Shaun Hutchinson

May 1997

Platinum Blonde Queer


It's supposed to be some sort of sadistic laughter, but you get the point. Anyway, I look at my life right now and I see how good it is. I just fired one of my employees because he called a customer a faggot. The customer didn't hear it but I did. So "bam!" he was out the door. I did not play any games with him and I didn't give him a chance to explain. Was I biased? Was it my way of getting back the millions of bigoted people in this world? Maybe. Or maybe it was because I had just reprimanded him and given him his first written warning two days earlier for calling a black man a nigger.

So I'm happy right now. But I'm writing this, whatever you want to call it, and I'm staring at a couple of faint red lines on my wrist. Only one friend of mine knows that they're there (and now anyone who reads this article), but I see them. It was less than a week ago that I came within an inch of killing myself.

"Oh no," they scream. "Not another tale of a suicidal queer kid." How cliched I must sound. It wasn't so serious that I ended up in the hospital or anything, but I did end up at the beach holding burning matches to my skin and carving the word "queer" into my chest. When I got back to my house I took a couple slashes at my wrist. Sure, I bled like a stuck pig, but I had made a promise to a friend of mine that I would to give her two days notice before killing myself and I wasn't about to break a promise.

So why was I so low? In a word, I felt worthless. That's not exactly the word my father used, but it's how I felt. Actually, he told me that he was ashamed to be seen with me. I had only just "come out" to my parents a couple of weeks earlier. How did they take it? That's another story. But at that particular moment, my dad (my step-dad actually, but I don't make that distinction anymore) decided to just blurt out that he didn't want me to get into the drugs that were involved with my "lifestyle" and that, though he felt selfish saying so, he would be embarrassed to be seen in public with me.

That's when I started throwing my own private little pity party. Actually, I did take the opportunity, after beating the hell out of a metal filing cabinet and spraining my ring and pink fingers, to go see "The English Patient" for the second time. I went by myself, but sometimes movies are more fun that way. I cried at the end, and in the middle, and hell even in the beginning too. But when I got home, the hurt from my father's words wasn't gone, and I just wasn't in the mood to go to bed and sleep it off.

What's the point? Well, I talked to my mom the next day and she seemed to think the whole thing was a great big joke. I had taken to wearing long sleeve shirts, in South Florida, so my mom didn't see the affect of what she found so humorous. It took an hour driving around listening to "Less Than Jake" to calm me down enough to listen to what she had to say.

"Of course your dad wasn't talking about you being gay." That's what she said. What then? What could he have been talking about? "He was talking about your hair."

Two days earlier I had gone from a light brown haired boy of 18 to a platinum blonde freak.

So I'm happy now. I'm riding the manic-depressive roller coaster that every teenager rides. Sure, it's a little bit worse because, being gay, we have to deal with bigotry and "coming out" but that's life.

"Does this article have a point?!?!" I know, I know. The point, the point. Where did I put that damn thing? Ah! It's right here under my copy of "XY."

My dad cared more about my hair than about the fact that I'm gay. So I came to a conclusion from all of this: I'm just not ready to kill myself over my hair.

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