With all the hubbub in the news of same sex marriage lately it is no wonder that there has been discussion about it amongst people in my life. I have a story for you:
I have a cousin who is gay. His father was a golden gloves boxer. Very athletic. Always pushed his kids to be involved in sports. Always horribly jealous that my father (who really loved theater and the arts) had a ton of jock children. Horribly unfair, you know. My cousin wasn’t interested in traditional sports, much to the dismay of his father. But he was a diver and was on the dive team at UNLV in the early 80s. Sometime during his college years he came out of the closet. *gasp* It was a bit of a scandal in my very large, very mormon family.
I’m sure I don’t need to say how much “gay” was accepted in the 80s. To say that he had some hurdles to cross would be a gross understatement. He lived in LA when the riots broke out right after the Rodney King verdict. He lost his partner to aids. He has been addicted to Oxi for as long as I can remember. I don’t recall if he had an injury that caused him to become hooked on the pain killer or not. I don’t believe that it really matters why. The point is, he’s been an addict for a long time. He has some pretty major mental health issues and the last I heard was living in a group home because he can’t really function on his own. He’s had a very sad life and whenever I think of him I would like to give him a hug.
I tell you that story to tell you this one:
I was down visiting my family a couple weekends ago and we were sitting in the living room talking. Dad was filling us in on various family members and mentioned this particular cousin who is living in a group home. Do you know that my dad believes that the reason my cousin is mentally ill is because he knows that being gay is wrong and has not been able to live with the guilt. Yup. He believes that.
Oh. And my dad is a doctor, yo!