by Jumana Shahid (FIS119)
Humans are odd beings. They are social creatures yet they have a tendency towards rather toxic relationships. Society is very toxic in itself. It creates these norms that it enforces onto its people. Like a queen bee with her workers, a hive mind of a sort. The biggest example of how toxic society can be is best shown through its reaction to homosexuals.
My father was a nice man. He was smart, nice looking and respectful, in short, he was a good catch. Since he lived in the 1960s, he never was truly himself. My pops was so deep in the closet, that it took my dad forever to get him. Though he did have a good reason for being so worried, after all, being gay meant harsh criticism. It means being forcefully taken to a church to be purified, or being tortured by everyone around him with little things. His parents, my grandparents were homophobic themselves so I understood why he was the way he was. I always felt miserable when I thought about the hardships that my parents had to face because they happened to love each other.
My dad was a bit luckier than my pops. He too was gay however his conditions were better. My dad is horrible at keeping secrets, you’d know within seconds if he was hiding something. Its why we never tell him if we were planning a surprise party for my father. Long story short, his parents already realized that their son was gay. It took them a few days to deal with the surprise but they decided that they loved their son more than letting other’s hurt him for his preferences. When dad brought pops over, my grans already knew that they were looking at their future son in law. The stories they told me were hilarious really.
They hid their relationship and lived together for years. They lived like this until they heard that gay marriage was made legal in Denmark, 1989. That year, in December, on their anniversary, my dad took my pops to Denmark, with the blessing of his parents. They were one of the first couples to get legally married. When my pop’s parents found out, they rejected him and renounced him from their family. It broke my pop’s heart but didn’t really affect him too badly. Everyone knew it was going to happen eventually.
Eventually they decided that they wanted a child. A friend of theirs’s was the surrogate. Pops volunteered his sperm for the job. That ended up with my birth. I loved them and they loved me. They had full custody of me and I loved my life with them. It was all warm and soft.
Time passed by, I reached high school and eventually graduated as an honor student, my parents where one of the loudest people there. All three of us went on all the LGBT marches and campaigned for more rights for people like my parents. It was all going so great.
This was when I learned that not all good things last forever. The LGBT supporters started to change, they started to turn rather toxic really, kind of like the society that they resented which didn’t support them. See my parents are gay, I have no problem with homosexuals, transgenders, bisexuals or anyone. I was straight though, I preferred women. My parents knew this and had no issues with it, we joked around a lot about these things. Other people though weren’t too happy with this.
They started to say that I was gay. Like because my parents where gay, I had no other choice but to be gay myself. I had to start telling people that no, I am not gay, I am straight, I very much like women. If I say this, they then say that I am homophobic. I always answer back that I am not, that I am very much proud of my parents. Then they circle back to calling me gay again. It was a vicious cycle.
I lost many of my friends like that, including my girlfriend. I was going to propose to her but my so-called friend went behind my back and convinced her that I was gay. That I was just using her to hide it. I don’t know why she believed it but she did and she broke up with me to be with him.
I never hid things from my parents, I always told them everything. I told them from the first-time people started to try and force me to be gay to by friend and girlfriend betraying me. It took me years to realize it but I started to notice how my parents started to distance themselves from me. How my pops would sometimes flinch when I tell them my frustrations with people calling me gay. How my dad would narrow his eyes and get annoyed with our talks.
I had thought that my parents would always have my back, I never realized that they would be influenced by those so-called supporters of LGBT and start to hate me. I stopped telling them things when I realized this. I kept doing my best to improve our relationship but things never changed. Eventually things escalated. What broke the camel’s back was a child of my parents’ close friend. Apparently, he had a crush on me and asked me out when his family and mine where having dinner. I rejected him and told him that I was not gay. I rejected him as gently as I could. His parents for some reason got really angry and began to should at me. Calling me a homophobe and the such. They were supposed LGBT supporters as well. When I looked at my parents for help, my pops flinched and looked away while my dad got angry and told them to leave. After escorting them out, my dad shouted at me. They agreed with that couple and rejected me as well.
Now days, I live by myself, working instead of finishing university. I had no money so I had to support myself. I think about my life when I am alone. What exactly did I do wrong? I loved my parents dearly and fought beside them to give them freedom to love each other legally. However why was I not given the same freedom that we fought for? I may be straight but never once have I acted homophobic against people. I still check up on my parents, send them money when they need it, making sure that they don’t realize it is me sending it. They still stick to that toxic crowd of people who fight not for LGBT rights but LGBT empowerment.
Freedom to love someone is a right that belongs to every human in my opinion. You love your parents, you love your siblings, you love your friends, you love your spouse. There are many different kinds of love; eros, agape, philia, storge and many more. It shouldn’t matter who you love. If a woman loves a woman or a man loves a man. Or even if a man loves a woman. We all should have this freedom.
In my life now, I celebrate 5 things, my parents’ anniversary, all three of our birthdays and the day that I was ousted from my family. I celebrate all 5 by getting drunk and crying myself dry. I am stuck with this label of a homophobe for some reason and I have admittedly been harming myself as well. Who knows, maybe a few says after this, there will be a newspaper headline of a homophobic man who committed suicide. Maybe I am getting ahead of myself, I probably wont even make it into the news. I hope they don’t see it if I do end up there.