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Anger and hate are very expensive.  Trust me, I know.  You will sit in your father’s house, the same father who wasn’t there for you, for 20 years, and listen to him say, I just don’t know how to live with a fag.

This is expensive.  It’s expensive for your ideal of yourself.  You want to think of yourself as more than a set of genitals, that wants genitals of the same type.

You will get angry.  You will remember telling your father, you have tunnel vision, and, in the end, dad, this will cost you.  Then, twenty or thirty years later, forgive — like flipping a switch.  Yet, remembering.

You will listen to your father tell you, 20 years later, he doesn’t remember using that word.  That word, that destroys everything you think of as yourself, as just another fag.  Not a son.

Twenty years later, you will tell your father, you welcome the chance to have a relationship with him, only now, his acknowledgement of you as his son must now be unequivocal.

Anger and hate are very expensive.  Sometimes, so expensive, you will and must at least be willing to sacrifice your only remaining parent on the alter of exigency.

Bloodless bigotry is also expensive.

It will cost you your college degree.  It will cost you your self respect.  It will cost you everything.

But, don’t be gay.  Don’t like people of the same plumbing as you, or it will cost you everything, and your dissatisfaction with that lack of self respect will cost you more.

You will stare into the blue eyes of your father, the eyes that are exactly the same as yours, who, twenty years ago, make it impossible for you to realize your dreams, and understand, it’s not about him.

In the end, it has to cost.  In the end, it will cost you fear, self loating, and self disrespect.

And then, it will still cost you more.

It will cost you understanding it wasn’t about him, or them, and nobody can make your choices for you, but you.  You will understand, that you have to hold the world up, not just for yourself but for everyone who comes in your place.

In the end, you will have to understand, nothing will change unless you make it hurt.  And, this hurting has to come without anger.  You will arrive in the place of the bloodless bigotry foisted upon you in the first place.  You will have to understand a life without mercy, that costs you everything, because your oppressors, although very diffenly minded, arrived at the very same place in a very different way, the way without cost, without blood, without loss, the way of callousness, the way of not understanding and not willing to live and let live.

Then, twenty years later, you will stare into the blue eyes of those who did unto you and hear them say, “I don’t remember.  I would never say that”.

This will cost, it will go on costing.  We will pay, and pay, and then pay some more.  And, you have to balance.  You have to listen to the blue eyes of the person who did this to you, and hear him say I don’t remember, I wouldn’t do this, I’m sorry you feel this.  You will have to own your anger.

And then you will have to find discipline.  You will have to learn to forgive, yet understand the cost.

In the end, you have to forgive, but you have to master fear.  The fear of that same loathing and lack of self respect that have been forced upon you for twenty years.  Your inner lion.

I am working up to something.  I hope it is good, but frankly, I cannot say.  I cannot say if it’s an explosion for good, or something that looks like anger, but isn’t anger, but is raw determination.  Our friends are abandoning us.  After twenty, thirty years, we still have this shit.  We still have homophobia being used as a legitimate excuse for inaction, for the bloodless bigotry that destroys lives.

I am shearing.  I’m forgiving, and at the same time, shearing off hate and fear and blame.  And what is left is a hard core of determination.

It cannot be this way.  It cannot stay this way.  


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  1. It’s about whether this forgiveness and pain gained anything.  And the lack of understanding, this is not about just today.  When it’s said this is about lives, this is about not just lives but lifetimes.

    You can forgive.  You can let bygones be bygones.  But not while people are being kicked out of their houses.  Not while people are having their careers destroyed.  Not while young people are being made to feel less than.

    What the people who are our friends don’t seem to understand, this is not about TODAY.  This is about a hundred years.  This is about people living and dying .. going their whole lives, without an ounce of respect as being the people there are.

    If you live this way, you live your whole life without an ounce of respect, you thirst for justice.  It’s like a desperation — a desperation for an ounce of water.  The growing towards the water that costs you everything.

    • Edger on May 2, 2010 at 04:12

  2. I’ve attempted to incorporate a few beliefs and principles into my life, with varying degrees of success, however, I’ve dicovered that when I apply them, my life is much more pleasant.

    Among these beliefs and principles…

    The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

    When I resent someone, I become their slave.

    Although I would prefer that the person forgiven accept my forgiveness, I have little or no control over that result.  But in the act of forgiving, I am removing a painful thorn from my side.

    There are two primary emotions:  love and fear.  I’ve found that underlying almost every negative emotion is fear, whether the expressed emotion is hate, anger, jealousy, etc.  I conceive of those emotions as secondary to fear.

    Those who have been a large part of our lives will never be everything we want them to be.  In some cases, they will fall far short of our conception of human decency.  But even the worst person in the world undoubtedly possesses at least a few redeeming qualities.  If we want to have a relationship with them, it may be very limited, however, those redeeming qualities can be a valuable bridge.  

    People can remain a large part of our lives, whether physically present or not.  When their actions are hurtful, they oftentimes do so in spite of us, not to spite us. There is a huge difference between the two.

    Those who disapprove of who we are frequently do so out of fear, and oftentimes for reasons that they will never be able to admit to themselves, let alone share with us.  

    I had two half-uncles who lived about a mile apart and did not speak to each other for years.  I never liked one of these half-uncles, and could easily understand the anger and resentment of the other.  A few years ago, the unpleasant uncle was cutting wood in the middle of the winter when a tree fell on him, crushing his chest.  He survived for several hours, but died at the hospital, at 64 years of age.  I was extremely relieved to learn that the other uncle had approached him not long before this happened and decided to “bury the hatchet”, concluding that carrying around this anger had become too heavy a burden.  I was extremely relieved to learn of this.

    Life is guaranteed to no one.  Each and every time a friend, family member or loved one departs from our company, may be the last time we see them alive.  I try to remain ever mindful that this always exists.  I want to be absolutely certain that my last words to those who have been an important part of my life are kind ones.

    I think most people do the best they can, even though that may fall far short of their own ideals, as well as the expectations of friends and family.  Any fear they allow to rule their life becomes a heavy shackle that severely limits their life.  Some, tragically sentence themselves to life imprisonment in fetters of their own creation.

    Some who most need our sympathy act in ways that such a result becomes exceedingly unlikely.

    And, finally, if there is any entity that you consider to be a higher power, whatever that might be, you can pray for the welfare of the person you resent.  This can be extremely difficult, and may take some time before the suffering motivates us sufficiently to take what seems like a desparate move.  

    Paralyzed with resentment many years ago, unable to free myself from its cold grip, and resentful of the cage in which I had placed myself, remaining there for far too long, even though I had the key, I finally took that step out of sheer desparation.  Almost anything seemed better than continuing to feel the way I did.  The first time was the most difficult.  It became a little easier with each passing day, and after perhaps three or four weeks, I found that I had almost forgotten to pray for that person.  This resentment no longer ruled my life and I was no longer their slave.  The newfound sense of freedom was exhilerating.

    I make no pretense that anything I’ve written here will work for anyone else, however, if someone finds himself or herself up against the wall, maybe something I’ve said could help ease the pain and suffering.

    If I understand correctly, those who prefer the same gender have no more choice in the matter than someone who is heterosexual.  Tragically, there are far too many people who do not realize this.

    It sounds to me like you have made some considerable progress along the road to a better place.

    You will know that you have forgiven when your resentment no longer has any power over you.

    Please take care.

  3. You’ll never be happy if you carry them around. The things that hurt us are those that cut and bruise the ego. Learn to let them go. The offender most likely acted out of ignorance. Bigotry is the worst form of ignorance.

    I can’t allow anger and resentment to stay within me. I say a prayer for the one who hurt me and then set about letting it go.

    Resentment takes work. You constantly have to dig up the original anger moment and then burnish the pain of it so that you can re-sense it – that’s resentment. It’s a total waste of time. It will drag you down always.

    The past is past and can’t be undone but it can be seen from a different perspective. None of us are perfect. We have all caused unwitting pain.

    Get over yourself and get on with your life. Be a little bit better person every day. There is only now and the future is now unfolding into now. The past is past. It’s what is in your heart right now that matters – nothing else.


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