Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Never Had A Hero
Article ID: 14180
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 973
Times Read: 2,743
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Author: Fire Lyte
Posted: September 26th. 2010
Times Viewed: 2,743
I am a gay man, and I have never had AIDs. I've never had HIV. I've never even had an AIDs/HIV scare. Not ever experienced what it's like to have any sort of STD. I am a gay man that never really experienced the kind of physical abuse that you read about or see on the news in some cases. Sure, I suffered psychologically at the hands of small town children that didn't - and for the most part still don't - understand what it means to have compassion or growth or acceptance. And these scars I carry.
I have dreams still. It's funny how much of my formative years is not even really a distant memory, not even in passing recollection. I recently told my mother that out of an unbelievably tiny graduating class of 64 students, I would be hard pressed to remember both names and faces of 10. So much of it is behind me, thanks to the power of repression and distance and time and prayers to the Goddess to take this grief from me. But, there are the dreams. The dreams where I am bigger than my oppressors and the ones where I am still the silent boy getting beaten up with fists of tongue and fists of flesh. The dreams where I am told how small I am, the dreams that recollect events forgotten, and the ones where I say exactly what I wished I had said.
I never had a hero. I never had one specific person that I looked to and said, "Because of his/her bravery, I, too, can be brave." One person doesn't stick out in my mind. Sure, you can say Matthew Shepard was influential, but because of my age at the time of his death and the amount of news coverage that wasn't covered in our community, I had no real attachment to the story. He was a textbook, a chapter, a paper written and a source referenced. But he is a hero. To someone.
In fact, I find heroes all the time now. I read stories done by the Advocate, see them on Oprah and Rachel Maddow, watch as pop stars and movie stars put them in the spotlight, and I see heroism. Those that cannot only be themselves, be comfortable in their skin, but can be much more than themselves. They can be icons, demigods, heroes that will live into legend, at least in the hearts of some. Those of us that grew up the ugly, skinny, gay kid in the small town can now see something of value inside.
And I am proud. I am proud that this generation has that. I am proud that even in those tiny towns void of connection, compassion, advocacy, acceptance...even in those towns exist a television. Those kids can sneak glances of a world where there are people that will love them and know them for who they are and still invite them to Thanksgiving dinner. Their partner, too.
That's the scene I saw in the movie Latter Days that I wanted for myself. That was the first movie I saw that I ever wanted to emulate. The scene at the end of the pseudo romantic comedy where the two beautiful guys ended up together, gathered around a table of friends. A hodgepodge family. I knew that was going to be my life. For a while that was my life. My family really had little information about my personal life, because that's how they wanted it, and I didn't want to push the envelope. And then a miracle happened and now my family includes my hodgepodge and it's all one big messy, still sometimes uncomfortable, group of people that love one another.
I see these heroes more and more. Service men and women that give to their country for decades and then are let go for grade school gossip mongering and barely substantiated reasoning. I see article after article after article highlighting the heroes of today, and I am struck at how young they all look. When I was growing up those folks on television seemed so much older, so distanced from who I was, that I could not possibly relate. But, now, you see 14, 15, 16 year olds on television, in schools, respectfully asking for respect and tolerance and showing the generation on the crest of becoming decision-makers how to live bravely and openly.
And I weep. I weep because it's so amazing, and I weep because I am thankful that I never had to go through the stories you see on television. Now, sure, do I have wounds? Did I get beaten up more times than I could count? Did I get taunted by nearly everyone in my school, including teachers, and have no sense of justice? Yes. Could I have been one of those people in an article today? Probably. But I am not, and was not. And I still have my limbs and my loves and my good sense. My brain wasn't knocked around that hard.
As a postlude to this musing, I was pondering last night at the gym about my journal. I kept a journal in high school. The same journal. Leather-bound, nice, with the word JOURNAL embossed on the front. It was a gift my freshman year from my uncle - my mentor. Of course, I didn't write in it everyday, but I did fill it with four years of events. Pains. Inner thoughts. Daily blather. I remember that I filled the very last pages on my graduation day from high school. It moved with me from Texas to West Virginia, and it became lost. In fact, I don't even remember having it after the move. It is as though the universe swallowed up all of my pain in a book. It has never been found by anyone, as far as I can tell. It is simply in that void of lost things. And, that's fine. It can stay there. I don't need to remember the faces and the names and things. I don't need the dreams to be refreshed from the well of my past. The journal, I think, was there for me to pour my hurt in to, and then - like a ritual - to be destroyed, so that I might be allowed to move on.
Everybody should be given that grace.
Copyright: (c) Fire Lyte - 2010 - Inciting A Riot
Location: Arctic North, Illinois
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