Several months ago I got a call from my brother and panicked. My brothers never call me unless something horrible has happened/is happening. My baby brother, his young voice breaking, said, “I need to tell you something.” “Of course, anything,” I replied. “I think I’m gay.” I about burst out laughing, but stop myself. I didn’t want to be insensitive. I had been expecting something dire, and instead it was something wonderful.
Here was my youngest brother figuring out and owning something ten years earlier than myself. I thought of all the wonderful experiences that awaited my brother, now that he was armed with that knowledge. Of course as brave as he was I had to tell him I shared similar feelings, which came as a bit of a shock, but he took it in stride.
The people who know me could tell you one thing for certain about me. The most important people in my life are my brothers. Particularly my baby brother who I raised when my parents decided they were too burdened with their own life issues to do it themselves. I am fiercely protective of him.
Anyways flash forward to the beginning of last month. I get a call late at night from my brothers. They’re in tears, which freaked me out. My older younger brother never cries. Some family shit was going down, and all I could do from several states away was try comforting them. Offer platitudes. Tell them I love them. All this emotion brought something out in my baby brother. He had something else to tell me. He admitted to attempting suicide.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt as hurt as I did right then. Sure I followed the gay teen suicides, but for whatever reason I felt my baby brother was safe. He had my other brother; he had me. He wasn’t even out at his high school. He didn’t read as gay. He’d be safe from the bullying. I can’t believe I was that stupid to think that way. He is surrounded by bullying. He’s not deaf. He hears all the unkind things said and hate spewed. He isn’t going to a liberal high school up north like I did. He’s deep in hate territory, where he doesn’t need to be open about being gay to feel hated. Add to that all the family crap, and the fact that he’s a teenager and damn.
This hate…it needs to stop now. I don’t know how I’m going to make it better. I don’t know if I can. But I have to try. Even the threat of losing my brother devastates me. I can’t imagine how all the families of suicide victims feel.
I feel my anger rising and I can’t even think straight anymore, so angry am I at “Christians” who spread such a message of hate and inequality. How dare they invoke the name of God and Jesus in their vile filth! I have to end this post now for fear of losing it.