Some anniversaries are celebrated. Some are mourned. Some are acknowledged or commemorated for the importance of the anniversarizing event. (Yes, I made up/verbicized a word (actually 2, I guess.)
September 23, 1989 is known as Denial Day or “D-Day" or more appropriately, the END of Denial Day. It’s the day I said for the first time, “I’m gay.” This momentous event occurred in a shrink’s office at the Student Counseling Center on Campus. I was scared shitless uttering the words out loud. Although John (my then shrink) would argue that it was hardly out loud. Getting there was a long arduous road, and the path that was ahead of me, following this utterance was equally as long and arduous, if not more so, although at the time, I thought the worst was over.
I had many years of self-loathing and hatred to overcome, indoctrinated by a church and religion purporting to be of “God’s love.” The message I received was that God loves everybody BUT me. I spent years praying for God to change me and “make me ‘right’”. While this wasn’t the solidifying event that led me to, as REM so perfectly sings, “Losing My Religion”, it was the solidifying event that caused me to rethink the concept of ‘prayer’ and the crock of shit that it is, used a bargaining chit to some favor doling entity (IMO) as proselytized by current day religions. I’ve had trouble with the “P” word ever since. The mere mention of it can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, depending on who may be saying it.
I spent many years as an activist for GLTB issues in the church. This was in large part because the suicide rate for GLTB teens/young adults is at least 30% higher than for others in the same age co-hort. I wanted to effect change, make a difference, as I was nearly one of that statistic. The letters were written. The pills stockpiled. A friend unwittingly stopped me before I followed through with the plan. While never an easy topic of discussion, the passage of time makes it (the topic, not the action) less frightening. I fought within the church to keep other teens/young adults from being part of that statistic. Oddly enough, it wasn’t GLTB issues that eventually brought me to my current beliefs (or absence thereof) to Atheism. But that’s another story.
This story is about burning down everything which was the essence of who I thought I was or tried to be, and the Phoenix that arose from the ashes. I have a love/hate relationship with Autumn. As is fitting with my morbid sense of humor and nature, I like the endings--the death that autumn brings, the senescense. Halloween is one of the “High Holy Days” in the Fagdom Calendar. I’m one of few gay men who does not like Halloween. I spent so many years wearing my ‘masks’, that the last thing I want to do is pretend I’m something I’m not. I’m sure that the Autumn of ’89, plays heavily upon this irrational disdain of Halloween. But, it’s part of who I am in 2008—an out, proud gay man, with few regrets. ©wtf/rle