Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Yesterday Was Just Nuts

To say that the response to yesterday's "It Gets Better, But ..." post has been overwhelming would be a major understatement. (A big thanks to Dan Savage -- the co-mastermind of the It Gets Better Project. and Andy Towle[road] for including me on your blogs.) If you had told me 30 years ago -- or even 30 days ago -- that I would be opening up about this childhood ordeal with thousands of people, I wouldn't have believed it. Twenty-four hours later, though, I'm so glad I did. It was only when I began to write about that tennis team photo did I realize that it wasn't just about the name-calling and loss of friends, but about what the fear and shame bullying had done to me as a person, allowing me to live a huge portion of my childhood believing the end was near but not even caring enough to do something about it. (Kind of a "passive suicide attempt," as my friend Scott called it.) Don't get me wrong -- I was very good at compartmentalizing things. I was not a "dark and depressed" teenager, and I made lots of better friends after the dust settled. But the fact of the matter is I was willing to sit back and let whatever was going to happen happen -- even believing that what was happening was really bad. If I quickly learned as an adult that I was not in fact the ONLY gay person in the world, I did live till yesterday believing I was the only person who grew up thinking he was dying. What a surprise to hear from other guys with the exact same condition who jumped to the exact same conclusion. Thanks so much to everyone who got in touch with me -- including my old doubles partner. To be honest, my old coach is the one who needs to think about his actions more than anyone. The feedback has so supportive -- who knew I had to reveal I had a bonus testicle to get the commentosphere to be "nice" to me! -- with these three being my favorites so far:




Thanks again, everyone. I will let you know how things go next week.

1 comment:

Topaz said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

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