LGBTQ Literature is a Readers and Book Lovers series dedicated to discussing literature that has made an impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. From fiction to contemporary nonfiction to history and everything in between, any literature that touches on LGBTQ themes is welcome in this series. LGBTQ Literature posts on the last Sunday of every month at 7:30 PM EST. If you are interested in writing for the series, please send a message to Chrislove.
My book is the true story of my life. My secrets that I kept through most of my life almost destroyed me. Society created that fear in me. It utilized every lie of religion, every hate filled judgement against my sexual orientation, the damning of my blood as a half-breed American “Indian,” and every political position and law to ensure I would always be “less than.” I was told in no uncertain terms to “Shut up...or else!” I was shamed, derided, threatened, and pressed to conform to their ignorant ways.
But those societies underestimated my strength and tenacity to survive. They also underestimated my ability to articulate EXACTLY what I meant. And in every word, written or spoken, I drove home my logic and philosophy. Those oppressive social norms actually fed and nurtured my defiant spirit, ensuring that I would someday be exactly what the Creator intended me to be, and continue to become. I would not be silent! There was something within me that drove me to expose the ills of this world, the injustice, the inequality, the lying propaganda, the contempt for others.
But there was also a deep sadness I felt for the condition of the world. The god-awful suffering, the brutality of pedophile rape and incest, the hunger, the desperation and despair of the poor, the sickness of addiction and alcoholism, the objectification of women and children, racial strife, and the false narratives regarding the LGBTQ community.
AHA! Yes the Aha! moment, the revelation? I was ALL of these...and more! But I found a solution to all of life’s challenges. The solution set me free to proclaim my freedom to the world.
In the beginning
“Have you ever been lonely, had your world fall apart?
And all you can feel is the pain in your heart?
Have you ever been hated by someone you love?
And you feel you’re defeated, so you give life a shove?
Have you ever decided that life is all wrong,
When you hear all the noise, But you can’t hear the song?…….
It is called “Sand Town” even to this day; the east side of the small town of Oregon, in Illinois. That’s where I was born. I was number four of six children who lived in destitute poverty. We were dirty, little street urchins in a ghetto of one-room shacks that were scattered about amidst junk cars and dilapidated fourteen-foot Airstream trailers that housed entire families.
Our home is gone now. We lived in a small one room house, sided with green shake shingles, right off a gravel road. Right beside the house was a junk car that had been set up on cement blocks. A green Pontiac, I think. Of course, I was only five years old so, I may be wrong about the model, but it was definitely green. That car has a history, as you will see. Mom is of Native American descent, a fact that would play a major role in my later life.
She is sitting outside at a small table breaking green beans. Next to her is a cage with two beautiful white pigeons, darting and dancing in desperation. I think they want out. Our dog Blackie is lying at Mom’s feet, “Just being lazy, that’s what Blackie does best,” Mom says. As I walk through the front door I see that big, old, pot-bellied stove directly in the middle of the room.
There are no internal walls here. All you see are the two-by-four studs for framing and the shiny, black tarpaper that lines the inside of the shake shingles. On the floor, to the right, is our bed. “Our” meaning the first five of us who shared this pee-stained mattress. Charles is the baby. He has a crib. Next to the mattress is our round, galvanized washtub. Mom had to boil water on the pot-bellied stove to fill the tub with warm water. That potbellied stove has a history too. The oldest two bathed first, then the next three bathed in the same scummy water, and last of all was Charles. We didn’t have any running water or plumbing, just an old hand pump that squeaked loudly on the upswing, so we had to conserve water. It was hard to pump enough water to bathe six kids. Even at my early age I felt sorry for Mom and wished she could have a better life. I loved her and it made me sad to see her work so hard for so little.
On the other side of the bed was a curtain/blanket hanging on a rope dividing our “room” from “theirs”, Mom and Dad’s “room”. Things went on in there that I didn’t like. I could hear. Did “he” think a piece of cloth was sufficient to keep out the sounds? I never liked him. I didn’t see him much, but when I did, I was afraid. He always hurt someone when he was around. It was simply a matter of wondering who it would be this time.
He did other “things” too, to me and to others. He and his half-brothers touched me and made me do things that repulsed me and caused me excruciating pain. He told me to shut up, and I did.
He told me not to tell, and I didn’t. So, I was silent. No one would ever know. Even as I cried in the outhouse, I would muffle myself so no one would hear. It hurt so bad to go to the bathroom! I was only three years old when this all began, now at five, I was much wiser than I should have been. The worst part was knowing that I was not the only one. Why couldn’t they just do these things to me and leave everyone else alone?
A child should never feel the things I felt.
Mom never stood a chance with him. He beat her if she tried to protect us. What could she do? She was as much a victim as any of us. A lot of versions have been told, but this is what really happened:
The Frog On The Wall is MY story. It is rigorously honest and graphic. But I wrote it so that perhaps some of you might find this same spiritual strength and freedom that I found. I hope you will check it out and read it from the first acknowledgements to the last page. I have yet to hear from a reader whose life was not changed, if even but a little, by this short, powerful book. Peace, Love, Light and Hope! ...these are the only paths to Truth, Justice, and Equality. Sometimes the truth hurts and good medicine tastes bad. So, if you fear Truth, then this might not be the book for you.
LGBTQ Literature Schedule (2022):
If you are interested in taking any of the following dates, please comment below or send a message to Chrislove. We’re always looking for new writers, and anything related to LGBTQ literature is welcome!
January 30: Ushka Waso
February 27: OPEN
March 27: OPEN
April 24: OPEN
May 29: OPEN
June 26: OPEN
July 31: OPEN
August 28: OPEN
September 25: OPEN
October 30: OPEN
November 27: OPEN
December 25: OPEN
READERS & BOOK LOVERS SERIES SCHEDULE