Hey. It's your grandson Levi.
You probably don't remember this like I do, but one year ago, I 'came out' as a gay man to the world in a story published on the Huffington Post. I had come out to my close friends a year before, and some family only weeks earlier. Coming out to my father (in a rather round about and accidental way) was the event that triggered the article that drew so much attention.
It wasn't two weeks later than a type-written letter from you and Grandpa, saying that I was 'too smart' to make this decision. That you 'hoped I wouldn't waste my God-given talents on supporting the gay agenda,' and that you would 'pray for me.' You emphasized that you weren't judging me, because that was up for the Lord, and that you would love me, despite my 'decision.'
A year later, I feel that love isn't the same as before. I believe you think that I've changed.
But here's the thing, I haven't.
Okay, that's not really true - one thing has changed. And only one. You see, I have a blender now. A pretty nice blender, actually. It has 10 speeds, stainless steel blades, and wave action. It makes great protein shakes, and even better margaritas, and has helped ease the stress of long homework filled nights by being the saving grace on wild nights with friends.
Now, you're probably reading this and thinking, "Why are you telling me this? Why do I care that you have this spectacular 10-speed blender?" Well, let me tell you how it came into my possession.
A little over a year ago, I met this great guy, and for the first time in my life, I let my inhibitions and worries about being gay go, and I fell in love - head over heels in puppy love. It wasn't a mature love, and it wasn't meant to be, but it was love. For some reason, and Lord only knows why, it was love at first sight. We went through the normal dating cycle - texts, calls, coffee dates, dinner and a show, and then eventually, we threw a party together so he could meet my friends (it still makes me chuckle, because there's totally no pressure to impress, right?). Which leads to me to the blender. His blender came over during the party, so we could mix up some margaritas. All in all, it was a great night - a friend of mine even came into the kitchen to tell me "I'm totally straight, but I'd date this guy. Where'd you find a catch like him?" I was so happy the entire night.
Things fizzled about a month later. As it turned out he didn't feel for me the way I felt for him, and I had my first real heartache.
But the goddamn blender stayed. I called and left messages for him to come and get it, but he just didn't care enough to come and get it. It was probably for the best.
The blender remains, and every morning, when I get up and mix my protein shake, I can't help but think of him and smile. At first, it was a bitter smile, a heartache-filled reminder that I wasn't good enough for someone, and then slowly, it became a smile filled with hope. It wasn't that I wasn't good enough, it was that I wasn't right for him. So it became a smile of hope. Hope that someday, I'll find someone that loves me like I love them. Someone that I can play Pathfinder with, take in a performance of Titus Andronicus with, and someone crazy enough to go backpacking for a few weeks in Wyoming with me on a whim.
That stupid blender has become a reminder of the first time I fell in love. Crazy, stupid, silly love. And while I had my heart broken, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
Which brings me back to the point. One thing has changed. I have a blender. A constant reminder that I fell in love. That I had to 'come out', expose who I really was to the world, face the judgment of others, just so that I could have an experience that you probably took for granted growing up. An experience you've been lucky enough to have a couple times in your life.
So please, Grandma, don't look at me and see a gay grandkid. Don't look at me with sad eyes, and wish I was straight. Don't pity me, or worry about my salvation, or completely go out of your way to avoid asking me about my significant other when talking about who all the grandchildren are seeing these days at family get-togethers. I know you may not want to ask if I have a boyfriend, and you probably aren't too keen on inviting a future boyfriend over for Christmas, and that's okay. I mean, it sucks, but I can respect that. But please, don't look at me as though I've changed. I'm still the same Levi. The Levi that loved hunting for Easter eggs every year until I got 'too old' for it, the Levi that hated spending the night because I had to sleep in that basement room filled with those horrid porcelain dolls, and the Levi that wanted to grow up and be an elephant handler at a zoo.
I'm Levi. Mark and Brenda's first son. Aaron's older brother. Your grandson.
And I'm gay, but I've always been gay. It's just now we all know.
Levi (& the blender)