“Mom? Mum? Can I talk to you?”
My voice quivered. Both of them looked up at me. Mom’s head was in Mum’s lap. Mum was slowly stroking her forehead, leaning down to kiss her forehead while still staring at me intently. A satanic bible was placed in Mum’s lap, the thin, withered pages torn in a few places from continued reading. “You know you can talk to us about anything,” Mom said, smiling, sitting up a bit straighter. She leaned over to kiss Mum, who kissed her back. I took a seat on the couch and pulled my knees up to my chin, staring down at my cuticles. Even for a guy, they were pretty nasty.
I took a deep breath. “Guys? I don’t really know how to say this…but, I think I’m heterosexual.”
The room went silent. Mum looked up from our satanic bible and pursed her lips. For a second, I thought she was going to reach out and slap me. In a tight voice, she said, “You know how we feel about heterosexuals. We raised you to be gay…not to live with such perversion!”
Mom quickly sat up, already anticipating Mum’s rage. Mum flew up as soon as Mom’s weight was off of her and came to kneel down in my face. I bit my lip, trying to prevent myself from bursting into tears. I knew she’d act like this, but I needed to get it out.
“Our bible says only God-loving people are heterosexuals!” she spat at me, throwing the book at my face. It hit my nose; I yelped in pain. Mom made a noise, but Mum turned around and screamed, “Silence! He needs to know the pain of denying Satan!” I pulled my fingers away from my nose to see droplets of blood clinging to my fingers. I looked down at the charcoaled book, which lay in my lap; there were little splatters of red and gore on that, too, standing out distinctly over the black. “How dare you! How dare you!? Why do you think you’re a – you’re a – a heterosexual?”
Tears came thick and fast down my face. I looked down at the book, avoiding Mum’s eyes like the plague. “Because…because I think I have a crush on a girl in my class, okay? I know she’s a lesbian, but I can’t help it.” I tried to keep the lie out of my voice; they didn’t need to know I had been in a heterosexual relationship for secret for almost a year. I was only going to tell them when the time was right, and now obviously wasn’t the right time.
Mum looked livid, her face taut against her bones. “Who do you think you are, getting crushes on normal, Satanly people! It is not your place to love a woman!” I kept my eyes lowered, trying to prevent myself from blurting anything out. But with one look into her face, I knew I couldn’t keep it in any longer.
“The thought of getting it up the ass repulses me!” I choked out. I didn’t mean to say it, but it slipped from between my teeth and tongue. Mum’s face was in utter shock; she looked as if she would disown me in a moment. Mom buried her face in her hands, and I could faintly hear her muttering, oh, why us? Why us? What have we done to you, Satan? What have we done to make us deserve this sort of punishment?
I began to talk quickly. “Mum, Mom, it’s not that bad,” I gushed. “There are places I can go to, for people like me, where I can meet other people like me and live a fairly normal life. Heterosexuality is becoming almost normal, you know! More than ten percent of the world is heterosexual! It’s really not that bad of a thing. It doesn’t matter whether I’m gay or straight – ”
Her hand was across my cheek in moments. I continued to stare to my side, in shock, a red, shame-filled handprint upon my cheek. I slowly turned my head to look into the eyes of my angry Mum, whose eyes spit fire at me. “Satan says,” she began slowly, “That it is immoral to sleep with someone of the opposite sex. You will be going to Heaven for it! You will be rotting with God,” she forced the word out as if it was poison, “Along with everyone like you! Go! Go be a smut peddler and ruin your life. You can choose to repent against God and live your righteous life as a Satan following homosexual. It is up to you.”
I lifted a palm and touched my cheek delicately. “I choose to be true to myself, and to not lie to those I love any longer,” I said in a quiet voice. I looked her in the eyes and stood up. “Maybe Satan says it is wrong, but those books were written, what, forty years ago? Times have changed. There are scientific studies on the normalcy of heterosexuality. Of the fact that it’s really…really not a bad thing….”
Mum’s eyes narrowed. “Get out of my house if you are choosing this blasphemous life.” I gulped and nodded. “You have fifteen minutes to gather your things and to find a place to live.”
I lowered my head and moved to the kitchen to grab a few garbage bags; then I ran to my room to shove my belongings into the bags as fast as I could. After a few moments, Mom came in, her face tear streaked and her eyes bloodshot.
She swallowed down what seemed to be bile. “You know,” she whispered, “You don’t have to leave. Just tell us that you’ll be good and you’ll live a homosexual lifestyle for the rest of your life. You don’t have to choose to be straight…you can choose to be gay!”
I pursed my lips at her. “No, I can’t. This is the option you guys gave me; my only one.” I turned away from her and began to pack again. “My…my girlfriend is going to come pick me up.” I let that sink in. I heard her turn on her heel and march away.
My breath wheezed through my throat. I heard a horn honk. I picked up my garbage bags and slowly headed down the stairs, struggling only slightly. Mum had the door wide open. My girlfriend stood at the door; I smiled at her and she gave me a watery, sad smile back.
Mum glared at her. “You do not have to choose to live this disgusting life style, too, you know,” she said in a snide tone.
“I don’t choose to,” she said calmly. “I have to.”
Mum pursed her lips, and as soon as I was out of the threshold, slammed the door behind me. I took a deep breath and stared at my girlfriend; I pecked her on the lips.
“Come on,” she murmured, taking one of my bags. “My dads said you could come live with us. They’re really sorry your moms are so unforgiving.” She looked at me earnestly, so much love and concern in her eyes that it was hard for me to comprehend why my moms couldn’t understand it. I knew I was straight; I knew it wasn’t wrong. Whether I was going to rot in Heaven for the rest of eternity was my business. But as long as I was happy in this world, I would be happy in any other world.
I took her hand.