I have just watched several movies today that really made me proud of who I am, what I am, and what I have gone through to become the person that I am today. I watched the movies The Greatest Showman and Love Simon. Both of these movies have helped me in just a few minutes appreciate the struggles I have gone through in my life. The two movies also helped me understand that it may be difficult for many people to appreciate who I am and definitely may be very difficult for another gay man to fall in love with a handicapped gay man. The ultimate understanding that I learned from these movies was that no matter what other people think or don’t understand about me that I should always love who I am and the person that I have become.
The first 25 years of my life was pretty amazing except for the fact that I was hiding the secret that I was gay. This was because of the childhood that I had. My father was a Southern Baptist which is not an issue except for the fact that he would continually tell me and my brother that if I ever turned gay that he would disown us and kick us out of his house. My father started telling me this at the age of 11 just after my brother and I were sexually abused by a close friend of ours that lived next door to us. At that age I didn’t even know what being gay meant much less have accepted that I was gay. Later on in my childhood after I had realized that I had feelings for some of my friends, I was still being confronted by my church’s beliefs that being gay would send a person to hell. It took me a decade after my father passed away when I was 18 years old to finally overcome his and my church’s teachings and finally love myself for not being normal and finding other men attractive.
I also have had to not only overcome a terrible car accident when I was 25, but learn how to live as a person trapped in a wheelchair. In fact when I was in the hospital recovering from the accident I literally had to learn how to breath all over again, because I had been on a ventilator for six weeks. That had to be the scariest thing I have ever accomplished. Since my accident I have learned how to do just little, normal activities. Things such as live in a wheelchair, open doors for myself, cook for myself, get in and out of bed myself, and even make love are simple tasks, that I had previously taken for granted, were now things that I had to relearn all over again. Today I have accomplished all of these things and many more because of determination and a will that does not understand the words “can’t” or “give up”.
Just because I have realized this understanding doesn’t mean that I don’t get upset or sad. I find it very demoralizing when I try to talk to people or invite other guys to spend time with me, and they do not want to because I’m in a wheelchair. It has been impossible so far to find anyone to just love me for the person I am and not get turned off just because I am in a wheelchair. I have been able to make a few friends, but they seem not interested in spending much time with me outside of an organized group activity. On top of that everyone so far that I have asked to go on a date with me always come up with an excuse that seems to have been not the case just a few minutes before when other people were talking to them. These situations do get me upset and sad, but I do not allow them to take control of my thoughts or destroy my own image of myself. I know that one day I will find a person who will find it wonderful and interesting to get to know me and want to spend time with me more than anywhere else. I just hope that person is somewhere close, because I am getting quite lonely.
I guess the purpose of this post is to let everyone who is facing something that is difficult, challenging, life changing, or just upsetting to know that you can overcome anything that comes against you in life. There is nothing as strong as the human determination to succeed. Where many people fail is not against the obstacle but in their own minds. It is difficult to see ourselves differently than were first dreamed, but it is ok to dream a different dream. Life can still be pretty amazing no matter what shape your seem to find yourself in. The key to achieving your goals and dreams is to keep taking small steps forward. No matter how small a step you take just keep pushing forward, keep dreaming, keep believing in yourself, and keep loving others and you will achieve a wonderful life.