeminate, but at that time, I did everything I could do to not appear effeminate. I didn't see myself that way... I had many intellectual and behavioral predilections to masculinity but mannerisms and gestures revealed otherwise.
I first heard myself being referred to as "homosexual" when I was 7 years old attending a summer day camp. I can see the kids face, but I cannot remember his name, but I am certain he was 2 years older than me, made it a point to be in close proximity to me everywhere, and constantly berated me for being "a homo"/"a homosexual". I didn't even know the definition of that word, but at 7 years old, I could perceive that it (and me) were viewed as bad things.
As the young kid of a widow, life would always be different for me no matter how I turned out. Even now, my four closest social friends were all raised by traditional, two-parent families. My incredibly strong, heroic mother had her own struggles but always made it work. In short, she raised me the best she could. Yet, there still remains one-half of myself which I cannot explain and to which my family cannot relate --- that is my father's side. (Now I know that some of you who read this paragraph will be pissed because I fit into one of the stereotypes portrayed by Pat Roberson and the late Jerry Falwell).
That's enough about my background. If you look at everyone of the kids whose names have become very familiar to you, you would surmise that I was that same kid --- I had the potential to end it all; I had the gall to end it all. What drove me to this point? Yes, my background certainly provided the impetus, but the accelerant was what one schoolmate --- the now Democratic nominee for my state's legislature --- did.
When I was a freshman in high school, the nominee (let's call him D) was sophomore class president. The sophomore class had no special fundraiser like Prom, Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins, etc.. so in some years, the sophomore class held a common dance at the school with no special names to raise money. D was in charge of making sure it all happened. Early ticket sales were very poor, but I was as politically-driven then as I am now, and I felt it was important to support school events. I bought a ticket.
The week after, I was asked to do a church gig; I'm a church musician, and it's what I do. I decided that the gig was more important, so I went to the ticket table during my lunch period and asked for a refund. That's when the terror began. D was working that table, and he was so upset about his own failure that he began to blame me. "Look at this faggot!" were the words I remember hearing. D's fellow class officers were both girls and too afraid (because of popularity) to calm the situation. They gave me my money back, but as I walked away, D again called me a "faggot."
From that day until near-to his graduation, each encounter with him was his use of that word. It didn't matter if it was one-on-one walking down the hallway or if it was crowded among hundreds of students shuffling from class to class, he said "faggot" loudly toward me. Sometimes, he would even point at me while saying it.
This kind of hatred (religious-based or not) is what gay teenagers of every generation encounter. I cannot possibly imagine if the harassment I received at school and the vociferous phone calls I had to hear was somehow expounded by the internet.
I want you to consider my reaction to learning that D is now one of two DEMOCRATIC nominees for my state's legislature.
The purpose of this diary is not merely to tell my story but to ask your advice. I am a partisan Democrat and well-respected within the local party connections. How do I ensure that this candidate who is unworthy to run as a Democrat is defeated?