You look at him. He doesn’t look back. You live in a different world. A place where you are afraid. You are 15 years old and you have no idea what is happening to you. You sense it. You feel it. Under no circumstances, not a single moment you show it. Because you know you live in a hostile world. It does not matter what year it is. It’s always been a cruel world. There might be some who will be kind to you. But not many. In this world there are people who will judge you, will exclude you, will actually hurt you and some will kill you for who you are.
You walk along the corridor at school. You look at him. He does not look at you. You look at him again. He looks at you. He smiles at you. You smile back. What was this moment about? Maybe everything. But probably nothing. You are too afraid to find out. The world is too afraid to find out. The world is too afraid to look at you. You put on a mask. You wear it every day. You act out a character. You pretend to be someone you are not. To be part of the lie. To be part of this world. For life.
You walk along with your friends on gay pride. You look around. There are noises, loud music wanting to be heard, to be listened to. You and all the others are colourful. People look at you. But they don’t see you as part of what they are but as part of something else. You stand out. You are everything they are not. Are they jealous that you dared doing what they did not? Maybe. Never mind though. Because you are still on the other side. Or maybe you are not on any side. There are no sides to be on. There is just you. It is their fault but also yours. Maybe it’s no one’s fault. Maybe it just is. But that would be too simple. Don’t give in so easily. Don’t let them win. You were raised to believe that you are so different that they see you even more different. By marching down the streets in all the colours you give them the opportunity to point out that you are different. But you don’t want to be. You want to be the same. You want to be everything they are and not. It’s all too difficult anyway. You simply just want to be left alone.
You are at a party. He looks at you. You don’t care no more. You hear people talking to you but you don’t listen any more. That other one, a drunk one comes over to you. You are already annoyed. He tells you he accepts you. The person that you are. It is okay to be that way. But what is there to accept? Thanks for telling me but I really don’t care. Thanks for telling me, I actually do care, but there is nothing to accept. Because you cannot accept a person. You have to live with the people around you. You can’t just kill them. I mean you can but we are not on Game of Thrones. Not yet anyway. There is nothing to accept because it’s just the way it is. Do not accept but live with it.
You left the party because you could not stand it any longer. You were annoyed and you were bored. There were too many people who wanted to accept you. Talk to you about it. Like they would talk about a new attraction at the zoo. Something colourful that had to be looked at for a moment because their lives are so dull and for a moment they are not. But then the excitement fades when they think to know everything about you and they turn away and go again. They could have been dead. Corpses with rotting eyes looking at you. It would not have made a difference. They might as well have never talked to you in the first place. It would not have mattered.
Now you are at a bar in a big city. No one knows you and that is beautiful. No one cares. No one has the need to accept you because you just are. You look around. There are so many faces. Old ones, young ones, pretty ones, ugly ones, desperate ones, afraid ones, desired ones. One you like. You look at him. He looks at you. This time he smiles at you. You smile back. What is this moment about? Maybe everything you have been waiting for. Maybe not. For now you are happy.