My senior year was the best year of my life. I reconnected with my Mennonite friends and mentors in Ft. Wayne. I made some new amazing friends that made such a huge impact on my life. I danced and sang (jazz hands for your gleeks) in "swing choir" and at church. I have so many memories from that year that still make me smile and laugh. From performing in Oklahoma to drinking sparkling grape juice in Brian's basement on New Year's Eve. Brian, Michelle, Carol, and Tim saved my life.
I also had two girlfriends that year (who will remain nameless to protect their identity) who for whatever reason never minded walking down the hallway hand in hand with me while the jocks and the stoners called me a faggot. Was it desperation or just good hearts?
I never understood why people always called me faggot? I had never messed around with another guy. I was a card carrying christian for god's sake..........maybe it was the dancing and singing????? I know I had effeminate hand gestures, but so did my animal killing, NRA member father. I'm sure it didn't help that I was raised by mean and my mother for most of my life. I will say it never bothered me to buy their tampons when they had the flu............maybe it should have??? If I was a faggot..........how did everyone else know before me? I knew i found men attractive, but most of my friends were women. I love women........love hanging with women....is that another hint????? I decided to leave it in God's hands.
During my senior year, and even after, I decided to make a deal with God. I promised to read the bible every night before I went to bed if he would tell me what he wanted for me. I would add up the numbers on my digital alarm clock and then read every corresponding verse of at least 10 chapters. For whatever reason Matthew was always my favorite book...........and the name of my favorite brother...........oh wait, he's my only brother : ).
I used to go to Glenbrook mall a lot at night and on weekends. It was a great mall with an indoor ice skating rink. I would shop, try on clothes, and watch all the next Olympic hopefuls (and the not so Olympic hopefuls) practice. One night while I was walking around i noticed someone that seemed to be following me. I got very nervous and went to the ice rink to hide..............since the ice rink is in the middle of the mall, kind of hard to hide. He came up behind me and asked if he could sit at my table. I said o.k.?? He started the conversation that he had just moved to Ft. Wayne and didn't know anyone and had no friends. Lonely people reel me in everytime!! It was right before Christmas so we decided to see a movie after the holidays.
We saw "Throw Momma from the Train" on the 26th of December 1987. I can tell you honestly that i have no idea what that movie was about, because I had spent the entire time wondering if this was my first man date, or just a new friend?? Long story short.........it was a date. I didn't realize until later in life that God had sent me this "first experience" to show me MY way. His name was Kent. He was the most "un-gay" gay i have ever met. He worked in a factory, didn't like bars, and always wore tennis shoes. He didn't even like sex, but like me, lived for the kiss. You see the no-sex thing was important as it was the height of the AIDS epidemic and so many people were dying. Yet another reason I felt God sent me Kent as my "first experience".
When I was growing up my mother had purchased a picture from a "Home Interiors" party. It was a picture of a huge dead tree in the middle of a field with an amazing orange background that was supposed to look like it was captured at sunset. I would trace all of the branches in my mind and used to stare at it for hours. Until I met Kent, I had always identified with that tree..........alone.......just exisiting as I moved from house to house. For the first time I was alive and finally knew who I was, and what I wanted.