Archive for March, 2011

Aceite y agua (Oil and Water)

I am gay.

I’m also a Christian. Do I agree with some of the doctrines? Not in the slightest. I don’t think that there is one organized religion out there that suits me 100%. I think that many Christians would agree with me. But does following the doctrine 100% make you any more Christian? I don’t think so. If someone did, they’d be a walking contradiction. The question of the day: “Is it possible to be gay and a Christian?” The answer: Yes. Even though in Leviticus homosexuality is condemned as an abomination, but so is shellfish and tattoos. So, if there’s a law that prohibits same-sex marriage shouldn’t there be a law that prohibits shrimp and tattoos? No. The US isn’t a theocracy. Honestly the Bible has been re-interpreted, revised, re-hashed, and debated hotly ever since the times of Moses. It was also written by man, not God. Now, my intention is not to degrade Christianity but rather to offer yet another interpretation. One based on the one aspect that the Bible teaches: love. Jesus did say, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” But isn’t that a paradox to “homosexuality is an abomination?” What about the Golden Rule? The Ten Commandments? Nowhere in these does it say “homosexuality is a sin”. If Christians started to base their ideologies on the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments instead of obscure texts, think how different society will be. Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t Christians who don’t base their beliefs off of these two pivotal pillars. I’m one of them. Let’s be frank, anti-homosexuality is an archaic mindset, just like anti-Semitism and anti-Islam. The last time I checked, we lived in the 21st Century, not 70 CE. It’s high time for us as a society to stop this fighting over who we can love and who we can’t. None of us can help who we fall in love with. If I fall in love with another man, does that make me any less human? Hell no. Does it make me an abomination? If it does, then call me an abomination. I’d rather be happy in a loving relationship than be in a loveless relationship.

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Two Warriors

When Andrzej met Andris, he knew that there was something mysterious about him. He inherited a knack for reading people from his grandmother, who was of Romani descent. His mother told him that his name meant “warrior” and raised him as such, always telling him to be cautious about people and to watch out for the ones who aim to deceive as she was deceived by his father. But enough about the meaning of his name.

The streets of the melancholic city were filled with all sorts of people, all wearing the same dull expressions. The sun was supposed to be out today, but as always the incompetent weatherman was wrong. Andrzej was walking to his favorite café while perusing today’s newspaper. More budget cuts for government jobs. Reduced pensions. Might as well give up. That’s all the newspapers printed these days. Maybe that’s why everyone looked despondent. He orders his usual café-au-lait and sits at his usual table. Half an hour before he has to be in the office.

Andrzej doesn’t come to this café just to read about depressing stories or to drink the sub-par coffee. He watches people and surmises their life stories. He noticed that his grandmother bequeathed this so-called gift when he was younger. He enjoyed guessing people. He enjoyed guessing their lives. He looked around to find a good subject. Nope, too boring. Nope…nope…nope…wait. He spotted another man. Above-average height, olive skin, hair as dark as the night, and eyes that pierce anyone who dares to look at them. All right, I’ll bite. Let’s see…Andrzej starts to analyze him, covertly sneaking glances at his different features and his body language. He’s not from around here. He looks like he has a past, possibly a dark one. An amateur could have gathered that much and he knew it. He moves to his eyes, the windows to the soul. He could feel his grandmother in his blood and in his own eyes. He moved here to start a new life. A history of violence drove him here. Oh, shit! The subject made eye contact with Andrzej. Normally, people look away and act like nothing happened in this situation, but to his surprise, the subject rose from his chair and approached Andrzej, “Can I help you with something?” He had a cold, steely voice. Andrzej could see more features. The subject isn’t here to threaten, he wants to talk.

“I’m sorry?”

“Don’t play me a fool. I saw you looking.”

“I wasn’t”

“Don’t be ashamed of it. May I sit?”

The subject took a seat without Andrzej’s permission. He was analyzing him now; those piercing eyes were measuring him up to make sure that he wasn’t a threat. “Nice day,” Andrzej ventured.

“Why do you lie?”

Wow. This guy’s good. “Just trying to make small-talk”

“Something tells me that you don’t have very much interaction with people here. You come here to watch them.”

A look of blank shock flashed across Andrzej’s face and the subject saw. “I’m right again, aren’t I?”

“Bingo.”

“So, why do you do it?”

“I’ve always done it. My mother told me that I get it from my grandmother.”

“Ah, I see. Well, I’m Andris. Tell me, what could you tell about me just from looking?”

“Well, you’re not from around here”

“No shit. A five-year-old could’ve guessed as much. Come on, be honest. Tell me everything.”

Andrzej could see in those daggered emeralds that he was serious. “Well, you moved because you needed a fresh start. I’m guessing a history of violence or abuse?”

It was Andris’ turn to be surprised. “Wow. I’m impressed. What’s your name?”

“Andrzej. It’s Romani for—“

“—for warrior or man. I know. My name means the same thing, only it’s Hungarian. That’s where I’m from, actually. I was born in Debrecen and moved to Budapest when I was five.”

Andrzej looked down at his watch and saw that he was almost late for work. “I really wish we could continue this conversation, but I am due in at work in five minutes.”

“I see,” Andrzej could see that Andris was genuinely intrigued by their conversation. He couldn’t deny that he wasn’t as well.

“You know what? Fuck it. I haven’t had a day off in months. I’ll take a personal day.”

Andris looked and him quizzically, and then smiled. It seemed as if his cold outer shell had melted. Andrzej could see that his eyes became a soft and warm hazel. He had never met anyone as intriguing as Andris. “Good.” His voice was cold, but his body language relaxed. Andrzej called the secretary, informed her of a supposed family emergency, and proceeded to continue with the intriguing conversation.

“Well, seeing as I have the whole day to waste let’s continue. Why did you move here?”

Andris’ expression hardened instantaneously. His eyes flashed bright green, “I normally wouldn’t want to talk about it, but since we’re being honest here I had a boyfriend who used me as a punching bag.”

Andrzej was taken aback for a moment. Remorse, unending and raw, traversed to his eyes. “I am so sorry.” He felt guilty about coming off as haughty and arrogant. Andris saw the rue in his eyes.

“Don’t feel sorry for me and don’t feel bad about coming off as pompous. It’s in the past and my demeanor wasn’t inviting.”

“I was abused too. He…”Andrzej found it difficult to bring up the past again. All of those nights of insomnia and terror took its toll on his memory and sanity. It was as if he had a disgusting scar that he could only see. “My ex did the same to me. He beat me within an inch of my life. The last blow he delivered I saw my grandmother. Not in real life, mind you, but it was a flash. She said that I am a warrior. I needed to pick myself up, walk out that door and never look back. All in a flash. When he was in a drunken stupor, I packed my bags, took all of his money, threw his keys out the window and I never looked back. That’s why I moved here. New city, new home, new life.”

Andris’ eyes burned hazel again. Andrzej could see that he had a similar story. He didn’t want to know all of the details, so he didn’t press him for more. Andris could see the scar, too. He understood that it’ll never go away. It’ll always be there to remind him of his past. But with Andris, Andrzej could learn to live with this scar, this morbid aspect of him. “Let’s go.”

“Where?”

“I don’t know. Wherever we want to go.”

Andrzej took Andris’ hand and exited the shabby café. Raindrops started to fall thick and fast. “What a beautiful day.”

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Don’t Look Back

Coming out was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Growing up in a pretty conservative household made it even worse. I thought I could hide it, train myself not to think like that, but in the end I realized that it would destroy me. I wouldn’t ever be truly happy if I didn’t come to terms with this.

I always knew that I was different from other guys. Mainly because I don’t solely chase after girls (if at all). My mannerisms aren’t exactly masculine, my speech isn’t rough and gravelly, and my taste in music isn’t quite macho. Despite all of this, my dad and step-mom had no clue about my sexuality. It was a complete shock to them. As my dad put it, “it feels like we’ve lost you”. Not to say that they disowned me or anything like that, but they are still struggling with it. I love them both very much and I absolutely despise myself for making my dad feel like he’s in mourning. Deep down, though, I think that he’s happy that I came to terms with myself. It’s a shock, no doubt, and I’m not expecting him to digest this overnight.

In contrast to my dad and my step-mom’s reactions, my mom and step-dad weren’t surprised in the slightest. They actually took it a lot better than my dad and step-mom. When I told them, they acted like they were expecting it: “it was about time!” My mom also told me, “you know, we could see that you haven’t been happy for a while now. I’m so excited for you. We both are. You’ve finally decided to be true to yourself. I’d rather you be true to yourself than to hide who you really are.” The funny thing is that I’ve never been close with my mom or step-dad, and I think that this will improve our relationship ten-fold. I used to resent my mom and how I thought that she never really gave a damn about me, but this shows me that she really does and always has. I now regret holding any resentment toward them.

The morning that I decided to come out to my family, I had a short dream right before I woke up. I never remember my dreams, but this one I’ll always remember. I had a dream that I was dating another guy and that I was ecstatic. When I woke up, I realized that I was doing the right thing. It was as if God gave me that little “oomph”. Later that day, I also heard a snippet of “Born This Way”. That strengthened my resolve so much more.

After everything was said and done, I felt wave after wave of relief crashing over me. I realized that I no longer have to hide who I really am for anyone. It was as if I demolished the huge stone barrier that was preventing my full potential in my life. I left all of my inhibitions and fears behind.

And I haven’t looked back since.

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