When Hate Wins: What It Felt Like Losing You To Your Homophobic Parents

by Keay Nigel

You don't deserve me.

You didn't fight for me how I would have fought for you. Not hard enough, at least.

You never stood up for us in the face of your menacing parents when they found out about our relationship. When your mother chased me out of the house, you didn’t mutter a word. You didn’t even try to stop her.

You didn’t stand up for me like I expected you to. It was all too disappointing.

There I was, like a roach swept out of the house, surrounded by the silence of the other roach who claimed to love me more than himself. You allowed their intolerance of same-sex couples to tear us apart.

You allowed their ignorance about the modern-day version of love to shoot me down.

In my head, I was screaming like Cristina Yang in "Grey’s Anatomy," "Be my person, Owen! Be my freaking person!" But, you chose to be the "good" son for them instead of a fighter for me.

I still can't understand how you put up with that suffocating homophobia — the very force that looks down upon your own true self — floating around in your house.

In the end, you let it poison the loving (though secret) relationship we’d built over the two years since we'd met as freshmen.

I had pictured the two of us, happy at our graduation ceremony, where we would have celebrated the end of our college lives in oversized, dark blue graduation gowns.

There and then, we would have been celebrating the fact that we’d survived four years of loving and fighting with and for each other, protecting our love against the non-believers.

I thought our love was great enough to fend off any arrow, dart or bullet that flew our way. I thought your love for me was boundless. I thought you loved me with all your will.

I believed you with all my heart and soul when you said to me, "You are the important thing in my life because you’re the one I want to spend the rest of my life with."

Now it all seems like a big fat joke. You and I hid our relationship from everyone we knew, even those who were close to us — those we loved.

How did I not realize something wasn't quite right with that arrangement from the beginning?

We were supposedly best friends in front of your friends and family, but when we retreated back into your room, under the covers, we became wild lovers and unleashed every restraint.

There, pinned down on bed, we forgot about the pretense we put up in front of people. I thought to myself, "This is all that matters. This is all that I need: you." But, it’s not true.

I needed more. But for you, I compromised and settled for less.

When you called for the breakup, it felt like you spit in my face. It was your parents’ spit, only delivered by you. It was like they had won, somewhat.

Now, six months after the breakup, I still feel slightly angry whenever I think back about that wretched relationship. Don’t get me wrong; I am not renouncing all the very beautiful and lovely memories we had together.

I am also not denying all of the countless sacrifices you made for me over the past two and a half years.

I am writing this now because I need to confront the trauma — the trauma of having to fight for someone I love against his parents (and then losing it all).

Because now I have a new person in my life, and when he told me he was going to tell his parents about us, my face turned white with fear.

Perplexed by this sudden bout of jitter rising from my gut to my chest, I asked myself, "What’s wrong?"

I realized it’s because I was afraid history might repeat itself.

Even if I’m ready to fight for whatever is right, the other party might cower in the face of parental objection, leaving me stranded in the battlefield by myself, again.

I was afraid that love just wasn't enough.

But, I reassured myself that it was not true. I must not allow the ghost of my past relationship haunt my new one. He is not you, and his family is not yours.

I should stop dragging this corpse of my previous relationship around with me. It was time to let go.

An old Chinese proverb reads, "Be rid of the old else the new never comes." It’s true. Still, it takes time to renew my mind and slay the demons in my head one by one.

Nonetheless, I want to thank you for showing me the true meaning of, “It takes two hands to clap.” Love needs a mutual understanding and mutual cooperation.

Love’s beauty resides in the two lovers’ determination to fight for each other when their castle of love is threatened.

But, it's true some castles stand strong in the face of the fiercest storm while others collapse into a pile of sand upon the slightest drop of rain.