Community, Creative Writing
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The Reality of My Home

When I came out to my brother, he couldn’t understand why I seemed so scared to tell him. To him, it was clear-cut: if I was gay, then that was that, and how could I be any less than perfectly proud and unapologetic? He didn’t understand that every word I managed was laced with the consuming fear of growing up in our stifling, traditional household. At the time, I was too scattered to explain it to him. Now, I want to give it a shot.

What it means to grow up where we did:

It’s Dad glaring at two men holding hands on the street

It’s Mom condemning them as cowardly, lunatic, and pathetic

It’s being paralyzed by the thought of you having a similar reaction to me

It’s many stripped and distorted experiences

It’s having my first kiss with a sweaty boy in a movie theater in 7th grade, revolted by his tongue,
washing it right off in the bathroom outside,
thinking, pleading, “This cannot be it.”

It’s dating three more boys after that, hoping for someone who could fix me
It’s rebuking myself for noticing her eyes, vivacious and warm

Stop – you’re intruding, your shape does not fit here

It’s me, at 8, 11, 13, 17
resigning to hide this part of myself forever – it’ll go away, it’s not real, I could never be like that

It’s not having real feelings for anybody
Edit: It’s not being able to let myself have feelings for anybody because nobody ever told me this kind of love was legitimate

It’s being terrified of coming out to one of my best friends, who is also gay, because if even I feel ashamed of myself,
how can I expect better from anyone else?

It’s not being able to say “She’s cute” to my friends even after coming out to them

It’s tears in my eyes when I think about ever being with somebody It’s not being able to specify “a girl” instead of “somebody”

It’s looking away and apologizing when my roommates change in our room, when I was not looking in the first place

It’s having always to come back to this raw, insidious insecurity

It’s being so much harder on myself than anyone has ever been on me

It’s being stuck in limbo, between out and closeted, self-loving and self-condemning

It’s still carrying around a piece of the shame It’s patience
It’s small victories over time
It’s a work in progress

Filed under: Community, Creative Writing

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Amy Wang is a 4th year Business Economics major and Education Studies Minor at UCLA. One of her greatest fears since childhood has been accidentally stepping on a sidewalk crack and breaking her momma’s back. If you ever find yourself looking for a dedicated gym buddy to keep you accountable, you should definitely not call Amy because she’ll probably navigate you to the nearest taco truck instead.

1 Comment

  1. liana says

    k amy i read this last year and never commented because i am cowardly, but now im not and this is a damn good piece

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