With the Overseer
I don’t understand? From the day we were born, our parents chose our names and dreamt the way we would turn out. When we were young we were naïve and lived for the things teachers said were right. When we grew to middle school our friends influence the things we do. Then when we were about to finish school and aspire a certain life, our parents dictated the life we ought to have. I’ve always wanted the same things as them, a loving family, career and hope, but it’s ironic how they would destroy these qualities of their own to build and achieve them for me through an unrealistic fantasy. When is the time I choose to live my own life?
All those times I appear to be confident, aim to excel academically, strive for the best in sports and try a bit too hard in cultural activities have been undermined. Beyond this goal for perfection shadowed an incentive that will be perceived as an a immense imperfection, something that scarred me deep and held me hostage upon my realisation, yet never did I alarm for help but instead traded my sanity for the submission to my own destruction.
So when my parents found out during high school, they were as horrified as I was when I did so myself at 13. I imagined them going through the same denial, same anguish, same disappointment, and same loss of self which drowns you in regret and guilt. I hoped that they would become reasonably content with it just like I eventually did, even though it still clashes with my faith to this day. They blamed themselves, always did, but I didn’t blame them. I still wanted them to be happy.
“Son, I want you to be happy,” dad’s voice firmly stated, “Mom and I have been discussing this and we want you to apply for a fundamentalist Christian program for gays.”
My father, being the head of a conservative Christian family, his words were off course final. What he would call discussions with me were only one-way showers of spit on my face. And once you take upon the route of his one-way decision, there is no turning back.
So I must be a big screw up to them, and they say there must be something psychologically wrong with me. They tell me I’m not in the path God intended me to be in. Back then I wanted to be perfect, not only in my mind but also in everybody else’s, even God’s. Even though I’ve been housing all this doubt towards a possible change, if I could change my homosexuality through the power of my Lord Jesus Christ, then that would prove my faith to him, and my effort to strive for perfection will eventually be rewarded.
So I attended this Christian camp, which I expected tolerant support from all those ‘guiding’ and alike me. But it was nothing along those lines, nothing unlike concentration camps for rejected minorities which they feed you their ethics and force you to comply with their lifestyle. We brushed our teeth, used deodorant, ate the same food, studied, prayed, and slept by the clock almost to the minute. They assumed we had a traumatic lifestyle, and expected to ‘cure’ us by altering our life to follow a ‘standard’ code and schedule. We were cut off communication from the outside world; it was like we were caged and brainwashed. I saw depression sweeping across us like a plague, and acts of despair infecting us, and saw those in denial who claimed to be cured only clinging to an idealistic wishful hoping. When this Christian camp began to try and cure something that isn’t a disease, they gave us one.
I’m not going to make this my life, because there is more to me than just this. When I was about to leave at the end of the half year camp session I was debriefed by a minister about my progress. I began lying about how I have changed and how God have taught and saved me to heterosexuality just so my parents will let me out of this hell hole. His pen clicked and swiftly moved across the page like it has a life of its own. He began flowing one question after the other until he paused as he reached his last question.
“This is the final question; will homosexuality still run your life?” The minister interrogated as his thinning eyebrow lifted while he glanced and scribbled his pen at the side of a page.
We exchanged looks for a second, and then I felt the weight of my lips lifted as I began to pour out the true inner feelings I have. I have been deceiving everyone around me all this time.
“Homosexuality will never dictate or run my life, not like the way that you have imposed your beliefs on us like homosexuality were the only quality we have. You have stripped us away of our individuality and humanity.” I saw the minister exchanging his pen for another one but I kept on driving out the truth within me. “Everyone who knows me, and really loves me will know that homosexuality is my fate and will forever stay part of me, but it’s not who or what I am. It hadn’t run my life, and it won’t start now.”
Then I saw the minister stop and present me an extended sigh. He began in a consolidating tone as he advised, “I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave us wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery.” But it was no advice, it was his curse.
I treaded every step of mine heavily on the exiting steps in front of the this hell’s gate, each one representing a different kind of a sorrow and disappointment for those poor hopeless people still inside, my family and even the man up there, God. Another step is for how these fundamentalist Christian Camps are misrepresented as a perfect, caring substitute for family as their true families abandon them out of their lives to discard them into a covered up imperfection. And the last one is for me, about how I have misrepresented myself too, striving for an image of perfection to compensate for a hole that isn’t there. But walking out of there is my redemption.
Dear Heavenly Father
You have taught me many things when I thought I was distancing away from you. The new irony I have discovered while I was in the Christian camp is that they tried to oppose what I am by using your voice. Yet, when that made me hopeless, you were my only support to stay faithful to who I am when I lay deserted in despair. When they preached love it was intolerance, fanaticism for their one set of morality but you have ultimately opened me up to many more. In the end I didn’t need to prove anything to myself; I don’t have anything to doubt about myself. When everyone wants me to obey to their principles, I am every bit deserving to shine above the rest. I’m still not perfect, because it’s a subjective concept so no one is. However, today I’m living for myself and not anyone else. After 15 years, I choose freedom.
Hey I just wrote this short story, I would want some constructive criticism though, somehow it's lacking something, so I really need to know how others think it can be improved. I'm also a bit sleepy, I did proof read it like twice but I'm sure it still has many errors. I hope it reflects faith and sexuality together in a realistic way too... so yeah, any advice highly welcome.
 - is a quote off John Smid, the leader of Love in Action (Christian ex-gay organisation)