Friday, January 25, 2013

Guest Post: When Your Family Becomes Your Enemies

Today's post was sent to me by a regular reader of the blog. This reader wishes to stay anonymous, and after reading this post, you will understand why. 

His account of his life is shocking and heartbreaking, but unfortunately, it's the cold, cruel reality for some LGBT people in the US who grew up with a fundamentalist, and/or homophobic family. This post may be difficult to read for some of you in my blog audience:

There comes a time in almost every LGBT person's life that they end up coming out of the closet, either by their own choice or by force (someone finding out and blabbing their fat chops through familial gossip chains), perhaps internet history, whatever.  When your family aren't that religious to begin with, pagan (such as Wiccans, love me some Wiccans) or just flat out atheist, Houston, we have a problem.  Yes, I'm talking about the religious nut jobs in which you would think they would have been sent to a psychiatric inpatient ward with the straight jacked sewn on indefinitely.

Needless to say, since the batshit insane, psychopathically inept and stupid of the families are the ones that we have to worry about the most, including Mormons and Evangelicals but no single sect of Christianity is immune to harsh treatment to LGBT homophobia and outright bigotry.  This even sadly includes the Jews who should know better.  Jews that read ancient Hebrew don't typically have this problem, however, still not immune to homophobic bigotry.
Your parents of all people are supposed to love you unconditionally.  

Though like an article I read on the web elsewhere, "I'm Christian, unless you're gay", the title and content of the article ring completely true to my ears.   I'm gay, raised Jewish and converted Mormon.

Aside from having been excommunicated from the Mormon church and (oddly enough) the Jewish community as a whole, I've also been disowned by my family, having had both parents tell me they never loved me and never wanted to see nor hear from me ever again.  The most memorable quote comes from my dad, "You'd be better off dead" then my mother, "I've never loved you and now I know why.  It was God telling me you'd turn out an evil gay."  Oh and let's not forget my aunt after my cousin and some of his friends attempted to kill me, "Call us and let us know when you're going to kill yourself so we can celebrate".  

And yes, I tried pressing charges against my attackers and would be murderers, however, the police report (Sherwood, AR, USA) listed me as the attacker because I shoved and threatened to testify against me should I attempt to press charges. Needless to say, I tried to press charges, no lawyer was willing to take my case.

It was bad enough growing up knowing that I had a different attraction than the rest of my family and everyone else I knew. Growing up, I had a secret interest in guys, knew this around the age of 5 honestly and it's not changed.  So no, it's not something I just decided one morning over a bowl of cereal, who the hell in their right mind would decide to be the most hated and oppressed kind of person in the world? 

 Screw that, if I could flip a switch and "Decide" to be straight, I would've done it a long, long, long time ago.  It would've saved me a lot of stress, pain, trauma and heartache.  It would've also prevented 3 failed suicide attempts during my young teenager years, needless to say all a whole bottle of aspirin did to me was make me very sick and weak a couple days, the copious amounts of meth just made me stay up and hyper for a week and the crack, well, let's just say I felt really damn good but didn't do much else.  Never had the balls to slice myself.

So aside from growing up thinking that I'm a horrible person, listening to sermons at church from both familial religions (Jews and Mormons) on how gays are evil, sinful people doomed to an eternity of torture in hell, or just rot where the worm never turns away from the grace of God (depends on which side of the family we're talking about here).

I'm going to have to say that I felt ashamed of myself.  I hated myself.  I saw myself as evil, vile and sinful.  I was miserable growing up as a child because I knew I was different and the anti-gay preachers sending my family into a mullet fantasia, thumping their bibles like the monster truck enthusiasts they are, I was surrounded by people who agreed with sermons about how gays should be publicly executed, sitting right there listening to my family chime in on how much they think people like me should be outright killed.  Again, I was just a child.

Imagine a 5 or 6 year old child, sitting in a church and listening to how everyone wants people like him dead.  If that's hard for you to imagine, then imagine this.  A black child in the middle of a KKK meeting.  It's hurtful to the child.  Now I will grant you that the black kid in the KKK meeting isn't exactly the same, because obviously the KKK aren't family with the black kid.  However, being a gay kid in the middle of your own family's church listening to your family and church's pastor/bishop/rabbi preach hatred towards people like you, people that have the same urges as you, you gather quick that you need to STFU and keep yourself secret.

I kept hearing from my family throughout my entire childhood, "You're so anti-social, it's not healthy.  You're always staying to yourself and never talking."  Yeah, I was a quiet child because I didn't want to speak, I was afraid of my very own family and when I was religious, afraid for my own soul.  I was afraid of everyone and myself and I hated myself. 

 I wanted to change, but I couldn't.  I didn't want to be different.  I didn't ask to be this way, I just was and am. Do you know what it's like to be kicked out of your home when you're still in school?  I'm not talking about college, i'm referring to junior high and high school ages.  I was 15 when I was kicked out of my parent's house because I was insinuated as being gay by one of my cousins who told his mom (one of my aunts) who told my mother who had my father confront me about it, punch me in the face, gave me a black eye.  I was then grabbed by the backside of my neck, dragged out of the house and shoved out.  Told that if I set foot back I'd be killed.

I've been on my own since I was 15.  I kept up with school because honestly, free lunch program meant free food.  Summer vacations kinda sucked and I won't get into tell you how many people I've slept around with (while being underage mind you) just to have a bed to sleep in at night and for a few bucks spending cash.

Can you imagine your own child as a young teenager, still in school and having to whore themselves out for money, food and a place to sleep?  I would assume that it'd be a parent's worse nightmare to know their child has no roof over their head, nowhere to stay and having sex with random strangers for money because they need to.

So you really want to know what kind of damage religion in general has on families?  It wasn't me being gay that brought so much hurt upon my earlier years, it was religion itself.  I would've been glad to have not been raised to hate myself and fear for my life from my family and friends.  I would've been more than happy to have had an easier time in high school and not have had to drop out of high school to find a job and finally start getting on my feet for a change. 

 I would've loved to have had a supportive family that would've accepted me for who I am.
I can't write anymore on this, sorry guys.  Included are some images I took of some of the scarring I have.  Triangle on the left hand, stab wound to the face and a bullet wound in the abdomen and will leave you with that.


  1. I hope the writer finds some sort of happiness.

  2. I wish I could give him a hug. I have no words.

  3. Wow. I don't really know what to say... Let me start by echoing Andy above. I hope that you have been able to find some happiness. Please know that what you went through is awful--beyond words--or any words that I have. But also know that there are millions of people out there who would feel for you and would support you.

    It is stories like this that are a large part of why I am an "activist". When people say that religion is harmless, they are clearly ignorant of stories like this.

  4. damn.

    Very hard to read, I hope the author has found a place where he belongs. Like ReasonBeing, stories like this are a big reason I feel the need to speak out against religion.

  5. Wow, that's insane. Someone has been leaving comments on my blog saying homophobia does not exist. I don't know how he can think that.

  6. The really tragic thing is that none of us has any trouble believing this. I've heard enough similar stories to accept this one as well. This is far from an isolated instance. I really wish the author all the best, as hollow as that sounds.


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