good evening. right into it. my maternal grandmother was a witch when my mother married my dad. she stole all her money and kicked her out. when i was born, everyone came together again, smiling and happy at the new beginning. two years later, my brother was born and life became about raising two wholesome boys from scratch. when i turned fifteen, my parents were growing suspicious that their beloved firstborn was a homosexual and they proceeded to violate my privacy and found all the evidence suggesting exactly that. not pornography, no. conversations saved where friends would ask me if my parents knew, how i said no and that i was scared it wasn't beyond mama and papa to behave irrationally. when initially confronted, my mother frightened me because there was a monster in her eyes. when i admitted that i was, she burst into tears and told me she loved me. a week went by and she woke me up from my sleep and made me swear on a treasured family heirloom that i wasn't a homosexual but merely confused. i was so accustomed to seeing my mother under control that this moment of weakness and desperateness shook me to my core and i told her, for her sake, that she was right and that i didn't actually know. on one horrendous occasion, my mother kicked me as i ran away down the hallway to get away from the flaring tempers. i closed my bedroom door behind me and went to bed, but not even five minutes later, the banshee that lived within my mother surfaced and she shrieked, wordlessly, a tone of insurmountable anguish. she opened and slammed my door - opened and slammed, opened and slammed - before dissolving into tears. i remember not paying much attention to her primal display of emotion, but i thought about how frightened my brother was, hearing it all happen outside his room. my father threatened to leave us all here and move back home to sicily. when night fell, i couldn't fall asleep. i could hear my mom crying. so i wrote a letter of apology and slipped it underneath their door. she kissed me on the cheek the next morning. ever since, my relationship with my parents dwindled into silence. i would sit at the dinnertable with headphones. my father hit me when i tried to defend the gay community, one day when they maliciously brought up the controversial topic, but i stood my ground and reminded him of the struggle THEY endured in the name of their own version of forbidden love. six of years of silence followed. i was a monster at home. my brother and i got along well enough. i gave him a nintendo ds and bought him pokémon diamond and white. as a thank-you for his level-headedness. well. just my luck, and under my parent's assertion, i went to a catholic high school while the story at home was unfolding. the kids there were cruel in all the obvious ways. our grade twelve religion course even had us study the intrinsic disorder that was homosexuality. i was gregarious and charming all throughout the awkward years but concurrently then quite lonesome and distant. no matter which of my settings, i was a monster. my mom refused to pay for two trips to europe and australia (respectively two years apart), where i could have played first chair flute and piccolo in my wind orchestra in a series of gorgeous venues. (humor: i blew the girl who played the piccolo out of the water. flimsy embouchure, and NO vibrato. no movement, just notes on a page). mama refused on the grounds of what i 'did to the family'. i watched all my musician friends leave and saw them all return closer to each other. i couldn't listen to their stories without being overwhelmed by envy. some of the bandmates weren't even serious about their musicianship. it was their filler course in high school. in between my third and fourth year, my family made an impromptu downpayment on a house very far away. i was enraged but i suppose i had no choice, they were paying the bills, were they not? i chose to attend the same school but travelling was difficult so when i wasn't at school, i was at home. things grew worse with my parents once we moved in. things got quieter and i still hadn't brought home a girlfriend to bang. whereas i thought that my sexual preferences were among the most boring facts about me, to them, it was a big, big, big, big, big deal. i didn't understand. what do my parents care about what goes on in my bedroom? isn't it creepy you care so much? when i turned twenty, i put my foot down and told them with a greater sense of finality. they asked me to leave and i left. we still talk and our relationship has improved but we just don't talk about certain things. all those years in my golden youth, however, were spent so frightened and joyless - i will never be seventeen again. i'm only twenty-two, but those years are gone in a whirl of anger, melancholy and resentment. i see me now, a flamingo of a man who plays the piano and very firmly believes his prowess as an entertainer will generate a revenue to envy. but for all my isolation, books, introspection and pretentious artistry, i'm in a terrible place. and by flamingo, i don't mean 'flaming'. i have long legs, i'm gregarious, i have poise. i overidentified with the stereotypes of homosexuality when i initially understood that i was gay but i grew out of that and have found a comfortable, androgynous home somewhere in between the masculine and the feminine. if i leaned too far to either side, i think i'd be worse off ... the last thing i need is an identity crisis. i have no trouble charming people, i have no trouble making people laugh, i get so much pleasure from helping other people through their dismal and abysmals but i always work towards the sunshine of their morale. i've repaired many a romantic pairing because, like i said, i have no problem being abrasive. i've been with a few men in my lifetime, but nothing that involved us emotionally. men my age only want a polished knob, it seems. a sickening trend i've come to notice is that the majority of men who get really giddy about me are fogeys! old fogeys! they're so alone and desperate for warmth and love that they don't care who it is. "dear god - please, god, just a man - anyone - to lie beside me at night" is emanating from their eyes. that's not fair to me. i have a name, and it's not 'anyone somebody', thank-you very much. the minority simmers with internal discord. gay men are cruel to and judgemental of each other. jocks, queens, bears, twinks ... everything is a porno in the village. i'm treated like a piece of meat although i believe myself to exude an air of finesse and romance. the community that i fought so hard to defend during my apocalyptic adolescence is also, in a way, one of my foes. i'm not shy about talking to boys, though they don't seem to take too well to me. the specific direction of my frustrations is that time is racing by and i won't be young forever but every boy i meet is preoccupied with lust. young romance, you know? ironic, the only people who seem to respect me are heterosexual men and women from all walks. they tell me i'm mature for my age, that i'm well-spoken. thank-you. it means a lot. i can't help but candidly notice that my gay friends are able to find relationships by the plural. do i think i'm going to be a successful musician? yes, i don't think that'll be difficult because i have inexplicably unshakeable confidence in my abilities - i just don't know where it comes from, but i like it. on the other hand, i also firmly believe (and with that comes the big, blue bubble of disappointment) that i may never reach anybody's heart - or worse, never allow the stranger to reach me. a byproduct of developing an entertainer's persona. i'm good in groups, but find myself struggling when it comes to individuals. i'm always working on putting myself out there, however. i meet new people everyday. i'm a fish out of water in each and every setting. i feel mentally unstable. sometimes, as i'm trying to fall asleep, my heart begins to race and i feel strange sensations in my head. the world rocks back and forth and it disorients me. sometimes, prickles. rarely, i see things when my eyes are closed. spooky faces. i have terrible nightmares. i try to tell myself to calm the hell down, don't sweat it, you're a work in progress, everyone your age is going through this crisis of existentialism. but these feelings of, as i like to put it, tumbling and fumbling and stumbling and bumbling, are all i know as they've been hounding me since i was 15. i forgave my parents, i forgave all the boys, i forgive everyone. i can't hold a grudge, it's beyond me. the cosmic artist in me is at war with the gloomy troglodyte in me. these past few days, the battle has been escalating. it's a turbulent residence i hope that despite my gloomy undertaking i was able to amuse or entertain you. if i may say so, to the people on this website that are floating in darkness, i think you're giving your emotions too much power over you. you're doing it to yourself, that's the worst part. you're to blame. don't blame terrible experiences. blame your perception of terrible experiences. it's not like this is a rare phenomenon. suicidal tendencies are abundant on the blue marble. see, now this why i think i'm losing my mind. oddly enough, now, i'm feeling a bit more inspired than twenty minutes ago, when i first started this message. in my first introduction, i stated that i've stopped feeling joy. i was being a bit dramatic. perhaps it was just the flavor of the day. in reality, i fluctuate wildly and frequently between two polar extremes. the difference between the venusian surface and the plutonian surface. there are times when i get off my petite rear and DO something because i can - the times i can entertain an entire crowd of people and have them laughing exactly when i want them to. and then, sadly, come the times when i unlock the door to my apartment, utter a hello to my roommate and sleep my sorrow away, immobile. he's very good at making me feel like a crybaby when my shoes turn blue. never insults me, but he tells it how it is. perhaps that's all you need. i found that the replies i got from my first introduction were too gentle. it's not my intent to insult those who replied and if any offence is derived from my statement, i'm sorry, but it's true. i'm not looking for sympathy. these feelings are a BIG DEAL. and they make you forget about the people that care for you. but they can only do so much. they've got lives to lead and their own plate of bereavements, whatever they may be, to organize. it's not anyone else's responsibility but our own to draw the line. we should all be angry we let ourselves crumble away when we could be one of those happy people we hate. if you don't have any faith in yourself, why should anyone else have faith in you? it's a concept that's hard to fathom, but we are free to do whatever we like. whatever, whenever, whoever. we're organisms that formed on the planet long ago through a series of coincidental collisions that occurred in space while the solar system was still young. from deep space, a comet came an delivered water to us. the water got things wet. little spores and bacteria formed and after years - and years and years, years and years, it became more complex. every human being is a happy accident. i personally am revolted that i have these thoughts. my arms and legs are in tact. i stand tall, my hair always falls perfectly into place, i was born with eyelashes that women spend so much money to rival. i've always been unhappy with my body, but i've been exercising for quite some time now - something that helps to fend off the negative nancy, debbie downer and pessimistic paula that come out every now and wreak havoc - and i've been eating more and more. people are telling me that i'm glowing, that i seem healthier and glossier. one thing to keep in mind when you finally decide that you're not a victim to yourself any longer is that your maleficent rituals aren't going to change in a week. you will most certainly relapse into familiar glooms and they won't relent just because you made the hopeful promise to yourself. old habits die hard. you have to really murder them, these bad habits. give them hell for all the hell they unleashed on you. once again, good evening.