I have many gay friends and even some gay nakama (friends that are family). My own twin is gay. I want to take a minute to share some of their stories.
There is more to this than there seems.
I love these people. They are little monsters just like everyone else and I love them for everything they are and everything they will become.
This is my twin, Hikaru. (His real name is Stephen). We're not biologically related, but we might as well be. We met 2 years ago and he's changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I can be myself around him at all times. I never have to hide my thoughts or feelings because he always understands them. I'm SO lucky to have him in my life. I really don't know what I would do without him. I haven't seen him in a long time, but it's ok. We talk a lot and that's the best we can do right now.
He has two younger siblings and lives with his mother at the moment. He loves drawing, dancing, and driving fast. He swears just as much as I do and he loves cracking stupid jokes that sometimes only I ever understand.
He plays video games a LOT. We get lost for hours in the world of fantasy and love every second of it.
He is a kind and loving soul that would do anything for his friends or his boyfriend, Khrys. He deals with a lot of stuff every day, especially here in this very religious community. But he makes it though with huge smiles and loud laughs.
I love you baby. Thank you for being the best twin I could have ever asked for.
This is Nicole. She has been my best friend for 3 years and she's absolutely wonderful. She and I met in Erie, PA on September 29, 2007. About a week after that we were talking for several hours a day. I rarely click with people so fast, but she's definitely an exception. She's had a difficult life. Her father's story is a complicated one that I don't really have the right to repeat without her permission. I don't think they have much of a relationship at all.
She lives in the middle of nowhere now, but she makes the best of it. She loves everyone that doesn't hate her. She constantly goes through relationships, looking for something of substance.
She's an amazing model. She's been in several of my photoshoots and she looks gorgeous every time, no matter what I dress her in. Whether there's make-up, dirt, or (fake) blood on her face, she's always photogenic.
She smokes a lot but she doesn't smell like it. It amuses me. She loves her little brother Jake more than just about anything. She works a full-time desk job for an insurance company and she puts up with a lot of hatred from a lot of people.
She's suffered severe heart ache, heard a lot of hateful things from a lot of people, survived rape and a lot of other awful things. And yet she comes out with a radiant smile and a laugh to shake the sky.
She's always there for me when I need her, quick to reassure me that I am awesome and that I am loved.
She's been such a blessing in my life and I don't know what I would do without her.
I love you baby girl. ♥
This is Jon. I've known him since my second year of high school, and I am one lucky kid. I don't know anyone more loving or accepting than Jon. His family moved to the Burgh from New York City after his wonderful, amazing father suffered a heart attack and died, God rest his soul. He doesn't let it bring him down though.
I don't know of a single day that's gone by where Jon didn't laugh and dance his way through everything. He fought to graduate from high school and I couldn't have been prouder of him when he did. I know it was hard for him.
He tried college a couple of times, but he doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. So right now he works and lives with his mother, one of the kindest souls I've ever had the privilege to know. She needs him and he knows it. Sometimes I know he wants to leave, but he won't as long as she needs him to stay.
He knows how to make me smile no matter the circumstances. He knows how to listen and he knows how to talk (HOLY SHIT DOES HE EVER). =D
He's encouraged me through all my exploits in to photography and he cosplays with me and fangirls with me. He raves to the same music that I love and he's never said a negative thing about me. He does his best to make everyone around him happy and he's good at it.
He loves Invader Zim, Firefly, and the Legend of Zelda. Our video game parties are the best!
His dogs - Delilah and Satan - can be annoying, but I know he loves them.
"Bear," you better take care of my Jon. I love him, so don't you go breaking him.
This is Khrys, my twin's boyfriend. It's not the most... flattering(?) picture ever, but I freaking love it. So there it is. Khrys has dealt with a lot too. Seems to be a common theme, no?
His father mentally abused his mother so badly that eventually she left. Khrys then got to hear all about how it was his fault the whole time he was growing up. I really hate his father. He used him, abused him, and I feel like he doesn't give a shit about him. And I don't understand how.
Khrys is amazing. He really is. No matter how many women came and went in his father's life, he stayed strong even though I know it was hard. His personality is one of resilience. He's loud and boisterous and he lets his wants and needs be known. At least around his friends anyway. Around others he can be shy and rather withdrawn, but I almost never see that side of him. One might even say he's somewhat demanding and he loves attention. It's what makes him Khrys.
He's loved my twin for such a long time and I know that it's really love. I don't care if it's some sort of sin or anything. They take care of one another and that's what matters. End of story.
This is Rachel. I've also known her since sophomore year of high school.
Rachel is an interesting character. She's jumped back and forth from men to women and changed her mind about various things so many times it makes my head spin. She doesn't always get the facts right when she tells you things, but her heart is generally in the right place. She's fiercely loyal to her friends and I respect her a lot for it. She's made a lot of serious life changes over the years and sometimes I don't understand the things she does. But I love her and that's what matters. She and Tarsis have been together for at least a year (perhaps 2?) and they're still going strong. They both have very strong opinions about just about everything and are very open about their feelings. Sometimes I don't always want to know, but there's never a dull moment to be had when they're around.
She's another of my favorite models, and I'm sure anyone could see why. She's a unique and beautiful soul and I love her no matter what she does.
This is Kristy, another of my adopted siblings. My little sister is a nut. An absolute nut. She loves everything related to Japan and Disney. Good things to love. She loves anime and manga and she's a pretty decent cosplayer. She always finds reasons to be happy and gets through even the worst of times without bringing those around her down. I remember when her grandfather died, God rest his soul, she texted me to tell me. When I asked her if there was anything I could do for her or her family, all she said was she was glad I cared and that I listened while she told me how she was feeling. She tries not to make her problems anyone else's problem and that's a quality I think we could all use a bit more of.
I don't know what she's going to do once she graduates from high school, but the world had better look out! It won't know what's hit it. =)
(She is bi-sexual, just for the record.)
I could go on and on and on, sharing stories of so many more people. I don't want to completely clog up the page with my sentimentality, so I'll just share a couple more pictures and the names attached.
This is Megan (the one in the back). She is one of the dearest friends I have ever had. She left an abusive, unloving home and is now on her way to becoming an engineer. I am SO proud of her. ♥ (And, just for the record, she is bi-sexual as well.)
I haven't known Engel nearly as long as I would like, but she's a kind and sweet girl. She, too, has had a lot of hardship in her life, but it doesn't stop her from loving everyone around her.
Saki is crazy! I love her soooo much. She works hard in school and balances volunteer work with lots of drama and other things. She cares about her family above all else. I'm proud to call her my friend.
Amelia and I go way back. It's hard to remember a time that I didn't know her, but we really haven't known each other all that long. She was on stage crew when I was in shows. We've been through a LOT of shit together. It's taken some fighting, laughter, and tears, but our friendship has survived, even when we didn't talk for almost 2 years. None of it matters now and I'm so grateful to have her back.
I could go on and on forever. I really could. But I won't. I'll leave it here with these wonderful people that I am blessed to know. My life would be so much less colorful and beautiful without them. I would never be where I am now without my amazing and wonderful nakama.
Don't you see the love in their faces? The joy? Do you think their being gay makes them any less human? Any less loving or loved? It doesn't. How could something like that take away from the beautiful souls inside them?
I want to remind you all that "gay" is not a dirty word. It's not disgusting or embarrassing. It's a state of being. That's all. They shouldn't be AFRAID of telling the world their own stories. "Coming out" shouldn't be such a big deal.
I can't imagine the pain some of these beautiful people have felt when people they loved - be it a mother, brother, friend, or whomever - rejected them when they trusted them enough to tell them a secret that scared them. How would you feel if someone did that to you?
Why should it be a secret? It only causes pain.
Again, my opinion on the political side of this doesn't matter. I just want everyone to be happy and know that they are loved. Because you are! All of you are beautiful and wonderful and so very precious. The world would be a much darker place if the light in your hearts were to suddenly be gone.
Stay strong. The world will get better. Things WILL work out as long as someone has a voice and speaks for those who are shamed in to silence.
Who do you know? We all know someone. Whose stories can you share?
I want to hear them all.
Let me leave you one last thing.
This is my favorite picture out of the thousands and thousands that I've taken in my life. Pictured are Jon and Rachel, both of whom I talked about in this blog entry.
Have you seen many things more beautiful than this? I haven't, and I've been all over the world looking. Their love and joy are plain on their faces. They add color to the world and it's beautiful.
There is no greater beauty than the love between two humans, no matter what direction it's coming from and no matter the connotation it has.
My religious views don't matter. They're still people and I still love them, no matter whom else they choose to devote their own love to.
I don't care if you think I am wrong. You may say so, but please do it respectfully. I don't try to bring you down for what you think and I expect the same level of respect from all of you. This is a difficult subject for me to talk about because of my religion and my personal beliefs. It's always created conflict in my heart, but I choose to put it aside and stand up for the ones I love. To me, that's far more important.
I am not their judge, just as they are not mine. That's God's job. Mine is to do all I can for all my brothers and sisters in this world, and for now this is the best I can do besides loving them with all my might.
Thank you all for being my friends.
♥ ♥ ♥