I’ll probably die before going to bed with another man. I have friends who relate the marvels of this and feel sorry for how much I’m missing, but day after day I dare not take that step.
When I was younger I was braver. When I was about four, my family caught me naked day in a closet with another little friend. I had to wait for adolescence to understand this by reading a psychology book; it explained how such initiations into sexual life occur frequently and are normal. But at that time, my relatives took it as a tremendous shock and began the arduous task of persuasion to prevent me from “swinging the other way.”
Their training was so effective that later, when I grew up and mentally opened up to that possibility, I could not overcome the deepest and most paralyzing fear when I felt like any guy was trying to come on to me.
I suppose to convince me of the abhorrence of being gay, one of the adults in my family proudly recalled his feats in hunting gays at military school.
They had an active club of espionage fans there that was able to clean the area of all traces, so he thought. The climax of the story came when the director of the institution fell into their trap; he was the most coveted “fudge packer” of the many others at that military institution.
But it wasn’t necessary for me to hear about such distant stories to realize that such “frailties” could cost dearly. In my elementary and secondary schools it was common to witness cruel homophobic attacks led by the children themselves against their “limp-wrist” comrades, and all of this in the presence of abetting adult educators.
When I reached adult age, I joined the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), an organization in charge of rallying residents to protect the Revolution at the neighborhood level.
One night I found myself doing block-watch duty in the office of this organization in my town.
While snooping through the drawers and papers, I found a list of names and addresses of lesbians and gays who lived in the vicinity.
Indignant, I took the sheet to the CDR coordinator to ask him why they keep such a list. Convinced and patient, he explained that people with such deviant behavior historically had been opposed to the Revolution. “That’s why it’s necessary to keep them under control,” he asserted.
Rage began to ooze from my pores as I responded that such a position aimed at controlling enemies in fact did more harm by creating them. Later he commented to other people that I must have been something of a “fag” to react that way.
Many people lost their jobs and careers or simply lived in anonymity since that species of cold war was unleashed against lesbians and gays, at least until the beginning of this century when it began to weaken.
Praiseworthy actions have been taken since then to protect homosexuals and to promote a healthier sexual mentality.
To continue and consolidate this work, I proposed that a social program be created to compensate the victims of that homophobic terror of the past and to assist them economically and with opportunities.
Perhaps this way the younger generation can “see it happen” without so much trauma.