I wish I was taller, stronger and had more hair. But I don't. I live with what I was given. And there are very few people who I've met who found my limitations (in my mind only) cause for ridicule or mockery. Oh, I've take a few short jokes, a few reseeding hairline quips, but nothing I couldn't handle. I can't remember ever being denied anything other than once, at the Eastern States Exposition when I was a kid, I wasn't tall enough to go on ride. My friends went. I just had to stand and watch. But I wasn't singled out for a random reason. It was a safety issue, and I understood that.
So my life has been a series of choices, based on reasonable logic. No one said "Hey shortie, you suck. Get off my property." Or "hey baldie, the toupee shop's at the other end of the mall." And even with my average looks, I've never been asked to leave Abercrombie & Fitch, though I surely don't fit the profile of the guys on their posters or shopping bags. Hey, we can all dream, right?
I have limitations that are not of my own making. Height. Looks. Middle-aged baldness. My sexuality is not a choice either. I was born heterosexual and am happily married with two kids. I didn't chose that life. It's who I am.
HUFFPO reports on an 18 year old boy named Nick who's life was turned upside down recently. He was a victim of ignorance, not his choices. Just because he discovered who he is inside, he now faces dire consequences doled out by his parents. Some anonymous person tipped them off that their son might be bisexual. It makes you wonder if he had been stricken with cancer if his family would have treated him the same way. Is human sexuality worse than cancer? Neither are a choice.
When Nick's parents found out their son was bisexual, they threw him out of the house, leaving his belongings on the front yard. They also confiscated all of his savings he earned bagging groceries as a part-time job while attending school. Although his parents did not support him, hundreds of strangers have rallied around the homeless, penniless 18-year-old to offer their support. So far they managed to raise thousands of dollars.
Nick is who he his, not who he chose to me. Becoming a lawyer or an engineer might be something he picks to do, but what he's made of mentally and emotionally, who and what he desires, is outside of that realm choice.
Two things amaze me about this story. First, that one day his "loving" parents accept him, then the next they shun him, literally tossing him to the curb. That hurts to hear. It makes you wonder what kind of folks they really are. After 18 years and no reported problems within his household which includes three sisters, it's rumors of his sexuality that cause his father and step-mother to discard him like stale fish?
The second facet of this event is the outpouring of love and support Nick has received from friends and mostly strangers. This travesty is turning into a cause. The awareness of other torn individuals, of any age, 12 or 82, to come out and just accept themselves and the hand that life has dealt them is uplifting.
Sadly there are the narrow minded among us who don't let love and family rule over bias and bigotry. I certainly don't hate Nick's parents. I don't know them. But Nick does. And when the shock of his displacement sets in, hopefully the outpouring of love and compassion he's receiving will far outweigh any ill thoughts he may have for them.
I know my gay friends always feared their coming out. Yet once they did, they had, for the most part, gained acceptance. Maybe not immediately, but over time. And they were happier for it.
Good luck Nick. Just because you may have discovered you're the "B" in LGBT, you deserve to be happy. We all do. I hope you find it.