I have no idea why I thought of this guy today, but I did. In my one year at BYU, I met some pretty interesting (well, as interesting as Mormons get) people. There was a guy who lived across the hall named John. He was slight, had a slight lisp, was into drama and opera, and wasn’t into sports at all. I asked him one day, being the 18 year-old idiot that I was, if he got asked if he was gay a lot.
Gay is a dirty word in Utah. I think it’s officially been added to the words you can’t say on TV. When I asked him, he practically broke down. He told me the story of his trip to Paris and guys hitting on him constantly. He told me about the looks he got in church back home, and now the looks he was getting at school. I felt really bad for him. Here was a guy who was just who he was. He didn’t try too hard to change to make himself look or act more macho. He didn’t even try that hard to dispell the rumors.
I don’t know what he’s doing now, and I don’t think I’ve thought of him more than twice in the 8 years since that conversation. I hope he’s happy, and being accepted for who he is and not what bucket people think he fits in.