Of Birthdays, Closets, and Photos

Picture a photo from your childhood, one you know well. Narrate the scene around the taking of that photo, to the best of your memory.

The first question I have regarding this is…how young are we talking? When does childhood technically end?

There’s a picture of me, age 12 or 13, sitting with friends surrounding me as I open my presents. I’m looking to the side with a huge grin, and my hair was done in a sort of “bowl” style. I’m not sure if people even use that terminology anymore.

That was a great birthday, and one of my last good birthdays. My brother surprised me with a CD that included the Macarena, the song and dance that I was OBSESSED with at the time.

Later on, everyone went outside and played “Capture the Flag.” It was a brilliant, brilliant game that I remember even to this day.

That was also at the end of my sixth grade year when I had suffered from the homophobia fo the surrounding society for the entire year. I myself had not come out of the closet…to myself. In other words, I hadn’t fully realized I was gay at the time, a process that really took several years.

So my smile in the photo was something rare. I had been virtually tortured the entire year by a group of hateful peers, and I regret almost every day of my life not beating the living fuck-pops out of them. My entire life would be different now if I had stood up for myself then.

The thing is, I was all about some Jesus and the whole “ZOMG NO VIOLENCE FIGHTING IS BAD MMMKAY” perspective, which, at the end of the day, is great and all but RUINED MY LIFE.

Then I had a great birthday…until everyone left the next day…and my small amount of happiness after all the suffering resulting in me losing my head and crying my eyes out for an hour.

See, I took that happy photo and went to a dark place with it, but that’s the surrounding reality of it.

For a short, short while on that birthday, I stopped caring about cursing. My own opinion about cursing is that it’s meant to shock and express, and people who misuses the words by constantly cursing devalue their ability to do that.

However, I don’t think that cursing is low-class, evil, sinful, or to be forbidden. It’s a normal part of language. And I’m an adult, so I speak how I will because I’m responsible, and also because I’ve learned sizable amounts of other languages and have earned the right to speak how I like.

But I went back to Not Cursing later on.

And now I’m back to it. Again, adult.

Anyway.

Steve

 

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