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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Dear Auntie S

Well, "Profanity Monday" at The Toaster Oven is over, and I thought I would share with you the letter I wrote Auntie S after she tried to convince me to stop being gay. I know it is tempting to respond to narrow-mindedness with hatred and anger, but she is family. She is my mom's sister. She has always been good to me, and I just couldn't be cruel to her. All I can do is try to show her my heart, and it is up to her if she wants to accept me or not.

Oh, and I added a few links in there in order to make this qualify as an actual "blog entry" - but Auntie S didn't get the links, obviously.

Dear Aunt S:

Thank you for not being silent. I get so sick of being silent. Mom "chooses not to speak about the subject" (her own words), and I sometimes feel like I can't talk to anybody in my family about being gay.

When I ended my seven year relationship with M it hurt so badly, and I was going through so much pain when I was up there for Grandma's funeral. I was so glad Cousin K. talked to me about my relationship with M ending. She held my hand and let me know how much she loves me. I wish I could have those kinds of talks with everyone in my family.

Whenever this comes up, I feel inside like I have to take a deep breath and say to myself, "here we go again..." because there is so much to explain. I want to work on my family connections but sometimes I wish I could just have the conversation ONCE and be done with it. I don't know if you have ever felt like that. Maybe when you got divorced you felt some of that? I never really talked to you about it and still don't really know any details on what that time of your life was like.

I have always felt so incredibly bonded with you - having you in my life is sort of like having a second mom. Maybe because you two are so much alike.

There is a lot to clarify about my life. Too much of what you hear about in the news or see on television implies that there really is a "gay lifestyle" - but I don't believe in that - at least for myself. I am sorry it disappoints everyone so much that I turned out the way I did. I tried for so many years to be someone else - but when I left the cult back in 1995, I also knew that I had to be honest with God and myself about who I really am. I don't expect anybody in my family to change the way they feel about homosexuals, although it would be nice if more of an effort could be made to understand me. Silence really kills relationships, I know that. The truth will set you free.

I just finished an e-mail debate with my sister that lasted about two weeks and ended with us both throwing our hands up and saying "forget it." That made me sad, because she was the first person in my family to ask me if I was gay, and I hoped she would really be able to try to understand.

Sometimes I am sad because I can't be one of the kids in the family who is getting married, like Cousin A., and making everybody proud. On Sunday I was at the grocery store and saw a little boy and his dad and wished that I could have that kind of life. I wished for that from the time I first knew I was different (around 12 or 13) and sometimes feel frustrated that I was born the way I am. I know that many Christians don't believe it is a choice. I don't know one single gay person who says they made that choice. Why would we want a life that is so hard and requires so much defending to the rest of society? Why would I choose to have such a rough road when it comes to dating or having the same rights as other Americans? It is so hard and so lonely.

I am not saying you should feels sorry for me or anything. I have amazing friends and am really blessed by their love. I am so lucky to be able to talk openly to my roommate. Her mom asks about me all the time and always wants to know if I am dating anybody special. She knows more about my love life than anybody in my own family. I have another friend whose family has practically adopted me as their own son, and they completely accept that I am gay. That is not the most important part of who I am, it is just a part of who I am.

There is tons more to say, but I have to go for now and have a conference call. I am glad you care and I know you love me. I love you too!

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