I wanted to update this a little as it was brought to my attention today that I may have unintentionally offended people of the wonderful LGBTQ+ community in the way I have wrote this piece. Let me assure everyone I have never nor would I ever do so knowingly. The community has been and continues to be a huge part of my life even now. So I am taking this moment to explain.
With my father even though there was a transition and we were to introduce her by the female name Laneea the fact she was my father never changed and she was okay with that. My post was never to cause misgendering and/or dead naming. I have been trying to find a way for 9 years to honor the memory of the most amazing person I ever had in my life and have her memory embraced by the community in a beautiful way.
I am always respectable and open to any and all questions or concerns, as well as advice to ensure I never offend or cause any sort of harm.
I hope to create an amazing and wonderful project that can be shared and enjoyed by all. I hope you will consider being a part of this.
I am also currently reaching out to my local non profit LGBTQ+ community to be able to donate the proceeds.
I have tossed and turned over this for some time. It was a hard decision to make but in the end posting this is in the best interest of my heart. I feel very strongly about this project. My father was my rock in life.
I’ve had this really crazy thought running through my head for some time and now I am going to throw it out there to see if anyone might be interested…for those who know me they know my father was a transgender who came out in the 1990’s one of the hardest times to do so…those who know me also know he passed 9 years ago and for his 10th year of passing which is March 26, 2021, I want to honour him with an anthology “Coming Out” true stories of journey’s bringing sexuality to light. The focus will be on your stories of how you experienced coming out to those you loved, the ones closest to you and how they reacted.
This can be prose, poetry, short stories, however you wish to interpret your experience. I only asked it be a maximum of 2500 words.
I would need about 20 to 30 participants. If and when I have enough interest all guidelines will be laid out and sent to each individual before anything is required for submission.
Below is from my memoir, the story of my father’s transition release from my perspective and memories.
It would really all start one morning after the newspaper was released.
The town of Sparwood woke for their morning coffees, before waking their kids on that school day and heading to work.
That day when they unfolded their paper copies of the news at their tables it would read (photo of paper below)
As you can imagine in a small town, in the nineteen ninety-five, this did not bode well.
Closed-minded people would never understand decisions like this even when they are made out of necessity to survive.
Up to this point my father had kept his transition on the more private side, only close friends and family knew along with my mother and his children.
Well, that changed fast, within a matter of hours. Small towns talk and everybody knows everybody.
The entire town knew by about nine, I guess.
This would not only change my parents lives but the lives of my life as well.
In the matter of a day we went from being normal kids to being a plague. We lost everything, our childhood, our friends, and our privacy.
The days of fun outside, hanging with people and just being a child were over. It would be replaced with daily beatings, ridicule, loneliness, hatred, and torment for the coming years.
I will share my most vivid memories, feelings, and losses from this day, as I can only imagine what my siblings went through as well but this is my story.
My parents woke me for school as they did any other day, unaware of what was about to happen in the households of the town.
Where we lived really was not “in town” but really on the out skirts, this meant early mornings to catch the bus. We walked through the trailer court, up the hill to a small building where the miners met to head out. This is where we caught the school bus, in the winter months they would allow us to stand inside so we didn’t freeze.
So, we arrived there like any other morning over the last couple years. The difference? Well, getting on that bus was different. There were probably twenty pairs of piercing eyes glued onto us.
Just staring, no words spoken other than the whispers amongst themselves.
Entering the bus, making my way down the aisle mutterings of “this seat’s taken, you can’t sit here, I don’t want you here,” began. It was like that scene of the Forrest Gump movie. Nobody that was originally befriended wanted anything to do with me.
It was just a school day like any other wasn’t it? Nothing had changed in my eyes. I was still the same person. I just did not know. Arriving at school that day would only cause the whispers to be louder. Increasing from twenty sets of eyes to over three hundred. Going from a few words to a dense cloud of whispers in the background. Walking in the school halls, I still did not understand.
As confusion, fright, and wonder filled my mind that day, I would eventually know. Hours of whispers would turn into random blurts of: “he/she”, “disease” and “freak”.
And this was only the beginning. Not knowing what else to do, I hid. I took myself to a corner and sat there.
Alone, scared, hurt, confused, and lost. I would sit there the entire day, tears streaming down my cheeks trying to just fade into the background, praying nobody would notice me and I could just disappear.
I was finally able to go home after what seemed like a day that took forever to end. This would bring the answers to the day’s events. This would explain why words were spoken, why people were distant, and why I would feel so alone the next few years.
Arriving home my parents would sit us down. My mother sitting quietly in her chair and my father holding a copy of the day’s paper in hand. There was a combination of fury, hurt, and exhaustion in the house that day.
As my father began to explain the article you could tell in his voice and facial features that he never meant for us to get hurt. He read it and, although I truly could not comprehend its meaning, he explained that things were not going to be easy for us now. That people were going to be afraid of what they did not know. That the fear of the unknown can cause harmful actions. Those who did not stand by us were not worth having around anyway.
As a child those were terms I could understand. They made sense to me. Even to this day they make sense and I try to live by them always.
But the next days, months and years in the town would bring an increasing amount of turmoil.
Every day at school was hell.
I would hide in any corner, room or hallway I could find just to avoid the beatings. I purposely missed my bus on the regular just so I would not have to deal with the abuse.
Even hiding was not enough unfortunately, it seemed no matter what, I was found.
Classmates would walk by and kick me, hit me or push me. It really gave a literal meaning to kick you while you’re down.
Day in and day out it was constantly the same things from those who really just did not understand.
With the beatings came the daily abuse as well, I think it was almost worse than the physical as it stayed much longer, wounded much deeper and has never been let go.
I would spend my days over the next few years drowning myself into my studies and trying to just make it one day at a time in the hell that had been created.
I would be honour roll, join choir and be at the highest in my classes, it was good but lonely.
Over the years here, with each day passing, people began to subside a minimal amount on the attacks, although none would ever be friends, I had survived.
At least physically anyway. Emotionally, I think I had died, at least a little.
When our time in this town was coming to a close, it was heartbreaking, not because we were leaving all the shitty people behind but when were leaving my father was not leaving with us.
If anyone has interest in being a part of this anthology please get in touch via my website, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter by DM. I would very much love to have you be a part of it.
Much love to all 😘