Neil Ryan

September 1997

Crushes On Straight Guys: The Second Hardest Part To Being Gay

(Growing Up Gay Part 2)

It's me, Neil again, back for my second article. If the first one blew you away -- grab onto your seat because my life gets more interesting. I left last time with my dad physically abusing me. Now it's really up to you if you want to believe what I write or not. I'm just here to tell you my story. And here goes...

My dad found out through my maid (or governess, or whatever you call them here) that I have been hanging around weird types of guys...gay even. He flipped. He took some rope and tied me up. I knew I did something wrong, but he didn't have to overdo his punishment. I felt so humiliated. My great grandmother lived with us at the time, and I had to endure everything in front of her. The saddest part was that nobody told my dad what he was doing was wrong. So I was sitting on the floor all tied up all night until I had to go to the bathroom. My dad let the maids untie me but I was in so much pain to even talk to anybody. That's when I started yearning for my mom.

That summer, since my mother missed us too and my dad didn't want me doing anything crazy over the summer, he sent me and my sister over here to the US, Los Angeles to be exact. I finally got to see my mom and my maternal grandfather. It was really cool for me (at the age of 10) to see many different kinds of guys. Well I was also excited to see Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, Disneyland, and the Hollywood Wax Museum, but it was the people that interested me the most. I cried with my mom when it was time to leave, and she asked us if we wanted to live with her. I automatically said no because my whole life was in the Philippines and I didn't know if I can stand to lose all that. So me and my sister went back.

That school year (5th grade), I found out how much things have changed. I lost a lot of friends that were my age because I felt they couldn't understand what I was going through. I recently found out that my dad's been cheating on my mom and they've been doing it for a long time now. My mom, after finding this out, also did the same thing. Then they got divorced. After realizing my future looked bleak in the Philippines since my dad had a whole new family to take care of, my sister and I decided maybe we should live with our mom. That's when we started livin' in L.A.

6th grade year was very difficult for me since I was being entered into a whole new school system; my mom had a boyfriend whose temper was even worse than my dad's; and I started developing a crush on one of my Hispanic classmates.

I got through the year and made some friends including an African American guy who was the only one I trusted with my sexual orientation and fantasies. He was a hardcore 'G', but oddly enough he became my best friend. He said he was straight, but he would be the one to have phone sex with me. I was so glad he was there for me or else I don't know if I could have gone on trying to live my life. In 7th grade, my crush on the Latino guy grew stronger. I had to tell him. I asked my best friend, and he kept on reminding me that he was straight but I didn't care. I wrote a love letter (well maybe it was more like a sexual letter) in Spanish, or at least I did the best I could with a Spanish dictionary, and gave it to him the next day. He wrote me back and said that maybe he would if he didn't have a girlfriend, but right now was not such a good idea to entertain such ideas. I was sad, but then kind of happy that I could get him if he and his girlfriend broke up.

The next few days went on as normal, but when Friday came, Laredo (not his real name), the Latino guy, got called to the Principal's office. I paid no attention to it, but when I got called there too, my heart started beating faster. I walked into the office and there was Laredo, his father, and the principal... holding my letter.

I tried my best to tell the principal that it was all just a joke. Laredo didn't say anything. His father had already left in an outrage, cursing at me in Spanish as he left. The principal told me how disgusting my letter was and how upset I've made Laredo's parents. She said she would have to call my mom. I was crushed. Now how can I explain this all to my mom. I would see her in an hour. The principal made me call my mom and ask her to come down to the office as soon as she can. She let me go to lunch and wait until my mom came. My classmates were all over me as I came out of the office.

Laredo apologized and told me how his mom had suddenly checked his backpack the night before and found it. I didn't feel like talking to anybody so I told them to go away. My mom came after lunch and asked me what this was all about. I took her into the principal's office. The principal explained the main points of what had happened and then left so could tell my mom MY side of the story. I told her at first that it was all a joke. But my mom didn't believe that. Then I told her that maybe I was gay. She didn't want to hear it. I told her again how I like boys more than girls. I started crying. She held me and assured me that this was all just a phase. She said she was going to send me to my male cousins' (who did construction work) house in Las Vegas, and maybe there I can be more manly and masculine over the summer. I didn't want to, but then again I loved my mom. So that summer I went to Vegas...

(To be continued...)

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