Martin's Column

by Martin Widmer
February 1996

(continued from last month)

The moment when my mom read the letter and screamed for my dad was one of the most frightening moments in my life. I was not prepared at all and it was 11 p.m. in the evening. My mom still had my letter in her hands and I wanted to get it back, so I screamed at her to give it back to me. Her reading my letter hurt so much because she broke the last privacy I had into a thousand pieces. At that very moment, I'd have beaten my mom if my father had not told her to give me the letter back.

Then, we decided to go down to the living room in order to talk. The situation was strange, my hands were cold and my head was hot and my thoughts were spinning around. It came out that my parents did not think of me as an equal human being. They thought that I am too easily influenced. They thought that I trust people too easily. They thought that the gay men are a strange sect who brainwashes young guys like me in order to serve them as sex objects. Short, they had no idea about what I means to be gay.

The discussion was useless because for them my arguments did not count. They could not understand that being gay for me had not been a decision but a long process of getting to know myself. So we finally decided that we should go to a psychologist (I thought my parents should, they thought I should) and we went to bed. The other day it was very difficult to continue with the daily routine. It was during the time between my military service and the start of my studies at the ETH (Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich) and I was working for the government, doing support for their Apple computers.

The next few days were not very comfortable. We had some discussions but none of them brought anything new, and then the first sessions with the psychologist came. Those sessions were very good for me because the psychologist encouraged me to defend my own life against the pressure my parents put on me. They showed me that I have a right for respect and privacy and the psychologist asked me a lot of questions, because he wanted to find out if I was really gay.

My parents went to the psychologist too, and I am glad that he could make it clear to them that if I was really gay there was no way to change my feelings and sexual preferences. After some weeks a slow process of acceptance, if not understanding, started to occur, and I felt more and more self conscious. I started to change lots of things in my life, of course my parents were not very happy about most of these things, because they meant that they had less and less influence on me. That was not an especially gay development, it was only what happens when a boy becomes a young man and an adult.

Time went by, week by week and I went to the ROSE youth group in Basel again. They were looking for people to help organizing youth group events so I started to spend some of my spare time with the ROSE. Today I am responsible for the ROSE "public relations". My mom has accepted the fact that I am gay and my father doesn't talk about it very much. I am quite satisfied with my situation. The only thing missing right now is a kind and understanding boyfriend, but nothing can destroy my belief, that there is someone like that and that we will meet some day ! That's what is my wish for everyone who shares my thoughts.

Martin Widmer, 22, of Basel, Switzerland, is a student at the University of Zurich, where he is studying computer science and economy. He can be reached online at 100647.274@compuserve.com.
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