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Your Reason

Let me get–let me–let me get this out. Sh sh, it’s my turn to talk.  It’s–hey.  HEY! It’s my turn to talk.  Uninterrupted.  Let me get this out because I know it won’t come out in person.  I know the main points will be diluted by anger, both mine and yours.  Just let me give myself this small lobotomy.  Sorry if I stain the page.

We could go around in circles talking about whether tearing families apart while we deport millions back to their home country is ethical.  That argument in turn may lead us down the road to if anyone has paid their fair share to the country, even if legally, they didn’t.  Then we might discuss why it even matters.  If it relates to his character or not.  That whole ten minute conversation still doesn’t get at what is on my mind, and frankly, it’s a waste of time.  I have strong feelings on these subjects, so do you.  Neither one of us is going to change the other’s mind.  Honesty, that may be true about what I’m about to write.

For you, dad, this election meant a lot to me.  It would be the first election when I was out to my family.  It would be the first election that you all saw me as I see myself in the mirror and how the decisions outside of our family affect me.  I’m not ordinary.  I understand that.  What, ten percent of the population is gay? That’s probably high, too.  I’m a minority.  I know I wasn’t raised as such living in an upper middle class, white town.  I know it is something your not used to.  In fact, I don’t know of any friends of yours who are openly gay.  Nor do I know any friends of yours that are black, Hispanic, or Muslim.  You aren’t used to being a minority or being around minorities, but now you have one in your family.

Even though it was over two years ago, and I knew–I KNEW how you were going to react.  Your words still sting me.  You didn’t say you were disappointed.  You didn’t say you hated me.  You said, “Well, I’m not happy.”  I brushed it aside as I knew you weren’t going to be happy.  Why would you be? You then proceeded to tell me about your plan for me that involved me living a heterosexual life with a family and kids.  You had it all planned out.  You didn’t say you hated me, but you didn’t say you loved me.  It took you two days to admit that I had put you in a position where you were battling between your beliefs in “traditional” marriage and family.  That’s when you told me you loved me.  Yay…well at least you did it.  It pales in comparison to mom.  “Never underestimate a mother’s love.”

Now we suffered through the 2016 election.  You won.  I was glad you didn’t gloat.  I might have kept the silent treatment going longer if you did.  I let you call me on my birthday, not even a week after that fateful day, and we talked.  I wasn’t going to talk about the election, but you being you, you brought it up.  “I don’t know what everyone is so afraid of,” you declared from inside your bubble.  “I’m afraid dad,” I responded.  “I don’t know how to make you not afraid,” you lamented.  Unfortunately, it was too late for you to make me feel safe.  From that call onward, you ended every conversation with “I love you”, however, the opportunity to feel safe had left less than a week before.

You see, I was under the impression that a dad was supposed to do everything in his power to protect his kin.  I thought I was your son.  We had finally acted like we did before I came out to you.  No, we never touched on the homosexuality aspects of my life, but I could be in the same room as you without you becoming awkward, distant.  I know if the situation had been reversed, this wouldn’t be an issue, which may be naive of me, but this is how the cards played out.  Forty Six percent of the country thought that protection of homosexuals mattered less than stopping the first female president, and you were one of them.  You can defend your reasons, but it all boils down to those reasons meant more to you than my safety.  Than my future.  We even live in a state that would go blue no matter what.  You could have voted for any party, and I mean any party other than the one surrounded by homophobes.  Any party that didn’t have a vice president who would rather shock me into oblivion than let me continue living as I was born to live.  You made your statement, dad.

Going home has become a chore now.  I don’t look forward to seeing you or being alone with you.  All I can think about is your part in all of this.  Don’t try to dissuade me with that any discrimination will be considered illegal.  Or that they can’t turn over the marriage equality act.  Deep down, I know those things don’t matter to you.  Ever since the election, I have avoided discussing politics with you.  I have to go on like nothing is the matter until the two of us are alone in a car and we start arguing, dancing around my real problem.  I don’t care why you voted for him because there should have been one reason why you didn’t vote for him.  That reason should have been for me, your son.


I watch the TV and all that I can think of is that that could have been me.  That could have been me in that club.  Those could have been my friends.  That could be my mother on the news not knowing if I survived.  I have never felt so afraid for something beyond my control.  I didn’t choose to be this way.

In the past, my initial reaction was anger.  Why can’t others understand that I’m gay.  That it’s real.  That I’m not making it up.  Now, I only feel sad and afraid.  I live in a world where I could be shot for my sexuality.  Those brave people were in their safe place.  They were dancing with their friends and surrounded by people who didn’t care what they were.

The first time I went to a gay club after coming out, I went with two straight friends for support.  I had spent my entire life up to that point denying and concealing the fact that I was gay, so when I entered the club, I felt imagined mockery.  I thought every eye in the room was staring at me, judging me for being gay.  But it wasn’t true.  I was immediately accepted.  Nobody knew how closeted I still was and as uncomfortable as I was at first, it quickly faded.

I went to my first gay pride parade in Northhampton, Mass.  I had come out to many more people since, but I wasn’t out to the world.  Again, I had this feeling that I was sticking out; everyone must know that I’m gay.  All of my life hiding who I was, trying to stay invisible to go unnoticed was gone.  I hadn’t been so exposed.  I was out, out in public, on a beautiful spring day surrounded by straight and LGBT people celebrating the fact that we love who we love and we can’t change that.  This moment was the first time I embraced my homosexuality; I was free for the first time.

I didn’t come out to my parents until a year later.  All of this fear of being rejected, of people turning from day to night upon hearing that I wasn’t the norm, it scared me.  I stayed in the closet and shipped it overseas where no one would find it.  After coming out, I felt relieved; I was accepted.  The words “never underestimate a mother’s love” don’t ring true to other families; I was lucky with mine.

I went to my first Boston Pride parade last Saturday.  I’m the most out I’ve ever been.  I was out their wearing a nice sweater and slacks.  The only thing different about my outfit was the two golf visors I had taken from a bar crawl that wouldn’t have been nearly as fun as pride.  I cheered and clapped for my community.  I felt the solidarity, the lack of judgement, the love.  For the first time, I felt comfortable and welcome.

Every small step I took in my life seems so trivial compared to the courageous leaps that these people made last weekend.  They were being 100% who they were.

This event, in my mind and I’m sure in many others’ minds, hasn’t changed a thing.  In fact, it makes me feel like I need to be stronger.  I need to be like these people; I need to live my life like I was meant to.

#lovewins #itgetsbetter #lgbt

Esto es Adios

We agreed to take this month to think about the future of our relationship.  I couldn’t tell you flat out “no” because I couldn’t destroy you from the inside out.  Once, Rosi told me that what comes out of your mouth should be the same words that are running around your mind.  If they aren’t, then your soul may be out of balance.  Well, those words that I told you were just that.  I knew that the final answer was going to be no yet I gave you hope.  I played with your emotions to save you but to also save myself.  I was running away from you trying not to tell you the truth.

Yesterday, I was thinking about how happy I am to not have you in my life.  I don’t have to worry about making sure you’re happy trying to make me happy.  I don’t have to listen to your words floating towards me as clear whisps from your mouth.  Next year, this year, as soon as we can, soon, this weekend.  Empty promises just fall out of your open mouth.  Deception isn’t the worst problem nor is it the only one.

Right now I feel like I’ve escaped.  Why should I feel this way? Smothered feels like the right word as I felt that my two other outlets, friends and family, were blocked off so I just had my boyfriend.  I was cornered in this triangle with you blocking any attempt to make it to the middle.  You threw some of your own friends to block the sight of the far corner of my own friends, but even they had limitations.

Whenever I didn’t want to be with the only person in my triangular room, you made me feel that it was my fault.  I don’t want to go with you because I’ve seen you too much, well, you canceled plans so that we could hang out together.  You wanted us both to go to make a good impression.  You had all this planned as a surprise, but didn’t want to spoil it by telling me.  Have you ever led me astray?  Of course not.

Now, I’ve been covered by lies, surprises, emptiness for too long and I’m not happy with you.  This post is your definitive NO.  It comes attached with a sorry and I wish it wasn’t so, but I’m glad it is so.  I want to call myself a coward for not saying it to your face, but that’s on me.  It feels weird to have you completely out of my life, but even that slight freedom I had for the week before I left, sleeping on the floor, sharing a two person apartment with two other people, made me happy.  Maybe I should have started blaming you sooner.

Though I don’t see it now, it may be equally your fault as it is mine, so let’s call it a draw.  For this reason, I won’t blame you until you ask for the “list of flaws” that I have when in reality it doesn’t matter because we aren’t getting back together.

Breaking Up (Part One)

I was already in a bad mood. I don’t like the town I’m living in as nothing happens here, but we had planned to go away for the weekend.  Well, I did and I talked to several other people about traveling to some part of Spain, but agreed to go with David to Gibraltar.  The trip that we were going to take that weekend but were waiting until Thursday to buy tickets was showing up as sold out on the website. David had asked me for the phone charger that was in my backpack but not with me.  I went to give a private class and that was when he called.  I was already half way there, but he made me stop and wait for him and then proceeded to blame for not giving it to him earlier.  I fought back, I told you it was in my backpack; you should have asked me for it right before I left with my bag.  I came off agressive, but I just didn’t want him to blame me for something that was a both his fault and mine.

After the class, I went home, dropped my bags off, and went to the bus station to confirm that the trip had sold out.  It was exactly as I had feared, so I walked home and skyped with my friend.  Before I called her, I talked to David for a quick second in which he knew I was pissed, but had to wait until after the call.  I wish I could say that the call calmed me down, but it didn’t.  I had canceled plans to go on this trip because it included him and he could afford it, but HE wanted to wait until Thursday for God knows why.  Obviously, I blamed him.  If we had got the tickets when I wanted, we wouldn’t be in this situation.  I let him know that I was not OK with this and I wasn’t going to back down.  Well, that’s when he started a contest I wasn’t going to let him win.

It was a bad day for me to be angry.  David had just lost another job that he had for a month and a half and he had already spent a lot doing construction to his apartment.  If he was in a bad mood, however, it didn’t show.  I attributed this to him knowing of the impending layoff do to poor sales in his area.  Whether he actually felt bad or not, he used his emotional state as counterpoint.  He said to me, You shouldn’t be feeling this way for a little trip when I just lost my job and I’m not feeling great.  Invalidating the emoitions I was feeling from the stir crazy life that I decided to live with him this year.  I told him, If you want to have a competition about who is having a worse time, it would be me for living here and dying of boredom.  We argued.  He said that he would have to give up way more to live with me in the United States.  According to his plan, that would be in two years.  One more year in this dump of a town and then one more “anywhere” I choose.  I don’t see that happening.  Then, he asked the right, but wrong question: Crees que esto tiene futuro — Do you think that we have a future?  It’s the wrong question because I don’t.  I can’t see us being happy anywhere together.  

Maybe I was lying to myself, but I would’ve said that we were at a great place in our relationship,  just everything outside of the relationship was bad.  I don’t have any friends or family or anything to do here.  I would only be losing him if I left and didn’t turn back.

I told him no.  That I didn’t see a future.  If he did end up coming to the United States, I would be the cause of his suffering and there would be no rememdy.  He called me selfish several times for thinking about going back to the United States and then said something that I never thought would come out of his mouth. Maybe we should just break up.  I was shocked.  I thought that I would have to say it, and he turned the tables by saying that it was my choice.  Look at my situation here, I’m all alone with only my boyfriend and if I were to lose him, I’d be all alone.  I also do love him, so it isn’t as easy as saying yes and leaving.  We have been in a relationship for over a year and to lose the person that I let get so close would be devastating.  I reacted the only way I could.

I started at him.  He didn’t deter his gaze, but I couldn’t maintain it.  Thoughts were rushing in and out of my head and I couldn’t form a sentence.  I told him about my confusion but I didn’t know what to do.  I asked him if I could go for a walk to think, and right before I left he touched me and gave me a hug.  The tears ran down my face pouring from all the love I have for this man.  I couldn’t let him go, at least not in the moment and I wasn’t ready for the relationship to be over.  His mood changed and he was sweet and caring.  So, what do you say about two more years in Spain?  I agreed.

We went for a walk together and all I could think to myself was how I didn’t want to spend another minute in Spain, but that I didn’t want the relationship to end either.  I guess that’s going to come next month.


On top of a cliff, I look down and see how beautiful the world is. How each leaf has a different color and blends fluidly into its partner. I see a river flow away from view and merge with the sky. It’s a world that I would never realize from walking through the woods or through swimming in the river. The individuality of each object merges together to make one continuous world. There are no empty spaces because even where there is nothing, there is a patch of dirt with little plants struggling to live or there is an empty spot of sky full of a light blue and maybe the ghost of a cloud. Behind me is a storm throwing a shadow unto the world. I can hear the thunder bellowing as it approaches. I see that fallen into darkness, the world is has many different hues, many different sides that although different, just show the same beautiful images in a different gown.

From atop of this mountain, I wonder why and how I got here. The impending storm glides closer careful not to make any sudden movements. I sit on a rock and I know I’ll have to do something, but for some reason, my mind throttles towards blame and excuses. Why am I here so far from safety and security?

At least, that’s how I feel right now. I’ve gone through so many scenarios trying to place blame, find where I broke bad, give meaning to this beautiful world. Although I find answers, it doesn’t satisfy me. Then I remember what a friend of mine asked some months ago. After telling him about my return to Spain he bluntly asked, “What are you running from?” I shrugged it off seeing as he didn’t know my dark deep secret. I didn’t register it then, but I really was running from something: being gay. Here, if someone caught me being gay in the streets, they wouldn’t go and publish it in all of the major newspapers. I know it sounds like an exaggeration, but that was a legitimate fear that I had before I came out to my family. Here, almost like college, I was free. Actually, it was better than college because I could always say “I no speakie espagnol”. I could be myself and I wouldn’t care about hiding it.

After last December, the two places switched roles. My immediate family knew that I am gay and I find myself in a relationship that can’t escape the walls of the apartment. I saw how my family treated my boyfriend with complete unconditional love and how the family that didn’t even know he was my boyfriend accepted him like another member of the family reminded me of how much I love them. Then, my friends envelope him in so much conversation that I barely talk to him or them. My return flight wasn’t me escaping my life in the US, but rather I was kicking myself out. It was my choice and I hated it. Now, being back in the apartment in Spain, I can’t believe that I left them all behind. Why on earth would I leave the ones I love?

That’s what I’m thinking about on the top of this cliff. I fled my sexuality a year and a half ago and that’s essentially why I’m in this situation. Although I probably didn’t admit it back then, I’m coming clean now. This out of country experience has really opened my eyes and made me appreciate my family and friends so much more that they don’t even know until I come back into their arms. The only problem is that I have to survive that dark, rolling cloud that’s hanging overhead. I might just have to let it happen and hang on. All I know if that I need to wait until it passes before I can return to where I belong.

Estoy Rallado

I feel like I’m in a hall looking down towards the end.  There’s a bright light and I want to go towards it, but every step that I make moves the floor equally behind me.  I start to run and the floor skids past me, leaving me right where I started.  I know that the light is good and great, but I can’t seem to make it there.  I sit down, not knowing what to do.

I feel alone.  Although I have my boyfriend here, I don’t have anyone else.  I don’t have friends or family or even my own space.  I’m living in his apartment and sharing his things while all that I brought from my homeland is stuffed into two drawers.  He tells me that I have his family and his friends, which is nice, but it isn’t the same.  I want my friends and my family, but there an ocean away.

Estoy dando vueltas. Thoughts keep turning over in my mind about how I got here and what mistakes I made and how I might get out.  With no one to go to, I feel trapped, though not physically.  I’m trapped with the language barrier that I will never become a native speaker, I’m trapped by not having people to talk to about my problems, I’m trapped because I can’t even go to my own house to relax.  I blame myself.  I agreed to every decision that led up to this moment.  I agreed to live with him and donate another year of my life.  But now, at the moment to decide for next year, I can’t say yes.

He asked me for one more year.  One more year in this remote town.  One more year living as if he was the only person living in the same town with me.  After that one year, we’d go to another city in Spain, and after that year, we would decide if we would go home to the United States.  So after two years.  Then I’ll be living with my friends and family again.  Then I won’t feel so alone.  I agree, at least up until submitting the reapplication.  That’ll give us two more months to talk, but I can’t stop thinking about how I don’t want to come back.  How me amargaría, I’d grow more bitter if I had to stay here another year.  I don’t think I could do it.

My emotions and I used to keep a good distance from each other.  I was never in tune with them and at the slightest nudge, I would call them irrational and suppress them.  Well, now I’m not dealing with the little emotions that I used to push down.  These are the emotions that are big and wear size 13 shoes.  I can’t suppress them and they are taking over my life.  I try to dodge them by not thinking about myself.  I think about him and how crushed he would be to know what I feel.  How he might feel that I’ve just been using him all of this time when really I’ve fallen more and more in love ever since the first day that I said te amo.  I’m not mad at him nor do I dislike him.  On the contrary, I want him to come with me, but I can’t ask that of him.  He tells me now he might be able to in two years, but I can’t wait.  I need to go now.  I mean now, although my contract with this job isn’t up until May.  I have to at least wait until May, but I can’t hold these feelings inside.  I’m sorry, I can’t.  Every day that I fall more in love is another day I feel more distant from all of the other people I love.  I can’t.

I am trying to stand up, but I feel held back.  I look at what has taken hold of me and I see into its soft green eyes.  I can see it begging me to stay and I don’t know what to say, so I stay in the hallway looking onwards at the light.

Gray Suits

“Now here’s a strange phenomeon, Jerry. There has been a recent spike in suits recently and more surprisingly with gray jackets and pants.” The anchorwoman forced a smile at the camera before continuing, hoping she had given the proper amount of suspense. “It seems that a new cult group is buying grey suits to wear. They say there goal is to pass a ball all around the country. Here’s Brett with more details.”

“Thanks, Donna. I’m here right now with a member of the grey suit clan. Dan, can you explain to us what’s going on here?” Brett handed the microphone to the man wearing a gray suit. Dan was slightly overweight; his cheeks sagged a little on the side of his head. He was bald, but had thick eyebrows and excitement in his eyes.

“Well, you see,” he started, “I received a text message a couple of weeks ago that said I had an important job. It was actually pretty specific. It told me that my job was to throw a ball into that park over there. It even said the park by name.”

“And who was that message from, Dan?”

“I have no idea. I just did what it told me to do.”

“Did you ever consider not doing it? Not throwing the ball into the park?”

“Yeah, I guess I did, but part of the message said that if I didn’t do it someone else would. I had nothing better to do, so I did it.”

“So Dan, where did you buy the ball from?” asked Brett.

“Oh, I didn’t buy it. I was standing here when it rolled to me. I picked it up and threw it into that park over there. And then that was that.”

“You didn’t follow the ball?”

Dan stopped to take a deep inhale before continuing, “Well, I did. After I threw it, I walked over to see where it had gone. When I got into the park, there was another guy there who had already thrown it. So I thought, well that’s that.”

“Was he wearing the same gray suit as you?”

“Yes, yes he was.”

“So why the gray suit, Dan?” pushed Brett for one last question.

“Well, that was part of the message. We had to wear a suit and jacket. And it had to be gray. We’ve actually been talking in an online forum and some people have received the same message that I’ve received, they accepted the job, and then they went out without a gray suit. You know what happened? The ball never came to them. It’s only gone to people wearing gray suits.”

“Very interesting, Dan,” said Brett sarcastically. “Is this a new gang on the rise? You can be sure that News Team 5 is going to keep up with this interesting scandal. Back to you, Donna.”

“Thanks, Brett. We would like to note that the forum is real and you can find it at Dan wasn’t the only one to get these weird cryptic messages. Seeing as there has been no violence involved, I guess ball’s well that ends well.” Jerry looked at Donna and gave a forced laugh.

Jake turned away from the news program and looked at Chris. He was eating a burger while they were waiting to meet a possible person with abilities.

Chris was interested in the news. He commented, “Weird things going on in this city.”

Jake nodded. He was more interested in the new mutant than anything else. He asked, “What do we know about this guy?”

“Well, he called us, which means it’s probably an easier case. I don’t think he was too specific, he just said that he was having weird sensations and didn’t know what to make of them.”

With that response, Jake’s hopes were shattered. He wanted to meet someone with a cool ability, especially one that he could control. He looked down at the photo that they were given and looked up at the bar. He saw the guy. He hit Chris on the elbow and and nodded towards the slender man at the bar. Chris put his burger down and both of the agents stood up and made their way towards the bar. They grabbed two seats next to the man. Looking at his face, he seemed worried, but his shaking hands showed how nervous he really was.

Chris started, “Hey, Paul, want to go grab a table?”

Hearing someone who knew his name immediately relaxed him. He replied, “Sure. Thank you so much for coming.”

The two agents returned to their booth with their new acquaintance. Chris picked up the conversation again. “So what seems to be the problem?” Jake was already looking for the problem. He saw himself through Paul’s eyes. He felt Paul’s arms tremble lightly, his foot tapping against the leg of the table. Jake didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary physically. He let go of Paul and closed his eyes and folded his hands. He could feel his mental waves going in all directions. He focused them to align with Paul’s. Again, he didn’t recognize anything out of the ordinary. Although Paul did have a stronger mental force than regular humans, it was not nearly as strong as most mutants with mental abilities. Jake opened his eyes and returned to the conversation.

Apparently, Paul had a headache that wouldn’t go away. When he focused on the headache, it got stronger, but was finer. When he didn’t focus on it, the headache hurt less, but moved around his head.

“Has anything, uh, let’s say outside of your body happened because of this headache?” prompted Jake hoping for something interesting. He was really beginning to feel like they were wasting their time with this one.

“Well, a couple of nights ago, before I had the headache, I was trying to fall asleep and I felt something funny. I thought nothing of it, but the next day all of my neighbors were knocking on my door.”

“What happened?” inquired Chris, “What had you done?”

“Nothing!” he yelled and then started to whisper, “I did absolutely nothing. And they weren’t knocking because they were mad. They were knocking in unison. Boom…boom…boom all in the same rhythm. And when I opened the door. When I opened the door, they just stared at me. They didn’t say anything. I looked at them and they didn’t move, so I just said ‘Go away’ and in unison they left. But that’s not even the weirdest part, when I went to leave the building they were all together outside. Waiting for me again. That’s when the headaches started. And the moment that the headache started, they were back to normal questioning why they were outside.”

Immediately, Jake realized why Paul didn’t have the signature mental waves of a normal mental ability. Paul was holding it in so not to use it on anybody. Jake thought for a second like he and Chris might be in trouble and he tried to strengthen his grasp on the people in the bar. If Paul did control them, maybe Jake could get there first in order to prevent any damage. Then, he heard Paul scream.

“Ooooow.” He yelled and all of the bar patrons turned to the table of three. Jake felt a sharp jab in his head and lost his grasp on the customers. He put up his mental shield and looked at Paul. Paul was worried and looking from side to side. The bar patrons were coming closer to the table, their arms in front of them.

Paul yelled, “Don’t get me, get them!” and pointed at Jake and Chris. Paul jumped from his seat and ran to the exit. Jake went to look at Chris, but Chris already had his arms around Jake’s throat. Jake tried to get in his head, but he couldn’t lend his attention to anything but throwing Chris off of him. Now there were even more people surrounding the table. Jake jumped and ran for the exit as well. He saw Paul enter a building and followed him.

Jake yelled up the stairwell, “Paul we can figure this out, don’t run.” Paul didn’t heed the help and continued going upstairs. Jake chased after him.

When he was more than halfway up, Jake heard the door to the roof open and close. Jake ran up and found the door. He opened it as well. There was no Paul in sight, but he did see a shorter man wearing a gray suit. Instinctively, Jake entered the man’s brain. He froze the man and looked around for Paul. If not a half a minute later, Jake heard something that sounded like faucet, but louder and then felt an enormous pain in his head. He collapsed to the ground and grabbed his forehead. He was in tears as he looked to his side and saw that the man with the gray suit also had a bullet wound in his forehead. The man was most certainly dead.

Jake fought hard to stand up to find the assassin but couldn’t. He crawled over to the dead body. Next to him was a phone with a message that told the man to be up at the top of this building and to throw a blue ball to the other side of the building when it came on the roof. Jake looked around for a blue ball but found nothing. A moment later a blue ball came flying up from the street. Jake looked at it, picked it up and threw it over the building and it fell out of sight.

Then, Jake’s phone rang. He looked at it and saw that it was from Prinz. He answered it, “This was just to remind you that I’m here for when you’re ready.” Jake looked around and tried to find someone in a building watching him. He tried sending out mental waves, but it was no use. He would be out of commission for a while.

“You killed an innocent man just so I would join you?”

The voice on the other end answered, “Actually, we just wanted to remind you that you too have weaknesses and that we have found another one.” Jake slammed the phone on the ground and thought about planning revenge for Prinz when he remembered that he was dealing with another mutant before all of this action had happened.

“Paul!” he yelled and looked around the rooftop. From underneath some solar panels came Paul who had witnessed what had happened without knowing what any of it meant. “Paul,” Jake continued, “We can help you.”

Why didn’t you tell us?

I don’t think I’ve ever been so sure about coming out to someone before. I knew after I told my parents that the next logical step was to tell my sister and brother. In the past, I thought about the precise moment I would tell them. We would be wrapping gifts and right before we finished the last one, I would say, “I have something to tell you.” In the past, if this exact moment didn’t happen, I wouldn’t go through with it. However, I’m not the same man I used to be. I have a reason to come out and I have a deadline.

I returned from Spain on a long flight. I was exhausted and I just wanted to go home. My entire family came to meet me at the airport and my mom had decided that we should go out to dinner. She knew how hungry I’d be after such a long day. She also knew about the surprise that was coming that Friday. My boyfriend of about a year was venturing to the United States for the first time. Not only did my mom know, but so did my dad. He wasn’t as happy about it, but didn’t show otherwise. My brother and sister were still in the dark though my sister had questioned me on many occasions. I didn’t like the feeling of being pulled out of the closet, so I kept quiet. Now I was ready. I had built an army of friends against my parents that turned out to be moral support instead of an active group. With my siblings, I went in unarmed but with the knowledge of how much we loved each other.

After dinner, we went home. I was still exhausted, but I couldn’t go to bed without doing one thing. Our parents had recently bought new ping pong equipment for the basement. As tradition holds around the holidays, we the siblings have to play some rounds of ping pong. We went downstairs and immediately began our two on one round robin. This was when I started looking for my moment. When would be the right moment, I thought to myself. If that moment didn’t come, I would have to tell them tomorrow for there were only three days until my boyfriend would be coming to stay with us. I stalled, Tomorrow wouldn’t be so bad. Then I thought in how many tomorrows had already passed, how if I let even one more day go, it might turn into another 24 years. I couldn’t let this fear take over when this wasn’t even the scariest thing I’ve done. The scariest thing was telling my dad. It was the only non-positive reaction that I had ever gotten. I know my siblings. They would be fine with it. I decided, once we finished the third game, I would come out and say it.

The third game finished and my sister won. My brother was telling us about his plans to go out for the night and my sister was thinking about going to bed. I listened and when there was a pause in the conversation, I said, “Guys, I have something to tell you.” I didn’t wait for anyone to interrupt. I didn’t even look at the faces as I revealed, “I came out to mom and dad over the summer, and there’s something you should know. David isn’t just my roommate.” My sister showed a little shock, but otherwise, her face held the same expression of intrigue as before. She was the first to say something and to give me a hug showing acceptance. Immediately after, my brother did the same. We talked for a little about how she kind of figured but wasn’t sure. Then my sister asked, “Why didn’t you tell us?” I answered honestly. It wasn’t because I thought they would take it poorly, but rather that I wanted to do it on my own terms when I was ready and that day had finally come. She understood and our conversation ended.

I wish I could say something profound about how I something changed that day either between my siblings or between them and me, but the truth is that ever since, it has felt the exact same as before. Nothing changed and it’s the first time that this has happened after coming out to someone. It’s crazy to look back and think about all of the fear that I had when telling a family member, when in the end, I have a pretty cool family.

The Waterfall

Captain Dad stood at the helm and stared at his crew. Four, together, rowed and stared right back. He led them down this river that he had been navigating for years. Their only goal was to get to the sea. He took out his telescope and saw the mouth that spat into the ocean. He had dreamed of reaching there ever since he started his journey with his wonderful crew. Captain Dad tipped his hat and pointed where the river flowed to signal to the crew to keep going. He tucked his telescope into his pocket and sighed having peace of mind that they were going to reach their destination. He trusted his crew with every paddle row.
As soon as he sat back in his chair, he felt a fearful tremble. The boat had started hitting rocks and the crew didn’t know what to do. Suddenly, the boat fell straight down. The captain’s hat flew from his head.
The ship had come across a waterfall. Captain Dad couldn’t imagine how they would survive. He looked down into the mist that would soon consume him and guide him to his death. Captain Dad floated in the air as the white vapor crept towards his body. His gaze moved to where he had come from. His mind was transfixed on that cursed waterfall. He didn’t think of any way that he could survive the fall or what he would do when he finally hit water. He swore at the waterfall at the top of his lungs. As he fell further down, the only thing he could see through the mist was the waterfall. <em>I will never make it to the ocean</em>, he thought, <em>this trip was all for naught</em>. As soon as he let the mist blind him to the water fall, SPLASH.
Captain Dad hit the water and came up gasping for air. He looked around and saw his crew already in the boat ready to continue their journey. Apart from being wet, they weren’t injured and were already in their seats, oars in their hands. Captain Dad climbed over the side of the boat and went back to the helm. He turned around and looked at that terrible surprise, then faced the stern and put the telescope back to his eye, more cautious and prepared for the next bump.


You’re Kidding

I didn’t want to leave the bathroom.  I was playing games on my phone for minutes before I could muster up the courage to leave.  I said it in my head, “Hey Dad, can I talk to you for a sec.”  I had it all planned in my head and as I touched the doorknob, I knew that it wasn’t going to go as such.  I went to my parents’ room where my dad was sitting at his desk, watching TV.  I follow the script.  I tell him, “I talked to Mom about this a few weeks ago, but I wanted to let you know before I go back to Spain.  I’m gay.”

“You’re kidding.” The two words escape his mouth before he can process them.  He says, “I want you to know that I will always love you because you are my son, but that I’ve always thought that it was a choice.  Just in the way that I choose to love you mother.”

“That’s not a good comparison,” I respond.  “It’s more like how you chose to like women, which is something you didn’t do.  It was inherent for you your entire life.  That’s what it’s like for me.”

“But how do you know?” he asks.

“Because I like men,” I say.

He puts in his little joke, “So there’s no chance that you are going to go out with Clarissa, then?” with a light chuckle.

“Nope,” I feign a smile.

“You don’t look gay, you don’t act gay.”

“I know.”

We continue talking and he’s asking some good questions.  Well, do you have a boyfriend? Yep. Who is he? He’s Spanish.  He tells me how uncomfortable he feels around so many people wearing Yankee’s caps in New York and tells me how he feels the same awkwardness around gay people.  How he’s worried about offending them.

“That’s an appropriate fear,” I say in support.

He then asks, “Is there any hope? Of you liking women?”

“Nope. It’s not hope. For me it’s fear.  That’s why I’m doing this now.  To lay it all on the table.””Needless to say, I’m not happy.  I have thought your whole life out.  How you will find a girl to fall in love with and start a family–“”I can still do that.  That’s still possible.””It’s just not the way I pictured it,” he says subdued.  “I’m not happy about it.”I ask him, “How are you feeling?”He answers in one word: “Shocked.””That’s a completely appropriate reaction,” I assure him.”It’s just going to take some time for me to get over.””That’s fine,” I tell him, “Take all of the time you need.My mom had come up around the middle of the conversation.  She supported everything I said.  She agreed that she was shocked as well and reminds me that the reason that I felt this sudden urge to tell people was because of my late uncle, my dad’s twin brother.  He was so accepting and loving of everyone.  Even though he had three girls, and was always hoping for a boy, he went to all of their dance recitals and cheerleading events.  He was more open-minded.My dad took the news just how I was hoping he wouldn’t take it, but the way I knew he would.  He can take all the time he needs, but he accepted upfront that I’m his son and that he loves me just for that.  He didn’t yell, he didn’t kick me out of the house, he didn’t try and hurt me.  He’s taking the time to accept and maybe change the way he views sexuality.  It’s more than a choice.