February 15, 2011

Kyle

Kyle, age 3
Sugarloaf, ME (1987)

This image has always represented an internal projection of myself at quiet. The memory might be fabricated from various stories and visits to the mountain, but I can still smell that tulip. And feel the warmth of a wood fire and the comfort of surrounding family. It reminds me what I imagine feeling whole would be like.

"Face deep in a tulip at the cabin."

I was always some version of "different."

Different smart, different social, different gay.

I rehearsed Michael Jackson routines at 4, and memorized a graduate microbiology textbook at 5.


I knew I was gay at 12, though my peers had been letting me know for some time longer. My dad knew how hard things were for me in high school, adding 30 minutes to his commute every morning so I wouldn't have to ride the bus.

I walked from class to class outside, and picked class seating at the nearest exits or doors. And while I was a coward in this environment, I spoke with conviction and poise in front of news crews and politicians: A place where I could focus my energies and could enact change, as I found my own situation immovable.

My message for kids today is:

I've learned you must be your own advocate, if you cannot find one. Whatever pain or disillusionment you experience must be redirected, or it will weigh you down. Be fiercely loyal to your friends. And never let someone project their inadequacies onto you. Love unconditionally and try to be kind.

Unless someone is messing with you. In which case, aim for their "psychological knees" and be unrepentant in defending yourself, and those you love. A bully is at its weakest and most dangerous when challenged.

So, approach them with caution - but don’t back down

Kyle's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Aladin
_________________________________________________
Aladdin (Golden Films) Hate Crimes Revisited: America's War On Those Who Are Different The Power of Flowers, Volume 3: Tremendous Tulips and Irresistible Irises (Includes Music CD) A Different Breed

13 comments:

The Shit said...

I love this picture

Hsuan said...

I love The picture,too.

You typed that Different smart, different social, different gay.
I love that meaning.

Blog o kredytach said...

nice picture ! Greate!

Harper A. said...

You don't just look cute or sweet in this photo, you at peace.

sb said...

A bully is at its weakest and most dangerous when challenged...can i quote you on this?

Kyle said...

I'm not sure it's my intellectual property anymore, which I absolutely agreed to when submitting, but as long as the blog doesn't have a problem with it, I don't!

-Kyle.

Richard D. Highnote said...

Inspiring story.

Sonora (for Bulletin Board only) said...

We love this tulip sniffing man! Loved him from the day he was born. We love you and are so proud of you, Mom and Dad!

Barb said...

Thank you. Somehow I ended up here, reading your words on a day when I truly needed them. Thank you again and again.

sorrysooz said...

Well said Kyle.

Caleb said...

Badass sentiment, dude.

Almost verbatim what my (gay) cousin has said many times.

I've always theorized that dealing with being gay as a youth, while certainly challenging, can add immeasurable character and integrity to your grown personality.

Well played.

Caleb

aristella said...

I love that sweet picture! And, I was OBSESSED with the Good Time's Alladin!!!

Living said...

I heart your dad....the thought of him driving you to school every day to spare you the torture that was awaiting you on the bus makes me teary eyed. That's a parent. Thank him for me please.