You’ll Understand When You’re Older

I’m guessing that at some point in your life, someone told you that “you’ll understand when you’re older.” I once had a friend say this to me: “at a certain point, you just need to accept that I know more than you because I’m older. That’s just the way the world works,” in those exact words. He liked to tell me some variation of that pretty frequently, as did his wife, and I absolutely believed them. But a couple of weeks ago something occurred to me—I’m almost the age of that friend now. In three more years, I’ll be the … Continue reading You’ll Understand When You’re Older

Gay Perspective

I grew up in a strange time for a gay man. When I was a kid, gay marriage was illegal in all fifty states. Perhaps it was somewhat socially acceptable to be a gay man in Berkeley, CA in the early 90s, I can’t rightly say, but I do remember it wasn’t until I was thirteen that Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage, and it was well over a decade later that it became federal law. I remember watching Hillary Clinton on TV during my teens, the sinking, embarrassed, betrayed feeling I got when she said so … Continue reading Gay Perspective

A Message From a Kid Who Got Hit

It took me until well into my teenage years to realize that my dad had been hitting me. That’s the part they never show in the movies: the utter confusion that rides the open palm. I didn’t rebel. I didn’t fight him, or run away from home. I didn’t think much about it, really. I suppose I thought it was normal, just a part of reality–act up, get hit. I didn’t tell my friends about it, because it was too embarrassing. It never even occurred to me to tell anyone else. To clarify, my father never “beat” me, at least … Continue reading A Message From a Kid Who Got Hit

Should You Be Using the Word “Should?”

“Should” can be a very dangerous word. I used to think that when I felt I should do something, some part of me was looking out for myself, pushing me to do what I knew I had to in life. I should get a job and want to succeed at it. I should want to go to clubs and parties, the most social scenes, because I should be confident and happy and unafraid. I should keep my feelings to myself, because they are a burden on anyone else, and that should be easier for me to do. I once had … Continue reading Should You Be Using the Word “Should?”

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m the Way You Made Me

You find a baby tortoise in the sand lying on its back. It struggles fiercely to gain purchase and flip itself over. For you to help, it would be as simple as walking over and giving it a little nudge. Do you flip the tortoise? To some, the answer may seem obvious. Unless whomever happens upon the tortoise is a complete sociopath, why not help the poor creature? It would take so little effort, literally just a nudge. Well, anyone who has a pet tortoise will tell you that the first instruction you are given on its care is to … Continue reading Don’t Hate Me Because I’m the Way You Made Me