I’d be lying if I told you I had a choice to come out of the closet in ninth grade.
No matter how well I thought I concealed my burning passion for boys, my mom knew. No matter how many times I wore that football shirt, my dad knew. No matter how much I yelled.
The name calling and bullying started in middle school. All because I chose Harry Potter and Digimon over the Gap-hoodie wearing popular kids.
Since I didn’t compromise my interests, my tastes, my passions, I was quickly picked on and harassed. I’ve been called ‘faggot’, ‘he-she’ and ‘shim’ on so many occasions.
I resented going to school and dealing with the pressure. But it didn’t stop there — I came home and dealt with the emotional and mental abuse from my mother’s ex-boyfriend. She started dating him after leaving my physically abusive father. I found myself hiding in the closet just to survive.
The bullying from kids and adults in my life got worse. I was at the school bus stop and this kid punched me right in the face. I ran home piss livid.
I stomped up the stairs and slammed my door so loud in the apartment, I thought a neighbor would surely report this to public housing authorities. In so much self-hatred and rage, I grabbed a black marker and wildly plastered two words on anything I could find.
I wrote it on the American flag poster I had hanging up … on the bottom of my alarm clock … in my notebooks and agenda. I almost got to my chest when the door swung open and it was my mother’s ex.
In his police uniform, fury boiled behind his pupils and he took one look at the poster on my wall. That’s when he started yelling in my face like a drill sergeant. I could barely see my mom now standing in my bedroom because of my tear swollen eyes. She intervened as any courageous mother would do and got him away from me.
Once the air settled, they asked me if I was gay. I shook my head and said, “no.”
The bullying didn’t stop after that night and I still struggled to understand what being gay really meant. No one in town, no one on TV, and no one in my class seemed to wear the same neon sign that somehow I ended up wearing in this lifetime.
I did ask my mom one night to describe to me what gay really means and she openly and honestly told me in a single word — love. If it’s about love, why does it invoke such hate and jealousy in people?
I kept this follow-up question to myself for a very long time.
The summer before I went into high school, my mom left her toxic baby daddy. Three months after starting ninth grade, I got my magical acceptance letter to attend a boarding school for children who come from low-income origins. A fantastic world where I learned an ultimate kind of magic and how to access it whenever I was feeling scared, alone and misunderstood.
I came out to myself 10 years ago after taking a field trip to an art museum in Philadelphia. A vibrant and confident orange scarf chose me just as a wand reveals itself to its true beholder. A golden, pious light fused our energies together and I’ve been on a deep spiritual journey. For the last decade guiding, teaching, and inspiring gay witches and wizards from around the world, using color therapy to live beyond the closet and finally embrace the real elements of everyday magic — love, light and color.
You possess a deeply enchanted task to be real and authentically you no matter how dark the world grows. Because inside you there is a powerful charm only you can cast.
And so it is.
Photo credit: Flickr