google-site-verification=CGb73GlBQ8fzeAiYhhHrKxWw5beMh0cHW6hICHsDFmQ

 

Oddist Lambrecht Memoir

In this memoir, Oddist Lambrecht poignantly reflects on the pain of a life spent in the closet. Mr. Lambrecht grew up in a small town in Louisiana in the mid-20th century. The writer looks back on school bullying, the influence of the church, homophobic violence, being closeted at work, strained family connections, and the loneliness of the closet. This piece is an excerpt of a larger work Mr. Lambrecht sent to the Archives Project.

 

In the early years, of the third grade was the first memorable time that I had a real revelation about my inner feelings. On the first day of school a group of guys formed, and we were talking and then this other guy join our circle. He was wearing a cowboy style shirt which was popular at that time, my mouth about dropped, my eyes could not believe any creature could hold that much pure beauty. This person was beyond belief. I made it my business to get to know him, but just a little while later his family moved from town.  You talk about disappointed, he was a kind, level-headed nice person. I walk with him over to where they were renting close to where I lived, and he told me about the move. At that age I knew nothing about sex or attraction, but I knew that I had got hit by a bolt of lightning on how I felt about him. I had never got close to being so deeply impress by such beauty and I knew it was from the heart. Then I got to saying to myself; well there is no doubt that I am crazy about this guy and I know that there is supposed to be something wrong with this picture. Why do my feelings say (WOW) about this guy? Why don’t my feelings know it aint supposed to be this way? What is going on in me? At eight years old I have no answer.

So I go to school and I really don’t do the sports like the other guys. At times through the school years the kids would give me a rough time when I was around them because of these feelings, about the fourth grade I was scared to move down the hall to the next room as I had been called bad names, very loudly by guys and avoided them down to my room. I had stop hanging around where anyone was at recess because somehow conversations quickly led to putting me in a bad situation. If there wasn't an outside teacher to monitor us, I went far away across a road on the school grounds to the corner of the property and waited for the bell to ring to go back in. I did this each day. I built a little hut from the limbs of pine trees I had got just across the fence. After a time, a classmate who was a good person brought a friend of his with him. So I had some company. They hung out with me for a while, then they went their way.

I still didn't go about the straights cause by this time they were talking more about girls and dating and asking questions, and what could I say?  I would only fool around straights if I knew they were busy in an activity like sports which kept their mind occupied. If they weren't into games, I split. I tried to enter class just as the last bell rang and the teacher came in, so they wouldn't have time to start making comments or pay me attention. About the sixth grade I got tired of being in the corner where the little hut was. I noticed there was a small area between where the girls and boys played. So I got in that area and kind of kept near the girls area, I just watched. Finally one of the girls asked me if I wanted to play ball with them, so I did.

About the seventh grade they started having more softball games which I participated in with the boys and I was pretty much accepted in the game. I got to feeling more at ease but still kept my standard ways if not in a game. Thankfully about the 8th grade, they were more interested in their cliques and they were used to me being around. I finally felt accepted, no one had made a continuous remark for a long time. I was accepted by a leader they liked, so that was like an approval for me.  I played in or with their ball games which I think helped them accept me, but I still only held a conversation with those I felt comfortable with.  I still had to watch which direction a conversation may go as this could quickly lead down a bad path for me.

Except for part of the 3rd grade and all of the 9th I attended Plainview High School. Oakdale was the worst experience. Maybe because it wasn't as easy for me to keep my distance. I don’t know how at the earlier age and class the straights picked up on me being different but if they nailed me I would have had to make an excuse of why they jumped me. This is another reason I got away from about everyone. Kids get in fights generally due to two kids having a disagreement but when you are call fag and queer as loud as they can in the hall, that is a invitation for any others to jump in. Never mind you aint done a damn thing.  What is not understood by many is the thought that this terrible situation has anything to do with choice, is a lie! Does an eight year old choose these feelings? If a gay person can choose to go one way and that person all he has to do is switch to girls and live a normal life but instead they have mental breakdowns from getting pressured and beat, loose their mind and they have no escape but to hang themselves or blow their brains out, cause the suicide rate is four times higher, is that a damn choice.

It is very common for most of us to at least once desire suicide and if that "Going to Hell" for killing oneself wasn't there, you can be sure the suicide rate would be much higher. Can a straight choose to go after guys? You cannot switch your sexual appeal unless you are Bi-sexual and that is where the lie about true homosexuals being able to choose partners comes in. At an early age I watched who I was with, and the type of place I was around, and the people that came into the area I was at. I got to and from the place I was at or going. As I got older I had made a few good friends which I knew would stand by me though they all had girlfriends and wives. When I first got to know them, they would question me about dating or girls they eventually stopped, and I think they knew my reason for not dating and just didn't ask anymore because we had become like brothers. They were very loyal as I was to them.

In the 50', 60's, 70's any time a group of men would gather and the topic of perverts would come up, within 5 minutes always like clockwork; someone would say (They should be all gathered up and taken out and killed, how they would beat them and castrate them) and vile things they would do to us. The rest would agree and add to it. I had to keep my mouth shut, and hope no one ask me why I didn't say something /agree.  So it’s easy to understand how we viewed being exposed back then with real terror and this is such a mental burden. Those who didn't go quite that far made it real clear just how disgusting, low, and sick they considered the perverts, including some of my family. I knew what those tough guys in those Marlon Brando style Black leather jackets with their knives would do or a lot of other guys to perverts with no problem and actually enjoy doing it. At times a few of this ilk called me hateful names, but they were in the wrong place to do anything, because I watched the area I was in. I knew one had already killed at least one person.

At an early age about my upper teens and mid-twenties, I had to stop going about my mother’s side of the family because they were all into dating and kept questioning me about girlfriends and dating and some had let it be known what they thought about "those perverts and what should happen to them." I really loved the ones saying this and could not let them find out. These questions were very tiresome and threatening. Time after time forever praying and me having to constantly come up more reasons of why no girlfriend or dating, hoping I wouldn't slip up and could handle the next question. So I broke off from those grandparents, aunts, and cousins. When I took mother over to visit, I would leave. Sorry I had to do that, I really loved them, but I had no choice. It was getting too stressful to be interrogated & I didn't want to lie.

Later, I went into the Army but these were training-schooling there were some that gave me negative slurs and attitude but since it was on base, I kept my distance as best I could, tried to stay out of their conversations and didn't go in an area where they felt comfortable. The training was in medical Tech-nursing and in this course as in latter Nursing classes. The training included sexual orientation and homosexuality, that made me feel like I had a sign on me, if I could have crawled under something I would have. I so hated this part of these classes. It was bad enough when I went to Vo-Tech nursing school to generally be the only male in class.

For some years I went to Church while young and under a very strict fire and brimstone minister. He was very strict about separating the Church members from worldly places, which included the "Dairy Queen.” This shows how Biblically conservative morals were. Naturally, the story of Sodom was really covered. There was a person there which I admired and at one point thought maybe he liked me. He gave me that impression and at one time ask me to go into business with him. I was the song leader and knew that was a great responsibility and that faith of the pastor and Church had been placed in me. This person would kind of talk with me at Church and we at one time worked together at the mill. So on occasion I would call his home to talk but every time, I would never be permitted to talk with him, there was always an excuse. So I quit calling.

This person I admired, after years of not associating with me, called me out of the blue one day and said, "Hey I and a few are going camping would you like to come with us, you might enjoy it." I was totally shocked and very much confused. Why is this person I admire finally without any contact, calling me?  Even at church he didn't hold a conversation with me, just a hello. I told him O.K. So he has me come over late and all of us about six others. We get to the woods and they quickly start a fire and just as quick roast wieners. I am with them, then he comes over to where I am and says its late, come sleep with me. I am wondering is this a sign of how he feels about me, because I didn't ask nothing about being with him and no one else is turning in? So we do and in no time he moves his body snug against me and just as fast seems to go to sleep but I really wonder. Naturally I wanted to touch him, I put my arm over his shoulders, admired his face, lay my head to his and on his shoulder and snuggled close with him.  That was not good enough for him, he repositioned himself to make a better pose for when his buddies came over, which I did not know. Latter I hear giggling and a crowd is around us. I am dead. They soon go to bed. So there is NOTHING which they do that night. So I am thinking well in the morning whatever reason they had to call me and they plan on doing will happen in the morning. The next day they pack up early and we all return back to our cars. The trip is over because the purpose was accomplished. The whole thing was a set up and I was the clown for their entertainment, the butt of their joke. Their Target. These all went to the same Church. So I knew these Church members had used my own emotions against me, and could not and did not care how easy it was for them to openly meet someone and terribly impossible for me to find or be with someone.

So when Church began that Sunday I led a couple of songs and forced myself to go through that service, so it would not be as obvious that I didn’t go to church after that wonderful camp trip. This was very, very rough, so unbearable on me, but I had to bear it. Those same guys there at church judging me, my Christian brothers. And me facing the bait they used to catch their prey. You can’t imagine, feeling so disgraced and low before them as all Hell. I dearly paid the price for having feelings. The person I admired and who had acted so kind and good to me really hurt me. I wish I could have walked up to him and looked him in the face and said, “Et Tu Brute,” because like Brutus, he played his part and also put a knife deep in my back. I then realized how others of the Church had been viewing our kind, and how I thought I was accepted by them, but this conspiracy amongst them proved I had misplaced my trust and been a damn stupid idiot! Their Christian brotherhood and friendship was restricted. That was it, because then what occurred it triggered a terrible overwhelming mental struggle, almost a collapse, which I could not stop for days and days between the evil of these feelings of who I am and being a moral or immoral person. This bore and bore and bore on my mind if I was awake" this struggle-inner battle consumed my mind.”

It woke me from sleep, worrying about it many times. I realized if my needs for companionship were satisfied I may be cut off from the Church and God, and I was trying to deal with. What do I do now, for the rest of my life?  Surrender to these feelings and risk being in God’s will or Just forever suffer alone? Is this a living death? Can I live life without compassion? Whose body and spirit until the end can bear this unbearable life? Who can face and make such a decision with your whole life ahead of you and you know there is some wonderful person out there hoping to meet you? And how can I find mental peace, this is killing me. I would not even admit to myself or hated to face or admit the truth to myself, about myself. You lie to yourself, make excuses, refuse to think about it, until you have no choice but to face yourself.  Because your self lies to yourself don’t work anymore.  Which seems ironic and schizophrenic, but you just hate to; actually cannot bring yourself to openly speak the words of who and what you are to your own face. (I have learned this to be common with others, deny and lie.) You also begin to realize where this places you with the world you exist in. About the time our war with the world begins, our war within ourselves begins, some of us make it and some don't. Most survive the struggle with the world, but many young don't because they are in the "Lion’s Den School" and they are the meat.

Youth also has to take on and handle how to also deal with family and friend’s reaction, peer assaults, the Bible, or our life as a human. Crushing decisions while under all kinds of pressure. This is an unimaginable challenge at a young age. We hate and fear that this is reality, and are much afraid of it being true, pray and pray to make it go away, but society made sure this is a curse! This is our burden!  I am going to lose my mind, after two weeks I can't think of anything but this, how bad am I, how do I live with myself. I'm sure gossip of why I quit church was a grand topic my old Church brothers where still laughing about, because I can’t face them. How fake and superficial church brotherhood is, basically a pretty lie designed to make people feel they are as humble and caring as a little child. How plotting, deceiving, cruel and evil is their character and soul. Should I want to trade my terrible ungodly curse for their souls character? No.  I'll face God with this curse first!  How shall their condemnation affect me?  I am by society values now, lower than a dog, and they shall remain fine good Church guys with their sweethearts. My mind is totally exhausted. Why did the person I really admired and thought was a good person set me up?  I have not called him and he never ever after this called me again.   Our self-worth must be valued to stop the reason that suicides from 13 to 24 year olds is for gays are four times above straight youth. "We are all sinners saved by grace" should be the message. I feel so sorry for the "cursed" ones which go to a Minister full of pride, cause he will now drive them into self-hate and guilt to insanity or into suicide for the hopeless, or out of church, preaching only shame and inhumane condemnation without a tone of mercy and faith and this may not bear its deadly fruit right away.

If they try as I did, after my two hopes were destroyed, to try to stay in Gods will, alone. They must be made of absolute pure steel, to stand and survive, and even then, barely. Those who will realize that this is inviting another level of hell to this pitiful existence will run from that Church and Christianity. The very thing I wish they could find a way through faith and hope to stay with Christ. Surely God didn't let us be wired this way, then not allow us to act as we are made. Then finding a life alone, which even in Genesis God says is not good for man. Then why doesn’t God allow us either to kill ourselves or in his infinite Mercy allow us the forgiveness we seek in scripture for being mortal, too weak to live without love and a heart. Can a more impossible trial be placed on mortals than to have to live decades with the desire to be needed and wish to share their heart with others but must themselves be their own jailer / warden and imprison their heart and kill their love?  Then day after day, month after month, year after year, without hope never have someone to just touch or say you love them to or have someone smile and hug you and say the same, or year after year come in exhausted from work with no shoulder to lean on, then have to deal with society who hates what you are. This makes you really want to stay here. Must we stand by and watch; conscious that we must allow our life and youth to fade away before your eyes, ever longing for compassion but having always emptiness as our faithful companion? But did not God say I will have compassion on whom I shall have compassion.

 

I appreciate Carol Lynn Pearson’s book No More Goodbyes of the many young people in the Mormon Church who after a terrific struggle and prayers and missionary work, have killed themselves and those who have not been driven to suicide or insanity have to leave the church. Which meant to be outcast from all friends and at times family they grew up with as a child, and in shame excommunicated. In the book, the young man Stuart who killed himself wrote the following touching letter to the "Daily Universe":

"I read a recent letter to the editor in your paper with great regret. The author compared my friends and me to murderers, Satanists, prostitutes, pedophiles, and partakers of bestiality."

Imagine having to live with this rhetoric constantly being spewed at you. Or the BYU Student David; (I do not eat, I do not sleep, I cannot focus, I cannot study, I cannot Breath, Will I ever figure this out ?)

 

So I knew I needed mental help quick. I told dad, "Daddy, I need you to take me to Central Mental Hospital" NOW.

He asked no questions at all. He said o.k. get in the car. All the way up there "he ask no questions and we did not talk.”

I was turned away because I had not tried to hurt myself. Dad told me something short and to the point. He said (Remember this," You are a good person, no matter what anyone else thinks. You just keep telling yourself you are a good person.") That greatly help save my mind and probably worse had I not found ease, since that camping trip.  

You must recall the public terms for us at this time were pervert and deviant and many more terrible names. Some names which you are given at a young age whether you’ve done anything or not! 

There was a guy whose parents were life-long close friends with my family, and we were friends but did not dare bring up the subject of boys or girls. His folks brought him over visited and left time and again. I or he did not have a car.  Later I would hear he didn't date, that people where he work was harassing him about it, giving him Hell too. So that kind of verified what I thought and hoped maybe we could find a way to trust each other, to be honest, to speak, admit the truth. So I finally got a car, we were older, and he said let’s ride a little. That’s fine but in a small town where is there a place to go. I finally got the opportunity to cuddle a little, place my head on his chest and hold his hand, nothing more forward than that. And we didn’t know what we were supposed to do. No one talked about this stuff back then. We basically never said ten words to each other and did not even speak words to break the silence, just kind of sensed how things were. We did not stay gone long at all. We hugged shortly about twice. For me, a hug was fine, that was something, affection. I was saying to myself well maybe life will be worthwhile after all. Because you don't just go door to door and ask, “Hey are you like me?”  Everyone who I was like was hiding and if a person had been exposed you could not associate because you just expose yourself.

So glory, I found someone I could be honest with and speak with without being on mental alert and share my feelings and thoughts and spend time with, but it was really limited. Though because of our natural defenses we hadn't even verbally express much anything to each other by this point. I was looking forward to us opening up / talking to each other. His mom told mother, his co-workers jumped him, ridiculed and harassed him. He and I go on another short ride. With the tip of my finger I touch his chest ever so lightly. He flinches and kind of jumps back and makes a face of hurting and grits his teeth and moans in pain. TOTAL SHOCK flies through my mind and goes down to my feet. To see him hurt so bad from a mild touch. They must have kicked him in the chest when he was down. I knew then that he had been beat bad and was probably going to die, I kept waiting and hoping he would talk to me about it. That would open the door to me asking if his dad had taken him to the doctor or if he even had told his dad about the beating. Because you don’t bring up what happens to you, because it will bring the subject of "Why did they attack you" and you aint supposed to lie, but you can’t really say why. So as much as we cared for each other, he keeps silent, except to tell me to take him home.

I am worried out of my mind. I'm dying to ask him how hurt he is and if the doctor saw him, if his dad knows, but he stays silent. As I drive him home I squeeze his hand, till I almost crush it because I don’t want to lose him. The most precious person outside of my family is probably going to die and I am helpless. And I've already lost another. A couple of days later, I go home and mother says, "Mom has bad news for you.  Our friend’s son just died!” He was a kind, soft spoken, humble person, an introvert. This just collapsed my whole world. I was back in the great dark, cold, lying, fake, ABYSS. So much for having a life. Practically hopeless to meet anyone. 

 So who wins with a beating or murder? Those guys who did this? They did not understand, "You are going to pay for taking his life.”   Not on this earth but soon. So he lost his life, but they lost whatever God decides soon. Terribly, I know too well what I lost. So for whatever reason, they meant to prove something. Who Wins? At Judgment they will find out. 

I had my first job in Georgia, and it was good until the others noticed I didn't talk about girls like them or with them. One day, some of them cornered me and without warning jumped me.  There was a big scuffle in that tight space. I had to manage to stay on my feet. If they managed to put me on the floor, they could really work me over with their fists and boots. I stayed in close and grabbing at the closest so they couldn't get a good swing. At some point through the hits, strikes, grabs, dodging and moves, I managed to break loose and shoot out of that corner. If ever there was a time to move fast it was then. I made it to the other side of the room, then shot through some trying to block me, to make it to that open back door. I flew out of that back door but unfortunately, they flew out of that back door too. As they chased me I thought to myself, "If they catch me, there is no telling how this is going to end.” So I put every bit of energy I had into running. I ran so fast and out distanced them till they quit.

I was ashamed of myself because as I ran all of a sudden, out of nowhere, this daily mental stress hit me like a great weight, and I broke down and started crying. Why do these guys feel they have to hurt me? I can’t help being this way. Should they also be beat up, for the way they are?  I walked a good ways and found my way back to the University where we lived. Now my problem was what was I gonna tell my parents about why they jumped me? I could not lie nor tell Why I was jumped! I had to think of something before I got home. What could I say? I made up an in general, "they don’t like me" reason, and played stupid. I generally watched who came around me but one day this guy came up from behind me and grabbed me. He had my throat in a vise with his powerful arms and pull my neck up to his body and cut my air off. I couldn't get any breath and felt like I was gonna pass out or die. He choked and choked.  I was desperately needing another breath. I was very surprised I was still conscious.  My thoughts were "if he don’t loosen up soon, this is it.”  I couldn't do nothing; he was too strong. I knew I had to do something, so I played dead.

I let my body go limp and he had to hold me. He chocked a while longer then dropped me. That’s how I got my next breath.   This was as close as I came to not being here.  You don’t know when or where it is gonna come from. Who is the next one to grab you?

One time at O.H.S., I was keeping my distance and saw the friend I spoke of earlier who I thought was like me. He was by some of them and I went to him to lead him away from them. But when I got to him their conversation seemed to be innocent, so I didn't lead him away. What a mistake! Shortly he said something which opened the door to attack. The lead wolf put out the howl to bring the pack together. A couple started to pump up the crowd, talking about me and queers. This was getting to me.  I knew where it was heading. I was afraid for my friend too and could not run off and leave him. We would have to fight, but to my great relief the bell rang to go in. We wouldn't have had a chance and we were at the top of some stairs and a balcony. I was stupid, I knew better, I did not urge him to move away from them and get out of their area, as I knew I should have. Later, I notice when the recess bell rang everybody would go outside. So at times I would just stay in the classroom just to stay away from them and be safe. Basically I had about no friends.

Later, when we returned to Louisiana from Athens, Ga., I got a job and worked with this nice Pentecostal guy at the store. Much time goes by. I began to hear his boss women talking about him. He has no girlfriend.  We get to have a better relationship at work, and I begin to sense he likes me, but he is very reserved. After a long time he invites me over to his mom’s place. I say, well o.k. let me decide what day and I'll come over. Things start getting very bad for him at work. The women are giving him pure absolute hell, the fifth degree about, where is your girlfriend, what’s her name, have y’all dated and making terrible comments about queers, how sick and filthy they were. Comment after comment, shaming and insulting him and putting him down in a loud tone of voice, to embarrass, berate and humiliate him. Which causes him to have to lie and make up false stories and names, scaring the absolute hell out of him.  I can see terror and real fear on his face because his parents are Pentecostal. This is terrific, crushing, unbearable mental stress on him. I can see the stress and anxiety he is bearing. He is doing everything he can to hold himself together. His face is blood red. God they are so cruel to him and he is so humble. As he is forced to lie, he is looking at me, I also being the same as he, and I have to keep my mouth shut and watch this hell! Later, I try my best to comfort him at work and assure him that he is a good and kind guy, to try to get him to calm down. I don’t know how to help him. I wish he would quit and get out of this torment.

These woman are his bosses talking across the aisles, how queers should be killed, what low life scum they are, hurting him. He can't handle the condemnation, humiliation and is consumed with fear, worthlessness, and self-condemnation. Mother tells me a few days later that the friend I had told her about at work had a total mental breakdown. He went totally insane at Church. It took five men to restrain him. He was one of the kindest, gentle, good persons I had meet and they destroyed his life, for nothing he had done, for no reason! It was sickening and inhumanly cruel.  No one could bear the pressure at Church that you are the epitome of abomination and ungodly evil when you specifically are being referred to and then go to work and catch absolute hell, and then survive!

I saw him later, he was a total wreck, only a shell of what use to be a human being. I felt soooo terribly sorry and sooo hurt for the loss of the human being that use to occupy that MIND & body & this was done by Christians! These self-righteous saints threw every stone that Christ would have offered, the self-righteous at the well for those without sin and they for all purposes killed him. I am sure they sat on the front row at Church. They had a wonderful family and all that goes with a fulfilled life and love, but they had to destroy his mind and life by putting him through fear, torment and hell and he too at that time had no one to care for him, (being alone).

So one hope for a life with someone to the insane asylum, and one precious hope for a soulmate to the grave. I had no idea they were so full of self-righteous hate.  He had to be taken to an asylum for a while. He died 50 years after an existence of mental illness and having to need a caregiver. So our hope was destroyed. Animals tear others apart for food, people tear each other apart for pleasure!

After this, I just let the day to day events take their course not really looking for anyone, because there wasn't any way to find anyone and go through the long tedious process of carefully establishing what type of person someone is. It could take many weeks or months or more and still not be sure, even if you might locate a prospect.  However as the days went by it became evident I had little to no hope of meeting a person, except by accident, gossip, or miracle.  Also I was still having the age old mental and spiritual war that the Bible said any one which live this lifestyle would go to Hell. Also there was the fact that there would be a separation of which family and friends and the social penalty I would cause to befall my loved ones by the shunning of some of their friends toward them. I could only leave the family and I couldn't understand how to have someone in my life one way meant to give up love of family by moving away to save them from gossip and Social stigma? So I was severely torn between the struggle of the soul and to stay in God’s will and the struggle for human compassion and the essence of what makes life so blessed and worth living.

By this time, due to the mental trauma and stress and on-going internal war between good and evil, right and wrong, Heaven and Hell, I, as many perverts had my personality fracture into being the me which complied with the rules of living in a straight world and the other me which wanted to live.  To keep my sanity, one of me had to go, the one society and scripture accepted or the one which was my only hope of happiness and love but the price to be paid for happiness was the loss of everyone and everything not only in this life and world but maybe in the next one too. Most all of these people’s LOVE of me was conditional upon my conformity to the rules and behavior expected from me. So I basically, through my will, buried the other me for good, put him away and never let him out again. Now he and his happiness, and love have been dead for 50 years and waiting for the shell of this me that was left, to follow. But also never did I meet another like the two destroyed or it may have been different.

I have had three different jobs which I recall being given a rough time in because of being myself. Though I was alone as usual, and these people always had someone and weren't satisfied to how fortunate they were, they had to have hate. I lived through the AIDS decades and saw and heard of its terrible suffering. Only then did I learn of a few people in my town who were gay, then too late for both. Most had gone looking for someone to end their loneliness in the big city but the "Kiss of Death" they found.

As some time passed the terrible feelings began to consume me and the unbelievable heartache and pain from loneliness gnawing at my insides, because I had to imprison my heart and to mentally kill desire. This had happened plenty of times before but had grown worse which actually became physical and cause cramps in my chest that cause me to buckle over. So in an effort to stop the pain, I took the emotions of love, affection, admiration of beauty, desire, intimacy, hope for companionship and I mentally killed them. The hole it left was filled with a gnawing emptiness. My strong WILL forced these thoughts out of my mind and would not allow them. In the time up to that point where I had paid more attention to a person’s appearance but I had still followed the criteria / policy of remembering to look only in the direction of a handsome person speaking with me for a short period of time, then to turn and look for a certain period of time at the others and make comments to them before I look back at the handsome person or to look away, to prove my disinterest. I had to just let my mind register that a person was in the vicinity and everyone nice looking or may be of interest could be no more than a glance. I kept them out of my sight and mind as best I could and develop a cold, impersonal, harsh mental attitude toward them. I had my mind and eyes to see them like they were objects, just nothing!

This took a strong will, while at the same time you’re inwardly fighting yourself because they are personally nice and handsome. I concentrated on daily issues. Later, I went to Baton Rouge to check on something and while there I thought let me go see and talk with my own kind and see how their socials are. I went to one and got a coke, actually the guy gave it to me. I watched karaoke singing and talked with the bartender a little. A handsome guy came and tried and tried to pick me up, offered to pay for a room! Boy didn't expect that! I told him, "Thank you for your kind offer and consideration but I am only here to relax have a coke and watch the entertainment." He couldn't take no for an answer. He was seeing how long I could say, No. Finally the bartender had to get him to move on.

The bartender could tell I was naive about a lot. It was nice. Did I ever feel really relaxed as this was the first time in my life I could be myself, at ease and honest.  I could talk with people without being concerned about where the conversation may be heading. So I did not need to keep my mind on guard and did not have to run the conversation through my mental filter in an attempt to divert its direction when it looked necessary. There were some good singers, and the setting was calm, nothing out of the way. They had a pleasant time.

I see now why our people go to the big cities not just to find someone but to let their minds relax. Of course those who have come out don’t have to deal with this pressure, this load, but they generally must leave for the big cities. It is this stress and / or a lonesome heart or abuse which causes so many of us which can’t find the solution and rest to kill themselves.

Such as in the case of Stuart, a young Mormon who spent much of his young life trying to do God’s will and preform Christian deeds hoping and praying constantly that God will take away those feelings he hoped would leave him.  He denied himself of comfort and whatever he thought would get him close to God. He told his Mother, "Mother all of my life I have tried to do what is right, I just can't pass the test.” Early one day he placed a note on his bed. It said how much he loved and appreciated his family, and "I am Free, I am no longer in pain, and I no longer hate myself … my life was actually killed long ago." Stuart went to the front of his Church with a gun and killed himself. (Life has put our kind on this path with experiences common to us, which molds us to think and see life differently than the others, and the consequences which await us).

                                                         

                                                        

 

In the movie Gone With The Wind, at the very end, Scarlett tells Rhett how much she loves him and he tells her, “That my dear, is your misfortune.”

There was a person I hung around daily with for a few years. I was kind to the person as a friend. One day out of the blue he told me he was gonna start visiting other people and would not be hanging around me like before. Which was a nice way to say I was in the past, and I was. I did not realize how close I had grown to him until I got hit with this. It was like running into a brick wall at 90 mph. My mind went into a melt-down. I could only think of what had I done? Why was this happening and our old times of running about? My mind did not stop at all, of running all scenarios of what happen constantly. I could not sleep, though I terribly desired rest until my mind was exhausted and allowed sleep. Then when I woke up it started again. I really missed the companionship, someone to run with and talk too. It was so bad for about a month a person could be speaking to me 10 feet away and my mind would not process their words unless I totally concentrated on their words with such concentration my eyebrows / forehead muscles kind of shew the strain. Then I had to concentrate on forming a verbal answer. Other than this it was like I couldn’t process what they were saying. I was in this shape about two months. I was wondering if I was gonna lose my mind. It took me still a good while before I got over his loss of friendship. I thought I was guarding against having such feelings, but I had been asleep at the wheel and this attachment crept in unknowingly. After the loss of this friendship, life got even rougher.

I knew of one poor guy here who told his family he was gay and was put out on the street. A time before a person wanted me to be intimate in a certain way. I told him you’re talking to the wrong person. This was a straight married person.  After 55 years of going to bed with your only companion to cuddle with and hold, being your pillow, is a great punishment within itself. Daddy told mom to take my Teddy bear away I slept with when I was 8 years old, she kidnapped my partner while I wasn't looking. If they had known that’s all I would ever have as a companion; they would have let me kept my Teddy. In public I turn my head when I view any display of love or touching by others, because it reminds me of what I was forever missing and would never have, this brings intense pain, so I turn my head till I pass them. After many, many years without having a person touch you on your shoulder or back in a slightly compassionate way, a way you have even forgot how it felt, to then feel that touch really makes you understand what you’ve lost, words do not express that realization or feeling.  My brother ask me to go with him and his wife on Carnival Cruise & to Las Vegas and he would pay for it, but he hung all over his wife showing immense affection, kissing, hugging all of the time and in public, which kills me, for my loss. I had to look away a lot. So I knew this would be the whole adventure. I told him I lost nothing on the Ocean. And who the hell would I share this adventure with. All the other people would have somebody, and I'd be there like a dummy, looking at Water, alone as usual! Some great adventure, huh? Watching all of that companionship and love and joy for everyone, but this world is a wonderful Sea of Love, which is marvelous, and I wouldn't want that to change. Love is forever present, in about all songs, books, picture magazines, T.V. movies, radio, newspapers, conversations, couples on the street or sitting all around you in church or everywhere. Just see or hear on Radio or T.V. and try to escape the presence of compassion. What is life without it?

All of those special emotions I had trained myself to try and not think about. I now had put away in the dungeon of my heart and killed affection, admiration of beauty, desire, intimacy, love, hope of companionship. So I would no longer be hurt so much, I wish. This did well for a good while but at times the loneliness and desire for someone to specially care for and be with me, was eating my heart a live and killing me—tearing me up inside. I got to hurting severely, so badly I could not bear it anymore. I studied about mother but thought my sister could take care of her.  So I said to myself, I can’t take another like this one. So I started contemplating what needed to be set straight for my end and the date to do it. I thought, Tuesday I'll have it all prepared. I call my sister and told her I had something to tell her.

She came to where I was. I told her about myself and I had to bear this all my life, but the loneliness and emptiness has long turned to physical pain and now I can't bare it anymore. To take care of mom and financial things to do. She said, "Well find somebody to care for you!" I told her, “Well by scripture, I am forbidden to find someone I need, and have for years been alone and now am in this shape.”  She said well think about it, “What will this do to mother?” It will kill her. I told her "Don’t tell John, you know how he feels about gays or anyone what I've told you.” I wondered the next day or two if that hurting would come back as tough. Then I thought, I say I love mother, and no one is really checking or visiting her now. The girls don’t come over, my sister is working. She would not be taken care of, she would be alone, the same torment which had brought me down and no one to really check on her or comfort her. So I said this is selfish to let death cure me and leave her alone.

Does someone who loves someone put themselves first? No! Then there is that "Damn go to hell business if you kill yourself!” I sure don’t want to die and go to the Second Hell, but God would know this burden and it was past endurance and maybe he wouldn't count suicide against me. I have been in a lifetime of emotional and mental hell, & only able to bare this cross because of my stern, tough upbringing and believing this is a spiritual test, but God must I be more than human?  It’s at times like these I thought, “Why in the hell didn't I let the straights get me years ago instead of running? I should have just let them end this years ago, then this emptiness and world of just myself, would be over.” I thought, let me see how tough the next one is, when it comes back. The latter episodes weren't so rough. So I just kept dealing with it for mother’s sake, and the worries of regular daily life with all of the trials at work at work and whatever else came my way. My brother seemed to be more kind, so she must have told him. He made a point of calling me his brother in front of others in a special way. These days instead of angina (which were not heart attacks, or I'd been gone a long time ago).

What generally comes over me is the result of constant emptiness and total lack of compassion, forever. I get struck with sudden almost complete loss of strength combine with an almost total mental shutdown, like extreme exhaustion, a very peculiar mental aura which is hard to describe. My mind feels like it is on edge with a great feeling of loss and emptiness that permeates my body. I keep my eyes close a long time and relax and breath deep to relax my mind and try to re-gather myself, my strength and get over this real rotten feeling. Ironically, this happened as the preacher was preaching a summon of "Know Who you are" and that if you deny yourself desires and flesh of this world, you will be happy! I knew exactly who and what I am, and I felt beyond terrible. Almost left Church to go lay down. I rubbed a prayer coin to relax my mind, so my mind would concentrate on the tactile sensations of my thumb rubbing the coin and to draw away from the edgy emotional sensations of my mind. My mind was in limbo. This and keeping my eyes closed, work well enough to help me through the service. "I saw another of our people for the same reason  go through this mental/ physical emotional shut down with the same reaction; loss of strength, closing of eyes, control breathing, limited mental interaction, period of recuperation to regain function and that rotten aura/feeling." A friend helped him, but he was young.

The special days as I became older was a time I didn’t like and became very sad, which were Christmas and my birthday. Cause by then I was wishing that I had someone special and really missed having someone to give me a gift from their heart and that I likewise could give a gift from my soul, as companions, which kill me. Outside mom’s gift which generally was underwear and socks. I knew from one year to the next, I will get the token gift of "socks and underwear" from family. I would hear and watch real joy and happiness of how others were "expressing their smiles and hearts to each other with special gifts in special ways,” or trips together. It would remind me: another year alone, gone and lost. For a pervert to stay in God’s will, all he has to do is let his emotional, mental and physical self, tolerate the impossible, lack of affection, forever.

I never got to give a Valentine card and present outside of the 3rd grade. Our teacher had us to make little valentine cards out of paper and color them. I kept my little Valentine colored card for many years, and I remember looking at it and thinking when I get older, "I will have a Valentine.”  Life without another will crush your soul. 

© 2019 LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana. All Rights Reserved.

ADDRESS

638 St. Ann St., New Orleans, LA 70116