You are one of my favorite people on this planet. I know the first few years of your life you were weary of everyone, and so adorably shy, but I am grateful that you have grown into such a charismatic young guy. I won’t lie, at first I thought you were going to be like my other cousins…the kind I only see a few times a year, have no connection too, but we all smile and get along for grandma’s sake. You were too young at the time to feel the beginnings of the rift that now divides our family, but I never thought I would be so grateful that the rift avoided the younger kids…which is basically you.
The rift broke a lot of us…it broke a part of me, but then there is you and your smiling face, and dear god boy do you know how proud and happy you make so many of us? Granted some of your facebook posts are weird…I mean…when you die you want to be cremated and put in an etch-a-sketch. Then again, you are a part of this family.
No, my undying love and loyalty for you was created when you were so incredibly young. You probably don’t remember much, but the drama went down as so:
1. I came out as a lesbian, to myself and then to my friends.
2. I came out to Hamen (nickname) and Uncle B, and then finally my mom.
3. 5 tense months go by without any word or issue.
4. The voicemail.
The voicemail was of Aunt P. telling my mom that the family knew about my proclivity towards the fairer sex, and that if she didn’t want any drama that it might be best to tell Grandma. My mother than did something I still haven’t forgiven her for, she forced me to tell Grandma that I was gay. You are a smart kid, so I don’t feel like I should have to explain that outing someone, or forcing them to out themselves, is highly dangerous and incredibly traumatizing and hurtful. But I was outed, and then forced out. Yay family.
Grandma is awesome though and we all know it. So while my mom stood there all tense as I told grandma that I was gay, she just simply said okay and offered me a drink. I could have kissed her right then and there, and smacked my mom hurting me so deeply….but violence is bad, and well it was Thanksgiving/Christmas time. A few weeks later mom told me that your father, my Uncle M, had sat you down to explain the rumors going around the family about me. You might have been still too young to really remember what you said to him, but what you did say to him that day about me stole my heart, and it has been yours ever since.
You told him, “I don’t care who she loves as long as she is happy and they love her. She’s Faith and I love her no matter what.”
Out of the mouth of babes….
I cried when mom told me. Being a part of the LGBT community is not easy kiddo. At times, being yourself is just wholly dangerous. I’ve been jumped for being gay. I’ve been heckled, and harassed and assaulted. I may no longer identify as a lesbian, but the world knowing that I love women, and have shared my life with a woman, is still a dangerous thing, even with all the advancement in today’s society. Hatred runs deep little cousin, and it can be scary. I just hope you never have to experience what I’ve gone through. You are too bright for this world to even dare try to snuff out.
I mean you shaved your head because your classmate had cancer and you didn’t want her to feel subconscious. I am so proud of you, you have no idea…even though your spelling is horrendous.
That holiday, we were all sitting in the living room, and you were on my lap because that year was the first year I hugged you and refused to let go. You were my little hero, and you were just so excited that one of the older kids wanted to actually spend time with you. I can’t remember who started the gay jokes. It might have been one of your brothers I can’t remember, but you were on my lap and you felt me go from being relaxed in the seat, to being stiff and uncomfortable. I watched as everyone laughed, and I felt that knife twist in my chest, and I remember you looking at me with a weird look on your face. You watched me for a second, and then your little face got so angry. We were all shocked when you yelled at them for saying mean things to me.
“Don’t say that! It’s mean. Faith is my cousin and I don’t care who she loves because I love her and you are making her sad.”
or something along those lines. I was just shocked that this little kid on my lap was the only person to stand up for me. This little person, in a room full of adults and teens…you were the only person in the family to defend me. I held you tightly to me for a second, and looked at the rest of my flustered cousins who tried to backtrack. It’s not everyday you get shown up by a little kid. After that, I made sure to spend as much time as I could with you whenever I saw you.
Remember two summers ago when I stayed over at Uncle B’s to spend the weekend with you and Chels? You didn’t realize I was sleeping over, and you came back to the house after running an errand with your dad and saw me sleeping on the couch. You got so excited, and I had to smile because you were trying to be excited and quiet at the same time, but you were. You ran out of the living room and I started to doze off, but then I felt something be lowered on me. I opened me eyes and you were gently placing your blanket over me because the house had gotten a little cold, and you wanted to make sure I was warm.
You always amaze me you know that kiddo? I pray everyday that you never change, because this world needs a warm soul like yours. I was so excited to surprise you at christmas, and I didn’t realize just how much I missed you until you shouted in happiness when I popped out from behind Uncle B, and you leapt into my arms. Another time I held you tightly to me, my little hero. I miss you. When the world gets too hard for me, or when I’m feeling lost, I just think about you. I am soo damn proud of you. Okay, I’m done being sappy. I love you, and I hope to chat with you soon. I love you!
ps. This is my 100th blog post, and I couldn’t have picked a better person to share that with than you. Thank you for sticking up for me when the world wouldn’t.