Today is my father’s Birthday in RL… or, at least it would be if he was still with us. Usually I am very down around this time of the year because of this and I must say that for once around this time, I am happy. It’s been 6 years since he passed away and it doesn’t seem that long, even still. I joined SL just about a week before his birthday would be on August 10th 2008, a year after his passing. I joined at a time where I really needed to find myself and find some happiness. Anyone that knows me in SL would know that I am gay and I have no reason to hide it. I have always been free to be myself in-world and I am so blessed to have found a platform to help me be who I am. My father was the only person in my family I was out to in RL. I came out to him about a year before he died and that’s what made it especially hard on me to lose him. My father was gay as well. I didn’t know this until I came out to him and he took the opportunity to tell me about himself as he felt I was old enough to know what it meant.
I was 19 when I came out to him and I knew that coming out to him would be easy. He was always very loving and accepting and I knew that I was very much like him so even though I was a little nervous about it, I knew he wouldn’t “disown” me or anything. Coming out to him lifted so much weight off of my shoulders because I finally had someone who already loved me that cared about my related plights. It was a relief to be able to open up to a family member to say the least. I could tell him which boys I liked as well as anything regarding my sexuality and not feel like I was wrong for feeling the way I did. Something as simple as just being able to tell a parent “A boy smiled at me today on my way to school” as a gay person makes life less alienating and makes me feel like I am a normal human being. When he passed away I was devastated, most of all from losing my dad but secondly because my world seemingly closed in again.
Second Life has since helped me to find myself enough to be proud of who I am and I have came out to most people in my life. I knew there would be consequences (it’s sad, but always the case) and I felt so much better standing up for what I believe is right and who I am. Some time after I felt the time was right due to my new found empowerment so I came out to my mother in 2010 (4 years after I had to my dad, talk about LAG). I always knew it would be the case that I’d get a negative reaction but I decided to just get on with it. I have had a tough time getting my mother to accept the fact that I am gay and she has been less than welcoming to it. She has said she never wants to meet any boyfriend or partner of mine and would never come to a wedding should I have one. She has said there will never be a time where she would sit down with myself and the person I love over dinner, I mean…what? How narrow minded could a person possibly be to deny their own child these basic opportunities. She consistently has mocked the LGBT community in my presence, she has also said some hurtful things to me that made me question my existence. Though I appreciate the fact that she shoots from the hip and stands for what she believes in (a quality that I possess), it’s not something you would expect in this regard from the person that made you.
Let me just say that while I don’t find our co-existence pleasant…I do NOT regret coming out to her because I have learned to find enjoyment with the fact she is unhappy with it. I get to hold it over her every time she is wrong about something and it’s very satisfying. I came out to her when I told her I was engaged to be married to a boy in SL. LOL. I don’t know what came over me to want to share my happiness with my last remaining parent over a virtual wedding. I just felt compelled to rub it in that I could do whatever I wanted and she could either be happy for me or not. It’s funny that it took an SL related occasion to come out to her but I am glad it happened. While I can’t say that the same would be ideal for anyone, I am proud that I made that leap into the unknown of coming out to someone so opposed because it definitely helps to move life in the direction I want to live it.
I am very positive that my father would approve how I went about it. He always wanted to see me happy no matter what. I was his pride and joy and was his only child. I believe that I was a gift that came out of his personal torment of living a life that was somewhat a lie. I am so gracious that I am living at the crux of a time where I can realize dreams that he may have had that were crushed by society. There will be a point in the near future where It will be possible for me to get married to a man that I love AND have children, all the while doing it without much compromise. For the time being, I can do it all in SL! If my dad were here, he would be tremendously happy for me. So, this is my birthday gift to him: my happiness. Happy Birthday, Dad! (I’m sure they have the internet wherever gay people go in the afterlife, lol) If you think about it, the afterlife as people may believe it to be is no different from my Second Life.
I get to live out every dream happily there regardless of the hellfire and hurdles. Often times it is my paradise and I can have the serenity I deserve. My dad would be be pleased to know that in my Second Life I am happily active in the gay community as well as active in many other areas and have a wonderful relationship. It’s possible he may have not entirely grasped the technicalities of SL but he would definitely appreciate that it’s an outlet for me to be everything he wanted to see me happy being. Recently, I have opened a Library Bar with a good friend, it’s called Purple Prose. We have a book club centered around gay literature and have other regular events for everyone. On April 11th of this year (2013), I met the man who would continue my SL journey with me. We were partnered on August 11th and I am extremely lucky to have him in my life. Ricco has given me a happy heart and I cannot express how healthy it is to be loved and appreciated in enough words. We have been together for a while now and he definitely likes it and will be putting a ring on it!
Things are going so well for me and are only getting better. Soon enough I will be launching a brand together with my partner, something I had plans to do myself before we met but now we will be collaborating. It has always been a dream to be blissfully in a relationship and work together with someone I love and it’s something that will be in our future. I have great long time friends and SL family that make my time in SL special and I get to share all my sappiness with them, I love them too! Second Life has offered many awesome experiences that have given me more purpose and some not so great ones that have only reinforced the greatness. The thing that remains a constant about SL is… you get to recreate and relive your dreams with those that wish to see you succeed. Keep a look out for everything that makes me happy!
Links to my happy:
Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/garrett_ceriano/
Plurk – http://www.plurk.com/Garrett_Ceriano
My sometimes Blog – http://postdandy.wordpress.com/
Partner’s Blog – http://secondsighting.wordpress.com/
Purple Prose – https://www.facebook.com/purpleproseSL