Digging in the depth of our closet, I came across stories I wrote in my late teens and early twenties. I was struck by the tone of a “letter” I had typed about 25 years ago. I was struck by the loneliness that runs through the piece. Struck by the darkness of the place I wrote from. This was around the time my father died from cancer, when I was breaking up with my first and only girlfriend, and years before coming out. I wanted to be rescued then and had no idea that these walls can only be torn down from within. I really hope that, more than 25 years later, it is easier for young men to come out than it was for me then. And I’m glad that in then end I did rescue the little boy who wrote this letter, even if it took a long time.
I was on the way to Yosemite when I got the news that Farrah Fawcett had died. I spent a lot of time over the course of the weekend thinking about her, and the loss of a piece of my childhood. It was either that or think about the pain in my legs as I hiked up to Half Dome. This seemed like the better distraction. But let me back up to put this in a better context.
Often, I find myself frustrated at the long list of dividing lines within the gay community. Latinos don’t date Blacks, Whites don’t date Asians, and no one dates someone over forty unless they have money to throw around. For years, I kept my hair military short because it made me look Latino, which is much more desirable in dating world than my true Asian ancestry.
More than a generation after the Stone Wall Inn riots, post “Will and Grace” and despite the public coming-outs of Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell, gay men are still confronted with an overwhelmingly heterosexual world. We are neither virtually normal nor freaks to be labeled with pink triangles, though both happened. We are different because we are born and raised different no matter what our parents’ intentions were.