Well I don't want the world to see me,
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand,
When everything's made to be broken,
I just want you to know who I am..
I just want you to know who I am. --Goo Goo Dolls
After reading several articles that have previously appeared on Oasis, I felt I needed to share my experiences on being gay and the hardships I had to endure when I was younger. I am writing this column for the first time and I seriously don't know how to start it off so let me begin telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Kiernan and I'm a gay 15-year-old high school freshman. The public school that I am currently attending is one of the largest in the state in which I live in with the freshman class numbering over a thousand students. I'm an only child, which I think is pretty cool but I've always wondered how it would be like to have a brother or a sister. I live in an affluent suburban town in the United States but I cannot say where out of fear of being discovered. I'm still closeted to everyone except my boyfriend "John" and because of what has happened to me in the past, which I consider the most difficult time in my life so far, I'm forbidden by my mother to disclose any information to anyone about where we live. My Mom and I moved to "Anytown" the summer of 1997 after I successfully completed the 7th grade.
Anyway, I've always known I liked other boys ever since I was 10 years old. I have always paid attention to boys that went to my school and whenever I'm out in public places with my parents. One of my favorite things I used to do is to flip through the circulars that came with the newspaper and always stopped on pages where there were boys in cool outfits. I wasn't aware that I was indeed gay. It only occurred to me when my friends started getting attracted to girls that I realized I was different from the rest of them. Ranting and raving about which girls are cute and all the while I was thinking, "No, you're cuter." I blew it off and never thought much of it. Over the next couple of years though, my attraction to boys grew stronger and stronger and since the topic of sex was never discussed in my house, I never asked my parents about the birds and the bees. Besides that, they were constantly arguing over the pettiest things. I sensed that tension between them at a very young age and I wasn't about to cause more trouble by trying to discuss my attraction to other boys with either one of them.
For as long as I can remember, my dad was not very affectionate to me. Patting me on the shoulder and smiling was his way of telling me "I'm proud of you son" but not even once has he said those words to me. But I knew when I did something wrong too, I usually got a slap in the back of my head after he yells "KIERNAN!" We never talked much unless it was absolutely necessary and when we did, it was basically small talk. Like asking me what I ate for lunch or if I finished my schoolwork or if I needed any money. It never bothered me because he was always been that way. He was also not the type of dad that included me in his favorite activities which are totally boring anyway. Other than the fact that he never had enough time to spend with me 'cause he worked so damn much, Mom has always defended him by telling me that his work schedule was the reason why he was never around. I believed her too. So I gave up on asking him to spend time with me because I knew what the answer was going to be.
"I'm sorry Kiernan but, I just have to (whatever reason he came up with)"
Mom on the other hand was the total opposite. Praising me when it was needed. Sharing my excitement over my triumphs and giving me words of encouragement when I faltered.
There was one particular night when I literally felt like shit. It happened in January of 1997 and I learned the real reason why my dad and I were never close to each other. I woke up in the middle of that night because my parents were once again arguing. I opened the door to my bedroom and stepped out into the hallway and listened. When I heard what my dad said, I was crushed.
"I've been meaning to tell you this for so long. I want a divorce."
"Fine, but I want you to give me one good reason why" Mom asked.
"I'm not happy. I stayed with you and I tried to make it work only because of Kiernan. Back then I felt like it was the responsible thing to do" was my dad's answer.
I went back to my room and silently cried myself to sleep. When I woke up the next morning and walked into the kitchen, I found the two of them sitting around the kitchen table. Mom told me they decided they were getting divorced and she was going to have full custody of me in which they both agreed on. They didn't even ask me who I'd rather live with but they made that choice for me. I didn't argue. It was understandable why my dad didn't even consider it. He never loved me or my Mom and I would assume that he saw me as his biggest mistake in his life and wanted no part of me whatsoever. My dad told me he was packing up and leaving that afternoon and moving in temporarily with a friend until he found a place for himself and if I wanted to talk to him about it, he told me to just page him. I told them I didn't want to talk about it first thing in the morning and went to the bathroom to get ready for school. After what I heard the night before, I wanted to kill him. But since I couldn't, a divorce would be just fine. It was finalized in March of 1997 a month shy of my 13th birthday. I couldn't even stand the idea of having to live with him anymore and honestly, I didn't think he cared either by the look on his face. He just looked at me after he said what he had to and hoped for a reaction from me that he never got and shrugged his shoulder. He started packing his things as soon as I left for school.
My Mom helped him pack while I was away at school. She waited until I got home to leave for work and give us a chance to say good-bye to each other before he took off for his friend's house. What I got instead was an ass kicking! His version of saying good-bye I would guess after I made his life miserable. I was very fortunate Mom forgot her purse and returned to witness my dad throwing me against the wall, slapping me around and getting his last licks in. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't even be right here in front of my computer. I ended up in a hospital all bruised up with a concussion to boot. I don't want to get into the details of how I got my butt kicked because they are too painful for me and I'm still not over it. Bad memories are never easy for me talk about let alone choosing the right words to describe the event. I'll just end up with a migraine headache. Anyway, Mom called the police on him as he tried to explain what he did to me and she didn't want to hear it. It was so obvious and what the hell was he going to use as an excuse? We were just wrestling? They came within minutes along with an ambulance. He was arrested for endangering the welfare and Mom requested an order of protection against him.
During the hospital stay and when the effects of the concussion began to subside, Mom made a promise that as soon as I finish the school year, we were going to move to a new place and get a fresh start. I told her I loved her and I never wanted to see my father again and she vowed she would do everything she can so he would never see or hurt me ever again. She started crying and kissed me on my forehead. I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
To be continued...