We are you
21 years old
I am a Twenty one year old,multi racial,( Persian and Spanish), gay male, living in Washington DC. When I was two, my mom divorced and married my step father who is a Muslim, conservative, traditional Arab, who lives and breaths religion. I was raised Muslim, not by choice, and have grown up in an interesting household with two half brothers that mean the world to me. My mother found out I was gay at the age of seventeen and it devastated her. It was not so much the fact that I was gay, it was more that I didn't trust her enough to be open about it. The coming out, the burden of hiding it from her husband and her health problems have continued to push her over the edge the last couple years. I grew up living in fear of the moment my step father was to find out I am gay. That moment happened last year after sitting through a Christmas and new years with my fifteen year old brothers, girlfriends family.He was fifteen and that high school relationship was rubbed in my face by my step father the entire time. I made it my new years resolution to tell him while my mother was away on vacation. Attached is the letter that I spilled my heart out into. The letter that I presented to him and he stopped reading half way through. The letter that changed my family and my life.
I know that at this moment you feel confused and disrespected. I didn’t want things to turn out the way they did. I have spent the last two months preparing to tell you about who I am and had to wait until the time was right. With mom being in Florida, I felt like this weekend was perfect timing. The letter you are about to read was written as my new year’s resolution to you; my family. Now I have no choice. The time is now:I feel like you and I are growing apart for reasons that have nothing to do with you. It’s like you don’t know me anymore and it’s my entire fault. I have been raised the proper way; a gentlemen close to religion and always taught the right things to do. However, I have always known who I am and what makes me happy. My Family makes me happy. My friends make me happy. I wouldn’t trade anything for any of you.These last couple years have been especially hard on me because I have had to deal with discovering who I am and living in fear of being disowned by my own father. Ever since I was young, I have known that I was attracted to men. That I am gay. You can’t ask me why or when or how because I can’t answer any of those questions with more than one phrase. “I have always been and will always be who I am.” I honestly believe it has a lot to do with biology and that’s its natural to me. No single experience or moment in my life led me to wake up changed. It is not something I can control. I have spent the last couple years hiding who I am, getting on my own two feet and learning how to survive on my own. I guess I have always been naturally independent, that’s just who I am.I came out to Mom at seventeen, after she had found out about me through a message she saw on my laptop. At the time it was the hardest moment of my life. She cried, a lot. She and I had to get through it together. That was until a couple weeks later when she tried to kill herself. The woman I have always looked up to and thought would never leave me, almost left me. The weeks after that were almost unbearable. Seeing my mother, your wife, like that, helpless, unresponsive, barely alive, changed something in me. I felt lonely because I thought that with love, nobody could give up on anyone; on themselves. I felt like a lot of what had happened was my fault. I couldn’t tell you, or Sammy or Zaki, anything about me in fear of hurting or losing anyone else.
I am writing this now because I feel that it is easier for you to read and listen to yourself, then I talk and you listen. I am tired. Mom is exhausted from having to carry the burden of knowing something that her own Husband and children don’t. I ask that you don’t blame her, I made her, selfishly, promise me that this was something I had to do; to tell you.
I had to recently sit this past Christmas and New Years and listen to my Parents talk about my fifteen year old brother’s girlfriend. We had dinner and a good time between the two families and everyone seemed apparently happy. Now your twenty year old son is living a secret life behind his own fathers back and too, is happily committed. The only difference is that I know you would not take the time to meet my boyfriend or even talk about him. That breaks me inside and is not fair to me or you. I understand completely that you have nothing against me specifically, but that you were raised a certain way and that this is something not culturally or religiously accepted by you. Therefore I don’t blame anything that is running through your mind at this moment on you. All I can do is hope for a future of understanding.
I’m sure Sammy has it all figured out being that he harasses Mom all the time and that his girlfriend told him several times the night she met me, “you never told me your brother was gay.” I am also sure that you too, are not completely clueless. I am going to leave this right here where it is, in hopes that you can begin to understand me. I know that this is not something that is easy for you, nor do I expect you to accept it. All I ask is that you think before you act and speak. That before you judge, you respect me. Like I said earlier, I love my family to death. I wouldn’t trade anything for any of you and I hope that you would do the same for me. I hope that your love for me doesn’t change, as it shouldn’t. These past couple years have rocked our family hard. Mom and I are closer than ever. She loves me for who I am and accepts me even though it is terribly tough on her. Pride aside, I just want you to remember that I’m still the same little boy you raised.
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