I heard from “Stephen” again, the boy who wrote me on 9/20/13. He said this:
“Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and give me advice. I do as a matter of fact follow this blog very closely. I sometimes check it multiple times a day to see if i had missed anything, but i always check it daily, always. I will keep you posted and tell you how everything is going and if i ever happen to speak to Tyler and find out the truth you will for sure be receiving another long post from me PS… I started following your blog over a year ago and i am never going to stop because the pictures you post are amazing and also i now know where to go if a have a problem such as this and get very good support.”
I have responded to “Stephen” privately. I think he’ll be okay; he’s just going through a rough patch right now.
Also, yesterday I heard from another young man named Daniel. He wrote me about a comment I posted from Brett, a high school wrestler who felt pretty desperate about living as a closeted gay man in his small town. You can read Brett’s comment here: http://www.martindelacroix.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3106&action=edit
And now here’s what Daniel had to say:
“I found the posting of Brett the wrestler to be extremely truthful. I am a 26 year gay man living in a town of 14,000 people, and have keep my secret for years. It is very hard emotionally, but sometimes life is not easy.
“I moved away from a large city to the small town at the age of 21 after my boyfriend of five years and I were attacked by a group of young men who found out we were gay. My BF was killed and I was put into the hospital for more then three weeks.
“At the time of the attack only one other person in the world outside of the two of us, knew the truth about the relationship we had. That night my world came crashing down. My grandfather was chief of the police department, and because the truth was on the report he found out and told everyone in my family. My own family turned on me and for almost two years I received death threats from them.
“Moving away from the family problems caused me hide who i am from everyone. It has been five years since I have been with a man, out of fear of what could happen. I am a strong person and I have a hard time opening myself up to people.
“Personally, I believe that a support group is needed for men like me and Brett who need to talk between each other, in-order to understand the pain we feel. Although, I am not open about who I am, I am still the same person inside. If asked, I would never lie, because it would be wrong. I am a very straight acting person so the question has not come up yet, but in my heart I know someday it will.
“Perhaps, moving from a small town to a larger city is what you may need, but a lot of times it will be no different wherever you live, people will always be people. I know a lot of men younger then myself in this town who came out. Each and everyone of them would tell you they felt people would hate them, but, they all said what was needed, and they all kept their friends and family.
“Sometimes, I think that had I come out and told my family myself before the attack that they would have taken things better and would have accepted the fact. The fact that I lived a lie only made the issue that much harder on everyone. Just remember, I will never have the chance to find out how they would have acted, because I never tried.”
Daniel, thanks for sharing your story with us. It’s tragic, and I don’t know what to say, other than please don’t give up on finding love with another young man in the days ahead. And please don’t resign yourself to living life in the closet. I just spent two weeks in the San Francisco Bay area. People there are very accepting of gay people. If your environment is oppressing you, then maybe it’s time you tried living elsewhere.
Okay, everybody, it’s been kind of a sobering week on this website. I have heard some very sad tales, and they only reinforce what I have said before. If you are a young gay man, you have a right to be happy. You can’t let your surroundings dictate how you will live your life. It takes courage to live life as an openly gay man, but honesty pays off in the end.
Have a nice Sunday, everyone.