Friday, November 13, 2009

he told me after a few minutes of indecision that he was gay...he was my friend and it didn't make a difference

War. Rape. Murder. Poverty. Equal rights for gays. Guess which one the Southern Baptist Convention is protesting?
~The Value of Families

I had a friend when I was a child his name was Anthony, he was my neighbor. We met in the sixth or seventh grade. He was always drawing and it was to become his career. We would hang out together after school, pretty normal kids stuff. Of course back then there was no computers, or video games or cell phones and most people didn't have color televisions. Kids went to the school yard and played or hung out with each other. Some kids had train sets, some collected baseball cards, some were great at sports, we all had an interest in something and we had fun.
Anthony wasn't much into sports but he could draw and liked to listen to music. As the years went by we maintained a friendship and even double dated for a while until Anthony drifted away to be with other friends and we spent less time together.
Somewhere around when I was about fifteen or sixteen I was at Anthony's house just hanging out, kids were good at that then, and Anthony said he had to tell me something. We sat in his living room and he told me after a few minutes of indecision that he was gay. I wasn't surprised, as I had suspected it for a few years. He had a gentle way about him and was feminine in his gestures and tastes. I just looked at Anthony and said that it was okay, no big deal and he was my friend and it didn't make a difference. It didn't really, he was a good and loyal friend and why should it matter. I think that I made him happy and that he knew that I cared for him as a person and friend regardless of his sexuality. After that I began to meet a lot of Anthony's other friends both girls and guys mostly gay. They were fun and were always cool. As the years went by we drifted our separate ways, I kept a loose connection with Anthony and the last I saw of anthony he was living with his partner and working in theater as a set and stage artist.
I don't think Anthony woke up one day and decided to be gay, or decided to make a choice. He didn't have the same interest in women that straight guys had, he was attracted to the same sex. It was not something he decided, he was just wired that way. I got married and moved away and ultimately lost touch with Anthony but every so often I think of that dear old friend as he was then. Anthony didn't want to hurt people, didn't want to impose his way of life on others. He just wanted to live his life in his own way. I think that Anthony and all those other Anthony's out there should have that right as Americans and as human beings.


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