The healing I wrote of in this article was the healing the homosexual community and myself must go through because of the cruelties inflicted upon us, but in the wake of recent events, there is deeper meaning, and perhaps deeper insight into the healing process. In this article I state how difficult it is to forgive the cruelties perpetrated against me, and now it makes me think of the families and victims of the first attacks of what is being referred to by some as World War III, and how much more impossible it must be for them to offer up any feelings of forgiveness for those who inflicted pain upon them, and how the acts of violence will only serve to further divide the human race and cause greater pain to all peoples of the world.
I'm not a political pundit, nor am I schooled in diplomacy, but even someone like myself, whose only schooling in cruelty came from my peers violent acts, can see religious fanatics, whether they be from foreign countries or established religions practiced right here in America, only serve to perpetuate hate through violence and bigotry.
I doubt the American people will heal, just as I haven't fully healed from the cruelties of ignorant children so many years ago.
A Gay Opinion 5/07/00
by R.A. Melos
It seems a large part of the healing process is for the victims of the injustice,
the cruelty, the crime, to let go of the grief and pain, to absorb it, accept
it, and then move on, while those at whose hands they suffered seem to pay no
price. Those who perpetrate an injustice, usually in the name of society, move
on with their lives as if nothing more than having changed a television channel,
yet they usually have caused irrevocable damage before moving on.
I have spent a large portion of my life in denial, not only of my homosexuality, but also of my childhood. Literally, for approximately ten or so years, I could not remember my childhood, at least not as my own. I would have dreams, or waking visions of something that may have happened, but seemed so distant it could only have been something which happened to someone else, or in a movie, it couldn't have happened to me, but it all did.
Starting from the time I was six, my so-called peers identified me as "queer" and a "faggot". This was at a time in my life, and in theirs, when I did not know the meaning of these words. I have shared in the past, my recollections of being given a Valentines Day card in the second grade with the endearment of "be my queer."
I was the smallest child in my class, and remained the smallest until I was 15, but by that time I had been mentally, physically and emotionally abused to the point where I looked upon my remaining years in school as a prison term which had to be served. This abuse didn't only come from peers but from those who were charged with teaching us as well, which in today's society would be grounds for dismissal.
I admit I wasn't very good in sports, having no natural inclination for them. This in itself did not mean I was gay, but my peers saw my lack of knowledge of sports as a sign of my homosexuality. I guess they must've been raised differently than I, since I never once remember my father watching a game of any kind on the television. Nor did any of my family associate weekends with sporting events, as my peers families must've done.
As I said, it wasn't only my peers at whose hands I suffered. In gym class I was never really given any guidance or encouragement from my teachers. I usually was the last one picked for any teams, and then usually to the comments of "we don't want him on our team, he's a faggot." The teachers usual response was, "I know, but we have to let him play."
The teachers looked the other way when after the class, it was time to beat up the class "faggot" in the locker room. Or to stuff the "faggot" in a hallway locker as a prank, because he was the littlest and a fag anyway. Through all of this, I still did not know exactly what a "faggot" was, since my so-called peers wouldn't tell me, they only called me one and picked on me.
Since it must've been something awful I didn't have the courage to ask my parents what it meant, because I was afraid I might be one, whatever it was. The only thing I did know about my sexuality was, I wasn't starting to get interested in girls when I hit my teens. I wasn't totally interested in anyone, since I was burying my feels so deep it would take another 15 years before I was even close to fully accepting my own truths.
I continued on with my life as a student, fitting into whatever groups I could, like the theater groups, and the burnouts. Okay, we all know what the theater groups were associated with, but for those unfamiliar with the term "burnout", it was an 1980s term associated with those who smoked pot, didn't do well in their classes, had a wise-assed attitude, and generally wore a lot of leather and dark clothes. I walked the line between these two groups, not really completely fitting into either, but at least making the attempt.
With a "misfit" label I was safer than with a "faggot" label. I didn't get beat up as much, but then I was 16 and had grown about 16 inches in one year, so I was no longer the smallest guy in the school, and I was sort of passing, even dating (hanging out with) a girl. This didn't mean I had finally found my niche or was even remotely happy. In fact, I was very miserable, and burying my feelings and remembrances of each day as they happened.
I had a very unusual memory system, but not bad enough to fully effect my grades, although the constant abuse, the name calling, the being punched several dozen times a day walking from class to class, the being tripped so someone could laugh at the "clumsy faggot", and the general way the teachers ignored these occurrences, added to my new found abilities to forget something was happening at the very moment it was happening.
To have a teacher watch you being tripped, shoved down to the ground, and then have her say "you're so clumsy," as though she weren't standing right there watching the students abuse me, helped me develop my sense of hate for society. After all, I was the victim of what appeared to be a societal conspiracy. And you know what, that is one conspiracy that really did and still does exist.
Oh I know it isn't always a conscious conspiracy, in fact it is something you are indoctrinated into from birth, by many hate-mongering heterosexuals, and those of us who don't fit the mold, or are just a little different, are easy prey for this behavior.
Yes, a lot of this is changing with the times. Although many states still are perpetuating this bullying behavior by passing laws refusing to recognize same-sex marriages, or denying same-sex couples the right to adopt unwanted children, or denying us the same basic respect deserving of all human beings.
It has been a struggle to accept all the cruelty and abuse as part of my past, especially when the full realization of the intensity of the hatred directed toward me was out of ignorance and just because I wasn't the jock, or the brain. However, I have finally remembered enough of the pain, and absorbed enough of the cruelty to put my life into a new perspective. I remember the pain and cruelty, and accept if for what it was, the acts of an ignorant society.
Can I forgive it, forget it and move on, as is the currently accepted theory of dealing with great emotional and physical cruelty? That is another question I may never be ready to answer. I know I'll never forget it again, but to forgive it as the acts of misguided children, I don't know if that is possible, since those same misguided children have grown into adults functioning in our society. What are they teaching their children, or nieces and nephews, about "faggots"?
Oh I know, some of them have changed, some came out as gay themselves, and
others have taken a vehement stance against homosexuality in all its forms.
Some are breeding a new generation of hate-mongers; whether consciously or not,
they are doing it. When a therapist goes on worldwide radio and calls homosexuals
deviants, and associates them with child molesters in a day and age when we
are supposed to have been enlightened is totally irresponsible. Thus, I have
to reserve forgiveness.
As for moving on with my life, by writing this and other articles like it, it is helping with the healing process, but I have a long way to go until I can feel whole, well and complete. There has been too much hurt and hate, directed at me and much of the homosexual community, for me to just accept it, forgive it, and move on. I'm a person who wants to see those who have committed the crimes pay for their ignorance, after all ignorance of the law is never an excuse when committing any other crimes. Did the Nazis say "I didn't know it was wrong to kill Jews, blacks, gypsies and homosexuals?" and get a slap on the wrist, as heterosexual society would like to happen now.
It is mostly the heterosexual society that wants the homosexuals to forgive and forget the pains we've all been caused by their ignorance, and I'm not ready to allow that to happen. Yes, I want to feel healed and whole, but I, and many like me, have suffered a lifetime of indignity, humiliation, and pain at the hands of closed minded bigots, and now the only acceptable retribution is total acceptance of homosexuals as equal to heterosexuals in marriage, in work, in life in general, with the same respect, benefits, and expectations.
The only acceptable healing process will involve repeal of all "anti-gay" laws now in existence. A complete revamping of our overall societal attitude is in order. Yes it's a tall order, but a necessary one for homosexuals to heal and move on without harboring the resentments of lifetimes of pain at the hands of the ignorant heterosexual society.
It's time for this healing to take place, and time for heterosexuals to move on and let go of their own hate-mongering. Until such time as that acceptance takes place, the homosexual community, the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered (GLBT), can never fully heal from the many cruelties we have all suffered.
I thought, back in high school, when I was waiting for my educational prison term to end, once I was an adult things would be different. I wouldn't feel this pain anymore, or hate the society I was associating it with, but my own hate will take perhaps a lifetime to fade. I just want heterosexual society to know that hate never would've been there to begin with, if the hate they taught their children didn't exist first.
Maybe we can all heal together, but we all have to want this healing, and I'm afraid the time isn't now, because there is still too much ignorance being taught to young generations. Yes strides are being made, and teenagers are able to come out with less resistance, and a high school football player can proclaim his homosexuality on international television and be cheered by millions of people, but this event is only the beginning of the healing process.
So here I am, still urging everyone, GLBT or heterosexual, who reads this, to try to make the world a better place. I urge the GLBT community to fight for what is rightfully ours to begin with, and the heterosexual community to learn from their mistakes and to help all the world heal.
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