The date was Friday, August 15th, 2008 and I was at Canada’s Wonderland for the day with two of the many girls I had grown up with; innocent as we could be at 16 enjoying a day at the waterpark. While in line for a waterslide this little man with blonde-hair caught my attention with his profuse waving from just down the stairway, the two Catholic-raised friends I was with began making fun of the situation and I was instantly uncomfortable. No one enjoys being laughed at, right? Anyways, slightly off-put by the situation I decided to ignore all ends and move on in the moment. However it was after the waterslide that a young girl approached me with a piece of paper that had a phone number written on it and said, “This is from my friend.” Would you look at that, the first guy to ever hit on me.
Funny enough the concept of being gay was one I had yet to even think of, considering my former peers at Dante Alighieri Academy Catholic highschool claimed that I was on their own terms, and so endlessly bullied me because of it. Even more off-putting, why would anyone ever want to be Gay if that was the lifestyle that one were to be subjected to because of their sexuality?
It is with great confidence when I say that before I even came out of the closet I endured more than what most do; but still less than some others have. You see I took a grade 11 Geography course in grade 10 and that is where I met the few boys whom I would grow to hate OH SO MUCH over the following two years.
However I will thank you now for the thickened backbone,
XOXO, Gossip Girl.
These men went on to cat call the word ‘faggot’ at me while going down the hallways loaded with students on a regular basis, but better yet consistently (weekly) egged my familes’ house by the dozen. Not fun. Although the icing on the cake was when I received a call from my Mother in Toronto while I was visiting my family in Glasgow, about 4 am Eastern Time so 9 am for me overseas. She exploded with anguish and despair into the phone while explaining to me how a group of young boys had just paintballed the exterior of the house I lived in. My family thought someone was trying to murder them, and all because a group of monkey’s wanted to expose that I was gay before I did.
I will tell you that by the time I had gotten to grade 12 I took no more shit from anyone and so began the emancipation of Peter. One day I personally drove to each of these boys’ houses, those that were vandalizing mine, and explained to their parents that the vehicles they allow their sons to borrow would soon be part of a criminal investigation should the one-sided war not come to an end. It is safe to say that mommy and daddy were not to impressed, specifically with the one boy who got smacked across the head right in front of me. Ha, what a win. Now you must be able to imagine how all of this made it extremely difficult for me to pick up the phone and dial the number I had received at Canada’s Wonderland on August 15th, 2008.
Although eventually, I did…
What would happen next would be 3 years of phone calls between me and the cute blue-eyed boy with blonde hair, with one or two meet-ups as well. Stevie, is that young boy’s name – now a handsome young man. He is the catalyst as to my coming-out. He knew well before I did and put his bid down before anyone else could, but that could not stop be from neglecting his feelings for me and exploring what else the gay community had to offer instead. Not the nicest move on my end but you cannot blame a young boy and his curiosity; Stevie and myself did keep in-touch through social media on occassion, during this time.
While time went on I dated, partied, travelled and experienced all that has shaped me into the man I am today; the way life should go for most of us. In October of 2015 I began to settle and slowly began thinking of Stevie more and more, for whatever reason. Eventually I decided to reach out after about 4 years of no direct contact and asked him out on a date. Between us I expected a huge no, but totally got a yes instead. We ended up having that date AND many more to follow.
January 23rd, 2017 and here we are living in our Downtown Toronto apartment together with our precious rescue puppy, Crockett. I would be a liar to say that it has been a fairytale the entire time because no happy ending is without the struggle first. We are currently seeking our second apartment together and as I sit here to reflect on the last 9 years that has led us to this point, I have strong faith in where we are going to go.
Despite the harassment, obstacles and objections endured thus far, fate had it planned so that we would somehow end up together after all. I do not think either of us would want it any other way because our bond is strong even through the years. That being said, whatever bullying you experience or taunting you endure just know that it is not forever and you will one day be a much stronger person than your oppressors are today. As hard as it is to believe, by keeping your chin up, shoulders back and eyes straight you will frighten off any piece of shit who thinks they have entitlement over your life; confidence is terrifying to the weak. Your time will come and your love will shine, patience is a virtue after all.
If you ever need to reach out and chat, or know someone who does; do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My door is always open to those in need of guidance and or comfort.
Ps to those who bullied me during highschool, your names and faces are forever engraved. Shame on you.
Stay Confident in your Path,