Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Loss

Friday while doing dishes together, just for conversation, Dave and I began talking about people from our past who we later discovered were gay. We also talked about people that we suspect of being gay or bisexual and maybe are not ready to deal with their sexuality. It really is interesting how we think we are alone but once we step into our own little world, we find out that we were not so alone, just too mixed up at the time for us to band together. Dave had some interesting stories about some of his neighbors and school mates that were considered to be regular straight guys, who even dated girls but later finally admitted they were gay. It really shows in this day of being more open, that gay people are all over the board when it comes to types, some people you can tell right off the bat but others you will never guess.

It made me quietly think to myself about a guy who was killed a few years ago. I had met him when we were very young, we did not go to the same school but I did see him back and forth as I grew up. The first time I met him I think it was also my first real crush on another boy. Blond, tall for his age with blue eyes you could swim in. What cast a spell over me was how nice he was, I had never met someone so easy going and also non judgemental for a young boy. We were around ten or eleven and at that age most boys were not kind to each other. At different times while growing up I saw him and he was always polite, not a usual thing for a small town boy who was also a jock, while I was a klutz at sports. After our early teens I never saw him again but I often heard about him or saw pictures from friends who played sports with him, they all had the same great things to say about him.

About seven years ago I received the sad news that he was killed in a car accident, the surrounding towns were in mourning at the loss of such a good guy. Everyone said he would give the shirt off his back for someone, even a stranger in trouble and I remember thinking, 'awe, he never changed'. The thing that makes me wonder about him now is that he was a good man, handsome, good in sports, caring, kind, involved in many community events and yet he was single, never married or even really dated anyone. The wheels began to turn and I wondered. The thing however that I can't let go of is how he died. His truck went off a cliff into rocks and water below. A road that he travelled often, he had been with friends that night but was not drinking, some thought he may have fallen asleep but it was said he had been speeding. A shadow of a rumour began to spread that he may have driven off on purpose but why, a man that had so much going for him, why would he feel so lost.

If he did, if he ended his time with us too soon, I can't help think, no wife, no girlfriend, handsome man's man in a very country, straight world. If he was gay, he would probably have been really confused, really ashamed and may have thought he would be better off dead than for someone to find out he was a.....fag! At this same time I was also in the closet begging God to help me, it was hard enough for me so I can't imagine a guy who felt he had this image to hold up. I hope I'm wrong, I hope it was just a tragic accident because if it was true, what a loss. What a loss for the love that should have been shared with someone, the life that should have been lived, the decent man who would have been part of our community. We will never know what happened but I just hate the thought of such a good person feeling so hopeless, that they could see no other way out.


john said...

The death of anyone is tragic...but to think that it may have been on purpose is more so. To think that someone may have thought there was no other way is even more tragic.

don said...

Life in rural towns can be so harsh. I remember one guy that I started to hang out with in my neighbourhood when I was around 12. I was fascinated by him because he just seemed so different than all the other boys. One day my mom told me that I was not allowed to play with that guy anymore, saying that she heard talk that he was no good. He killed himself by hanging himself in his parent's garage while they were at work. Word on the street was that he was a fag. That was my first gay role model and his actions convinced me to shut that closet door very tight(at least until I moved to the city).

Sooo-this-is-me said...

John, yes that is how I feel and it bothers me that this could be the case.

Don, you would then understand being from a small town yourself. Yes so true, back even seven years ago in a small town, dead could seem better than gay to a confused man. You also would understand my attention being drawn to the fact of him having no girlfriend or wife, since in small towns there is more pressure to marry and good single men often have a line-up out side their door.

Java said...

This is one of the ways in which the general hateful attitude toward gays affects everyone, not only gay people. Of course I have no way to know if his death was accidental or not, but there are plenty of examples of gay men (and maybe women, I'm not sure) who end their own lives. These are valuable, creative, often very loving and sensitive people who have so much good to give to the world. They are taken from us because of the hate so prevalent in this culture. It's just WRONG and it makes me angry. Frustrated. grrrr

Anonymous said...

A tragic loss, indeed. But I think you hit the nail on the head. This was a person who had EVERYTHING going for him and EVERYONE looked up to him. How could he come out in a small town and expect to be welcomed and loved? :-(

Wayne said...

I've lost 2 friends to suicide. It's a terrible illness.