Emily /

“Growing up, my dad proudly told everyone he could, “If either of my sons comes home and tells me they’ve decided to be gay, I will laugh at them and kick them out of my house until they come home and tell me they’ve changed their minds and apologize.” He didn’t realize that he was actually talking about me, not my brothers. They had already disowned me for reporting my dad for molesting me as a child when I emailed them to come out, which I did to avoid having to hear their reactions, because I knew they would be vicious. My dad didn’t talk to me for a year and a half, and true to his promise, only let me into his life again when I apologized for reporting him, said I was wrong, and lived a “straight lifestyle” and continued to practice their religion while I lived with them. While I was at college, after I came out, I was required by my religious school to inform any and all roommates I had or would have that I was gay in case they’d like to request a roommate change. In high school, a rumor went out that I was gay, because my roommate at boarding school was gay, and I vehemently denied it to avoid the beatings that came with being gay in the South. My grandpa insists I “have not met the right man to make [me] straight through monogamy,” and my grandma chooses to scream at the top of the lungs that I am not gay and she will not hear another word about it. My brother openly calls me a faggot. My other brother has long since said I am dead to him, but this has strengthened that opinion from him. My church tried to excommunicate me for being an apostate, when I informed them I was leaving their religion and would like my name taken off their roster. I am now engaged to an amazing woman, who treats me far, far better than my ex-husband, who I married to appease the world and act straight, treated me. Where my husband raped and abused me, my fiancé now, she loves me through everything life throws at us. Her family is worse than mine, and confine her in her house when she talks about being gay until she retracts and lets it go. They don’t even know about us for fear they would barricade her in her house without any way to contact me or try to commit her to a psychiatric ward, quite literally. No one from either of our families, and almost none of our friends, either, will be in attendance at our wedding. My sister would like to come, but she is 15 and my parents will not let her, because she is a minor and they think it will influence her own sexuality and faith in their religion. But we live on, with each other, because despite all the hate, we love.”

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