I wasn’t terribly old when I came out the closet, I was about 13-14 when I started coming out to people, as a side note I am not sure anyone ever is “out” in the complete sense. How can anyone be? Growing up every time I met someone they would assume I was straight, we would be getting to know each other and they would ask me some variation upon “so I bet you chase the girls around don’t you?” these days my girlfriend is constantly asked who her boyfriend is, no one ever says “so do you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?” The point I am trying to make is this; no one will ever be completely out as every time you meet someone your sexuality will come up at some point, even if it isn’t an issue for them it will still come up when you discuss your relationship.
But what about when someone has not come out by their middle age? It was a month or two before I went to college that I had the deep misfortune of meeting someone who was evidently in the closet late in his life. Now I believe that everyone should come out of the closet, the more of his out and proud the better as far as I am concerned but I respect that not everyone has the circumstances where they feel comfortable or even safe coming out. But when you are in the closet one thing you should never ever do is attack those who are out and trying to make life work for them, sadly this man, let’s call him; “Padre” was my officer after I left the farm I worked at and was tasked with helping me find the course that was right for me.
When I left school they signed me on to a separate who handles young people in “alternative education” until they are sixteen, so in that sense it is not unlike school, and since I was roughly 15 when I left the farm they were still in control of me for a short time. Unfortunately in that short time they had to put me on a course and obviously I would still be on that course when out of their care, their actions would have consequences for far longer than I be their ward.
Naturally I was nervous as to what their decision would be, yes I could protest it but ultimately they could stick me on a course and have done with me. My nervousness was not helped when I met my officer, camp as absolutely anything, the man minced when he walked, now I am not one to stereotype but straight men this effeminate typically understand how they come across and are not homophobic. However he winced as if in pain when he saw me dressed in women’s clothing, right away I knew two things; in the closet and directing homophobia towards others so no one suspects him. I actually noticed my old tutor laugh out the corner of my eye when he tried to hit on a woman….
When I first met Padre, we spoke about why I left the farm and I told him about my difficulties with the younger students mocking me and how I wanted to move on to higher education. He simply told me to dress as a man and don’t I think I look a little bit “weird” wanting to get away from this slimeball as quickly as possible and he said he could not get me in to college before I was 16 but I had to go on to a course now, a year long course that would finish halfway through a college’s academic year, so when it finished I would be doing nothing for over five months until I could apply for college. Not really a thought that made him happy.
I argued with him that surely he could just leave me for a month to apply for college or whatever but he kept saying no, no and I had to do something he put me on. Such as an animal care course. Well actually an animal care course with math’s and English, at a primary level, that’s right I was being made to do maths and English at the level of 12yos.
I was placed in a classroom with people my own age, and some older, who could not even read or write their own name! Don’t get me wrong I’m not being big headed or attacking anyone with dyslexia *my GF suffers with it and its not laughing matter* but I shouldn’t have been there and could not understand why he made this decision. When I quizzed him about it all he said was “well you missed so much school, you are only qualified for this level” *later on I spoke to my college tutor about this and he told me he should have been fired and I could have gone to college at 15 despite my qualifications*
That was not the happiest time of my life, the people I was with were not suffering from any dyslexia or mental illness, they were simply chavs or shall I say “jocks” for any American’s who either didn’t care or had smoked their brains dead. All I could do was adopt a persona, tried to act as hard and crazy as possible so they would not attack me outside lesson. First day I was there some meathead tried to insult me for wearing a skirt and I think my response was “unless you want a kicking from a girl I suggest you back off before I show you how a high heel shoe can be a sex aid.” Now that may sound stupid when read but when you are a six foot-oh my God inches meatbrain with bigger biceps than my head and have that screamed at you by a “boy” in girls clothes who is half your size and size zero skinny the very fact that they dare to do this is gonna make them seem crazy enough you don’t wanna tangle with them. Plus I learned later on his friend fancied me……. Ewww.
I can’t remember how long I lasted in that place but I looked up college application dates one day, found out I had a week or so to apply and went to see Padre.
“I’m leaving the course”
*crosses legs, places hands on knees and looks down at me* “oh and why is this? You can’t just leave the course”
“Well I am, you know as well as I do that I shouldn’t be here, half these people can’t spell their own names and want to play football with my head and the other half are trying to sleep with me! I am sorry but I’m leaving here, you can say what you want about it but at the end of the day you can’t do anything to stop me”
“Well I never, I’ve tried to help you and then you do this, if you leave her I don’t get paid as much, I only get paid by how many I help” *he seriously said this… When he started talking I actually felt bad for him and wondering if I was being overly harsh or something, but he sounded like some sleazy salesman who worked on commission.*
“So you only want to keep me here because you get paid? How can you do something like that? All this time I didn’t’ really have to come here you just didn’t want to lose your paycheck”
With that I stormed off, behind me I heard him mutter something nasty, something directed at my gender. The next day I sent my application off to college, a course that was at the right level for me. The reason this memory sticks so vividly in my mind is that I can’t understand how he could treat me this way, he was clearly struggling to accept himself but why lash out at those who do accept themselves, because at the end of the day gay, straight, BI, trans whatever we all find life difficult sometimes, especially when humans are such a mess from the word go, nothing in our minds fits the right way, we are all trying to accept ourselves in a society that promotes anything but acceptance so why make it harder for those who are born out of a mold and just want to be treated the same?
Maybe you can tell me your thoughts on this in the comments section below, perhaps I am a little innocent minded but it was quite distressing that someone could be so cold.