Why It Matters To Me

Why It Matters To Me

Editors note: Ron Kemp is a blogger @ Enough is Enough and is featured as Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook‘s ‘Guest Writer of the Month’ for April, 2012.

By Ron Kemp

Twelve years old.  I’m on vacation in a little rural city named Portsmouth, VA.  My aunt, with whom I was spending the summer, prearranged with her friend and neighbor to have her friend’s nephew also visit from out-of-state at the same time.  Built-in companions.  Little did my aunt know that I would become very attracted to this boy.  Sure, we certainly did hang out together nearly every minute of every day!  I was mesmerized by him.

One summer afternoon, we were over his [aunt’s] house shooting pool in the basement.  This was the most exciting time of the entire vacation for me!!  My heartthrob and I were alone together at last!!  Who cared who would win the match!?  I just wanted to be alone with him.  Eventually, I got close enough to sneak a kiss on the cheek!  I was in Heaven.  He was furious!  Needless to say, that slammed the brakes on our friendship.  Stopped on a dime. 

I went on with my summer vacation sans my former heartthrob.  I’m resilient like that.  We never uttered another single word to one another, as badly as I wanted to.  He met all new friends.  They weren’t the kind of kids I would hang around.  Riding my bike merrily down a neighborhood street on blazing summer afternoon, I spot my former friend at the other end of the street riding his bike towards me.  And, he was with his new friends….the ones I would never hang around.  My gut instinct told me that this wasn’t going to be a friendly encounter.  I had no idea how right that instinct was. 

As we met in the middle of the block, one of the boys knocked me off of my bike.  It was downhill from there.  Quickly, I was surrounded by the pack as they proceeded to beat the holy shit out of me!!!  At one point, the biggest of the boys had my head locked between his knees, using his knees as a vice grip!, as he delivered blow after blow after bloody blow to my face.  Eventually, I was rescued, and the gay bashing was over. 

Nothing about me was ever the same after that summer.  Whereas it didn’t lead me to suicide (told you I was resilient!), it forever changed everything about how I view life.  There are emotional scars left even today. (to wit, my eyes teared as I wrote this recount) 

It matters to me because I’ve been there. 

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Having read this my eyes have filled with tears. I will never understand the hate some people are filled with. I will never understand why they feel it is okay to abuse anyone because of that person’s sexual orientation, beliefs, color of skin, looks or any other reason. I am straight but I am supportive of gay rights, as I am of civil rights as I am of any fundamental rights that every human being should be entitled too out of the mere fact that they are a human being. It sickens me that people out of hate, fear or whatever other so-called reason would go on to hurt another human being physically and emotionally. The physical scars may heal but the emotional ones will never go away. For the love of God, it is the 21st century. It is time we move forward. I am glad Ron is using the trauma he experienced to advocate human rights. He can be proud of himself. In his way, he is a hero.

  2. Bullies and gay bashers and racists Oh my! 🙁 I think That God must reserve a special place in Hell for these animals!

  3. When we’re kids, it’s normal to have the akward situation of the uninvited/unwanted kiss. When it’s between a boy and a girl, there’s just an, “Eeeeew, yuck!”, a dramatic wipe of the face, and a minor fued on the playground after which, everyone is ok even if someone is left with wounded pride. When it’s two kids of the same sex, for some reason society has taught kids that it is ok to become physically, psychotically violent against the offensive “kisser”. Parents act as if these kids are protecting themselves against unwanted touching. Self defense can only be claimed when advances are persistent even after one kid has asked the other to stop touching themand been repeatedly ignored. That’s sexual harrassment. But to gather one’s friends and literally beat the crap out of someone who has never done you any physical harm is an act of irrational fear and loathing. It’s cowardly and our children should be taught that it’s cowardly.

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