Emotional time capsule: My vintage coming out story

Michael Menendez. Photo provided.

by Michael Menendez
Guest Contributor

Long ago, circa the fifth grade, we gazed at each other wondrously because we'd just discovered something. Against all odds, two incredibly lucky boys were coming out as a prepubescent same-sex match with a capital "Q".

Somehow, we just knew. A perfect fit in an imperfect world where we otherwise did not fit. Each other’s type, to use a cliché. We were born this way and we fell into puppy love within a matter of days.

When I told him how I felt, he said he was also ready to show affection “like in the movies!” So, my surreptitious same-sex sweetheart and I kissed for the very first time. Boys will be boys done in an intoxicatingly different dimension, thus proving that love is never wrong.

Soon, we were kinda boyfriends…kinda! You know how fifth grade can be!

The experience was mesmerizing as much as it was previously unimaginable. I came out to my gay friendly mom who already knew instinctively. She said, among other things, “It's okay that you guys are following your natural inclinations. Just be discreet.”

We were a couple of gender-disoriented free spirits and he showed me how to love another member of my same gender through his kindness. Proof of who I was and further motivation of who I wanted to be.

Of course, my coming out wasn't bullet proof and neither was his. The aftermath still contains some pretty ugly ramifications.

He was labeled “desperate and suffocating” with me being “abnormal” in general with emphasis on inferior. Among other cruelties.

But about a year after we fell for each other, tragedy struck. We were caught by the powers that be and found guilty of the unpardonable sin. I cried until I screamed knowing I'd probably never see him again.

My heart wept when we were forcibly separated.

My additional punishment was an abusive father (and later ex-father) who has hated his only child since that queer nature had been revealed. He said, “You're not the son I wanted.”

My hateful ex-father died and his estate was primarily left to distant cousins. They also think humiliating and degrading the LGBT+ community is amusing. They think we should “know our place.” I guess since they made babies and we didn't, we owe them.

Recently I had a solo near fatal accident including amnesia. I was told later on in the hospital that I'd called out for my first love not knowing who I was. Life is a circle.

I made it through recovery, short and long term. I became determined to find out where he had gone after all these years, no matter what. I later learned he had taken his own life at a still young age. “If only I could have saved you,” I thought.

Upon the discovery of his death, my emotional time capsule reopened. He was my inspiration once upon a time and always will be. He seemed so immortal and invincible during our long-ago fairy tale. Words cannot describe how much he still means to me. In a world of hate (above described) and rejection from all sides, the memories of the love we shared have never faded.

Queer is a beautiful word to me. My very first sweetheart and I had taken the insult and made it our own. Queer described us when we were having the time of our lives, so rest in peace my precious one. It's impossible to forget the one who came out with me, who gave me so much to remember.

Copyright The Gayly – October 11, 2017 @ 9:50 a.m. CDT.