Friday, October 5, 2012

Being Different

A friend sent this letter to me and I knew that I had to share this to others.


When we look at someone in the street, or in a pub , or at work, what do we see, only what we want to see, or what that person wants us to see. 

Being different from others is not easy, it’s hard, and for some they live in fear. Not knowing what to do or who to talk too. They live their life alone, hiding who they are, they try to do normal things in life, as others do, but fall, hurt and lost. 

For many of you here today, do you take the time to know that person, and how they got to where they are today,

I want to tell you a short story of a small boy, who was the eldest son of five sons. This small boy grow up in a family that showed very little love towards him. 

Where being beaten was the norm in his life, and not feeling part of this family. Hoping some day someone will come and take him away from the hell he lived in.

There was a world he could take himself to, a world that he only could see and be part of, for him it was to watch the world around him, blue skyes, the wild life around him, frost on a window, standing under a tree when it rained, he would watch, listen, and could smell this world too, but the best bit was, that no one could come in to his world, for it took away all the pain of being beating, of being shouted at, do this or do that by his family. 

 As he grow up, he could not read or write, so again in this he was alone , at 9 years old he had 3 picture cards, of a man in white with long hair, in these pictures this man stood with children and stood with alot of people too, and the last one he sit on a hill side, he had no idea, who this was, but he knew this man was a good man.

This small boy loved to go on a bus to a local town or to the sea, for there he was safe , and he could watch and listen to all the people around him, and smell the air there too, it was his joy to see life this way.

His school friends all knew he could not read or write and how they mocked him for it, he also had to take time off school because his small body was marked from being beaten. But still he had his world, and he saw so much more than others did.

When this boy was 13 years old , he was changing, he did not like the things other boys liked, like sport or girls, but he did not know why this was, he had feels for other boys his age, he would hope that his best friend would be out to play, and if he was not, it would hurt him.

At 14 he had his first feelings of being together with his best friend, it was good but he also feared it too. 

A year later his world came down around him, as others knew he liked boys, from that time on , this boy had to hide who he was, and he could not understand what he was, he tried to run away from this world, but he could only live where he was, the beatings continued, even into his teens, was this to be his life, forever. 

As time passed by his feels towards other boys of his age he had to hide for fear of what may happen to him, in the hands of his family and friends around him.

At 23 his mother died, he hope all his pain would stop that day, but it did not, the last time his father hit him, this boy was 27,

This boy even got married, so to hide himself, he hoped he would learn how to love a woman, 10 years later they parted, going their own ways, he had tried to live a normal life, as other saw it.

Then in 91/92 he went to evening classes at collage for nearly a year, to learn to read and write. It was the beinging of changing his life. He now had a name for it too, dyslexic,

He had also traveled over seas too, italy, malta, spain, france, he saw so much, in a short time he was growing up, he worked hard to build a new life,

He had some good friend s come into his life, some helped him with his reading , and gave him the courage to move on in life, but he still hide who he was, the man inside him, he would never let out, no one was allowed to see him.

So what will be come of this small boy who was now a man, where would he go and what would he do and did he have a future anywhere.

In 1998 he moved to Scotland , to a small village down Lochness. He stayed with friends to start with, but then got his own place to rent, with in two years he had his first poem put in print, his joy was up there with the clouds, he was on top of the world, his poem in print. Then 7 years ago he change the area of work he did, he now knew what he want to do in life , help others.

Then 5 years ago his world came down around him again, this time there was no where to hide any more, all the pain of his child hood and who he was came back to him, after his father died, he was alone , there was no way out for him, so he plan to end his life by the shores of a loch, alone there he stood, crying into that evening, the stood alone.

So where today is this small boy who be came a man.

He stands before you, for on that evening my faith came back to me, the following day i asked for help, and again people came into my life, so i could at last deal with my passed, i had the support of so many, friends in work and outside of work, and for the first time i was able to say this is who i am, i’m mike and i’m gay.

Over the last few years , i still have a great job working as home carer, also in my spare time working here in inverness in the gay community too, in the then lgbt social group , ending up as chair man and project worker for them, and now on other projects still to this day, even taking part in a Scottish tv documentary here in the highlands, talking about ones faith and how the church see us for being gay.

But the one project thats close to my heart, is my faith, and the fact that gay people are not welcome into some churches today, and also the fact that some people still do not understand who we are,

We are the same as you all here today, yes i’m different as i’m gay, but do you know, we fall in love as you do, and when a relateship finishers , we feel the same pain as you do, we all eat and sleep the same as you , we want the same as you all, to feel safe, to feel cared for, to have ajob and work hard as you all do, and for some of us to go to church as some of you do.

Today i’m proud of who i am, proud to say i live in inverness , where the people and its curture makes one feel welcome, one where i work to help others,

But above all this are the 4 lessions i have learnt here in scotland and from my faith, compassion, understanding, and how to forgive, and how to love each other, and to work together to make a better life for everyone,

I’m proud of who i am, i’m mike, that small boy who grow up to be the man he is today.



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