Can’t say that I remember the day this picture was taken, but I do remember that bike, and yeah… even that hat!  lol  I HATED that hat!  It was too small for me, but they just kept on jamming it on my big, three- year- old head… {sigh} I guess it cost a few bucks and it wasn’t going to go to waste, no matter what I thought…

                  Three years old… First son… Lord, was I EVER that young? That innocent?

                  That secure of my place in this world?

                   I guess so…

                   It’s  been a long road. Most of it, on my own… Searching… Hoping… Praying… Loving…

                   Living.

                   The best way I could, given the place that I came from.

                I was reminded tonight, by a young man who has come to mean a lot to me, that I did my best… That I am NOT a failure, like I told him, in a moment of despair… That he knew I would do what was right. That the time has come to face my fear.

                 He knows how I feel about him… A young poet with the heart of a warrior. An inspiration to me, and many others.

               So, I composed a letter. To make right, the deceit of 46 years. To end my life of hiding and surviving to please the Others…

               The email will be sent tonight, to all of my siblings that I have email addy’s for, as well as my older nieces and nephews.  Here it is—-

Hello all…

          I am sending this letter to all of you and ending what has been a lifetime of fear and shame for me.

          It may not be the perfect way to accomplish this, but it is the only effective way that works at the moment, and to be honest, I can’t live with this pressing on me any longer. Forty- six years is long enough.

      Yes, you read right… It was forty six years ago, more or less, that I realized something fundamental about myself that I have kept hidden ever since.

          I was 10 years old when I put a name to that which people considered evil and unforgivable, and the thing that has pushed me away from the church that I love, and put me on this journey of faith and realization. It was a lonely and treacherous journey, especially at first, but I got past the worst alone and faced my life, knowing that it would be up to me to find the Truth and survive the best that I could.

          I did my best  to live my life with honor and hope, but now I realize  that it was not enough.  At least, not for me.

          I have always cherished my role as a big brother,  uncle and Godfather, and used that as another reason to hide this fundamental part of me-  in direct denial of the way that He created me. In that way, I have sinned and am in need of redemption.

          But the TRUTH has never been clearer to me- I was born a gay child of God and of that I should NEVER have been ashamed.

           So now, I’m setting things right.

           Love me or hate me… I am the same, loving person that I have always been, only now you know my secret.

         I will not apologize for who I am, and hope that you all understand that the 46 years I have spent in the relentless pursuit of this truth convinced me WITHOUT a doubt that although I was born into a hostile world, I am deserving of the respect that every human being is entitled to, and that He created me in His image for a reason.

        Someday, the veil will be lifted and I will understand the full reason, but until then, I intend to live my life without fear or equivocation.

        So… Although I had hoped to do this one- on -one, and tried with various people several times, I’m sorry to say that those efforts failed, leaving me with this option.

          I hope it doesn’t seem impersonal or ‘clinical’ to anyone… It is anything BUT that to me.

        I’m sure this will answer many questions for some and raise some for others. I’ll do my best to answer them, if I can. I’m actually pretty knowledgeable on the subject after all this time…
with love,
brother and uncle,  Tony

          Where this will take me, I know not…        

       But, with His love and the love of good friends, I will begin my new life, and for the first time since I pedaled that tricycle up and down the sidewalks and backyard of that little red cape, I will be…. just me.

Happy Birthday, Tony.

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