When you’re one of the fortunate … conversion therapy? Yeah, uh huh.
Join the GSA? Yes? No? No? Yes? Andreas wasn’t sure what to do. He was gay. He knew he was gay, and he knew the love of his life, who he was fairly sure didn’t know who the hell he was, went to every meeting.
Yes? No? Damn.
After three weeks though he finally picked Yes. That was scary enough, but after finding a small table close to the back, Jayden, the love of his life, just happened to choose to sit at the table with him. Like seriously, OMG.
“Hi,” Jayden said, “It’s good to see you here.”
“Hi,” Andreas replied.
Okay, so much for that conversation … but quite naturally, as the weeks progressed, the conversations lengthened. Also, quite naturally, not that he didn’t already have feelings for shy quiet Andreas, Jayden’s feelings seriously increased.
Then, after several weeks Jayden finally asked Andreas to go for a burger and chat with him. He did, and a lot of talking later, Andreas admitted that yes, he liked a certain guy, that guy being Jayden. Jayden made it clear the feelings were mutual and, if he had his way, they were going to be more than just friends. Andreas was in no way going to say no, so with that, he knew there wasn’t going to be much chance of hiding his … uh … gayness, from the one person who scared him the most.
Their eyes locked for a few seconds before Andreas leaned in and rested his head on Jayden’s shoulder.
“Oh god,” Andreas choked out, before adding, “My mom’s going to kill me, or disown me, or worse. That can’t happen. I won’t survive.”
“She wouldn’t be that much against us going out, would she?” Jayden asked.
“Did you see me this summer?” Andreas asked.
After a few seconds thinking, Jayden realized he hadn’t seen him once all summer.
“No, I guess I didn’t,” he replied.
“Well when school let out, I made the mistake of looking to Mom and Dad for support and telling them that I wondered if I might be gay because I thought maybe I liked a certain guy. That guy by the way was you,” Andreas replied as Jayden took his hand.
“Big mistake. My mom has always been religious and Dad and I just followed along, but this time she totally lost it. I was sent to my room and told not to come out unless I was given permission. I was scared shitless.”
“Oh my God,” Jayden said.
“When I was finally called down, I was standing face to face with Pastor Roberts. He laid his hands on me and started to wail and scream, ordering that Satan’s demons leave my body and heart,” Andreas replied, “And it went on for about an hour.”
“Seriously?” Jayden asked, “What did your dad do?”
“He just stood there looking freaked out,” Andreas said.
“Oh God,” Jayden said.
“That was just the beginning,” Andreas added, “I was sent back to my room. I just lay there. I didn’t know what else to do. Then at about 6:00AM Mom came into my room with two guys. They started packing my stuff, and the next thing I knew I was in, what I found out later, was His Grace Camp for the Wayward.”
“And then they started ‘converting’ you I guess,” Jayden kind of asked.
“Yeah.” Andreas replied.
“And your dad did nothing?” Jayden asked.
“Nope. But then I think maybe he’s more scared of my mom than I am.” Andreas said.
“So what did you have to deal with?” Jayden asked.
“At first, I was met by some guy who led me to the admissions room. I was not to be wearing any jewelry so that the demons couldn’t get hold of me too easily and hang on when he demanded they leave. Then some anorexic bitch came in and was trying to find out what childhood trauma had allowed the demons to enter me and trigger my homosexuality. I said I’d experienced no trauma.
She asked again and again I said none.
‘I think there is something there,’ she said. ‘You've allowed things to be done to you. It does need to come to the surface.’ Then she prayed for god to ‘bring to the surface some of the things that have happened over the years.’
The idea that any family member could have committed such a thing against me pissed me off so much I began to shake. That was the proof she needed, but when I again insisted no one had, I was put on a fasting program. It was supposed to bring the truth to the surface. Three days later I was led to a room where some weird little man was sitting on a table. He didn’t even look at me but started saying he would rid me of the demon of the occult.
He started praying and he was even more aggressive than Pastor Roberts. He grabbed me by the hair and was staring into my eyes. He was about two inches away from my face screaming for the demon to get out. This went on for at least two hours but that damn demon wouldn’t budge. The pastor then got even more forceful and started yelling and praying in tongues. This went on for another very long hour before day four of my fast began.
At one point I asked: If you get the demon out, will I no longer be gay? The pastor was like, ‘Yes, yes.’ And then I was like, so, I will no longer be attracted to men. He was like ‘Well, while the demons won’t be in you, they might still be around so there might still be some attraction, some pull … that’s why no jewellery for it to attach to.’
Yeah okay, that made sense. Well, as much as any of the crap had before. When I got back to my room there was actually food. Ms. Anorexic then came in and announced I needed to prepare myself properly if they were to remove the demon or demons. They removed everything that made me a unique person, and made me join a group where walking, talking, and praying were being retaught … like how to eat, talk, walk, dress, believe, almost even breathe.
The conversion therapy sessions took place all day, everyday, with shock therapy treatments lasting about an hour, aversion therapy lasting three, and discussion therapy, or whatever it was, lasting about six.
By the middle of August, after my last prayer session with little weird man, I was able to escape some of the therapy by pretending the conversion had worked. I had to stay for an extra two weeks though, so they could observe me and be sure it had, so look at girls, but don’t look at boys.
Ms. Anorexia even advised me to take up rugby, and stand naked in front of the mirror and touch myself, cause that way I could reaffirm my masculinity. I mean yeah, be in a room with naked Rugby players taking showers, and then go home, stand in my room in front of a mirror, naked, touching myself … like that would work,” Andreas replied.
Jayden just stared at him before leaning in and giving him his first boyfriend kiss. That of course got Jayden a timid smile and a boyfriend kiss right back and set some serious necessary changes into motion. Andreas life was Andreas life and something had to change.
Andreas decided that he was going to try to talk to his dad alone. His dad hadn’t said anything one way or the other, and when Andreas’ mother went off the wall, he just stood there looking stunned. Besides he figured, as it was, things couldn’t get much worse, and if they did, he’d be gone.
A few days later his mom went to a prayer meeting that his dad managed to opt out of. After she was gone for about a half hour, Andreas sat down across from his dad and let go. He told him everything, from being scared of who he was for years, to the conversion therapy crap, to the bullying, to loving Jayden, and more. His dad sat there for a long time just staring at him. Then he stood up, walked over, and gave Andreas a big hug.
“This has got to end,” he said, before adding, “And I’m sorry for being the worst father a kid could have.”
“She is a scary bitch,” was all Andreas said before the tears started to flow.
Then his dad gave him another hug and said, “It isn’t going to be easy with, like you said, the scary bitch, but I think maybe we need to start looking for an apartment.”
Andreas just looked at him, and after a minute or so asked, “Really?”
“Yeah, it’s time I started to be the father I’m supposed to be,” he replied.
Now we could go into his mom’s reaction in detail, but I think you can imagine it. When his dad sat her down, explained that a person was born gay, and her prayers and demon banishing wasn’t going to change things, she threw a fit. When he then indicated that he felt just he and Andreas should relocate, she went ballistic. According to her, he had been saved from demonic possession thanks to her, and there was no way she was going to let him leave, as without her constant surveillance, the demons would be free to reoccupy him once again bringing forth his gayness.
It wouldn’t be that hard to imagine the rest of the conversation. Needless to say, after dodging numerous breakable objects, and some serious running, his mom and dad ended up in divorce court and fighting for custody. When Andreas got to add his bit, he made it clear he wanted to live with his dad. At that point she once again started to rave that Satan was already at work if he preferred to live with his, bound for hell, father. It would be no time before his gayness returned in full force if that was allowed to happen. She made sure they knew they, including the judge, were abominations and condemned to hell. Given about half an hour, the judge declared that Andreas’ father would have complete custody, and any time he was with his mother, they would have to be supervised, as he felt it was reasonable to believe she would have him “disappear.” The judge smiled at Andreas as he declared the case over and smacked his gavel.
She did get the house and a chunk of their savings, but Andreas and his dad got a tenth-floor apartment with an amazing view of the mountains. Also, it was west of their old place and obviously faced west, so they would never, even by accident, see their old place nor his mother’s blue-green smoke of damnation rising from it.
You could also say Andreas got Jayden, as the next morning, Jayden came over, met Andreas’s dad, got a handshake and a hug, and the boys headed to school together, hand-in-hand.
They didn’t even seem to attract attention, although at lunch they got a few ‘I knew it’s, and a couple of ‘it’s about times. Oh, and the GSA meeting seemed to go off topic a little bit that afternoon.
Then, at one meeting a few weeks later, Jas and Clayton invited them to come to their Sunday gathering at the Glenore Community Church. They made it clear that everyone’s views were the opposite of Andreas’ mom’s views. They also made it clear they thought organized religion was man-made, consisting of, do-as-we-do, think-as-we-think, and give-us-your-money. It took some serious discussion, but Andreas and Jayden did go … as a couple … and had an awesome time. Jas’s dad even mentioned he thought they were a cute couple. That caused Jas’s mom to laugh, smack him, and tell him the only person he should find cute there was her.
He laughed and asked, “So you think I should have said the boys were butt ugly then?”
She laughed a bit harder and responded, “I don’t think they’d have minded, cause I don’t think they find butts ugly.”
Jas’s immediate response was, “I think we’re going now. Bye,” as the four of them turned and ran like they were running for their lives.
They made it to the nearest Tasty Delight, a half mile away, in about three minutes. After a BBQ bacon cheeseburger, fries, a Coke, and a hot fudge sundae, they were ready to join the others at the park for some good old-fashioned soccer. After a couple of hours and no throwing up, they were all laying around chatting about things like, only eight more fun months of school left, and other uplifting topics.
Half of them had their eyes closed as they chatted, that is until Kevin made the observation, “If that bitch was any skinnier, she wouldn’t exist.”
When Andreas opened his eyes, who else did he see but Ms. Anorexic, with a notedly heavy friend?
As soon as he announced that she was the bitch from the conversion place, Tom quickly announced, “You know, I think the poor thing needs some entertainment.”
Now not knowing a lot about mind reading, it was a bit of a surprise when all of a sudden, 28 boys stood up, looked at each other, and formed 14 pairs of seemingly sweet loving boyfriends … holding hands and everything. They walked across to the path, and surrounded Ms. Anorexic and her far from anorexic friend, or whatever he was.
Her pace picked up as soon as she saw them, at which point some of them ran ahead, put their arms around each other, and even enjoyed a sweet kiss or two. Of course, she started praying as loudly as she could. Then she started condemning them to hell. It seems no one was too worried though as the rest of the boys quickly joined in, and again, there was some relatively sweet kissing, and some hands even moved to places they probably shouldn’t have when in public. Needless to say, she grabbed her non-anorexic friend’s hand and almost broke into a run. The boys stayed ahead, alongside, and behind, sending some interesting comments their way. Like, ‘oh yeah, I like that’, ‘you taste so good’, and others not to be repeated. As soon as the two made it out of the park the boys flopped down on the grass again and laughed uproariously.
Tom looked at Les and said, “Holy crap, that was fun, kinda seriously different, but fun. And your lips tasted really good. Ya wanna come over later?”
Les looked at him, grinned and relied, “Maybe, but that’ll depend on where else you put your lips,” and once again, the laugher took over.
After a bit though, Andreas looked around at everyone and said, “I can’t believe you guys all did that. I mean thanks, but like wow.”
Clayton then announced, “Well six of us are gay.”
Rory immediately replied, “Yeah, but 22 of us aren’t. Oh, and by the way Sam, you taste pretty good too.”
“I was chewing a mint,” Sam responded displaying a certain finger of his left hand.
“Yeah well, we know who our friends are and who we can count on. Thanks guys,” Jayden stated.
“Football!” Roy shouted and everyone was instantly on their feet and heading for the field.
Later that evening when he was having dinner with his dad, Andreas gave him the whole afternoon’s story.
“Oh my God, really?” his dad said, “You’ve got some pretty awesome friends there, my boy.”
“Yeah I know,” Andreas replied with a grin, “The best.”
By the next morning everyone at school knew the story as news gets around pretty fast, and as they were all standing around waiting for the bell, there was a loud, “Mornin’ babe,” as Les quickly covered his mouth with both hands and Tom came running over and gave him a big hug. Afterwards though, as they were walking towards class, Les asked Tom if he wanted to live long enough to graduate.
Tom replied with, “Come over tonight for a while and I’ll show you.”
“Yeah you wish,” Les replied grinning.
It only took about a week for the jokes to die, and just so you know, no one got converted to the gay side. Still, everyone had fun coming up with, and trying out their jokes before everything quietened down. Well, as quiet as things get with a bunch of high schoolers who don’t necessarily think adults, like Joe at Tasty Delight, needed to retain their sanity.
And then it was winter. They exchanged their white football, or soccer ball, for one Roy painted black so they could see it in the snow. They also spent more time in Tasty Delight than they did laying around in the park. As Kyle said, there were a few things he liked to feel sliding into his pants, but snow wasn’t one of them. And yes, a number of the 22 less fortunate had girlfriends.
Of course, there was snowboarding. While it was fun locally on the little hills, one of the biggest concerns Andreas and Jayden had was, why does Marmot Basin in Jasper have to be three hundred and some kilometres and four hours away. I mean, if you want to ski or board, you want to do it now, not four or five hours of driving over crappy, sometimes icy, highways from now.
But then it was Christmas and just about everyone got what they wanted … kinda — sorta … well almost. Regardless, on Boxing Day they got to go as a group of 28, in a rented school bus, to Marmot Basin, and it was the best. And since it only cost them about $500 each, all the boys had to do was save their quarters for another year to go again. As many of the parents said harshwords when some of the girlfriends wanted to go, it was guys only. Of course, they had to share accommodations, and Tom and Les shared a double room with Andreas and Jayden. Tom was careful and behaved himself so he wouldn’t miss graduation.
As for the skiing, there was skiing for all levels, and there was every kind of terrain you can imagine. The snow conditions were fabulous too. They did the Knob, runs off the Eagle Ridge, Outer Limits, Tres Hombres, everywhere. And no one said anything when Chris ended up going backwards on one run. That is until he fell over and had to spend some time returning the snow to the outside of his clothing. The hills weren’t super busy either, so there was lots of room to fall over without getting run over, skiers and snowboarders alike. It was a great time for everyone.
Then it was semester one final exams and fun was had by all. Yes it was.
And then it was spring. So black ball back to white ball … ’cause you could see it better in the mud, well for a while. Again, a lot of time was spent at Joe’s. Playing in the mud was one thing, but laying in it was another. The nicest thing they did that spring, since mud sticks to jeans and shoes then transfers really well, was voluntarily help wash all the seats and the floor in Tasty Delight … after a visit … after a game. Of course, Joe thanked them for their hard work and thoughtfulness, right after mentioning their collective bill was $95.50.
And then, since it was spring, it was soon spring break. And what great school doesn’t start the break with an awesome Friday night dance? Well, theirs didn’t, so it was, ‘go home and don’t come back and bother us for nine days.’
Now what to do?
So uh, spring skiing at Marmot Basin? Uh no, still another eight months of saving quarters. Not to mention a large number of young ladies made it clear to a large number of young guys, they weren’t going anywhere without them. And thanks to earlier parental harsh words, that meant no one, meaning them too, were going anywhere involving an overnight.
So uh, Football? Uh, yeah that would be fun, and there was even grass starting to grow for them to play on. The young ladies could come and cheer them on, and maybe later they could help massage stiffened muscles and such.
Visit Joe? Uh, yeah, that goes without saying, guys gotta eat you know, girls too. The only problem there was that Joe tends to have a fit if 37 people show up all at once. You know, 39 burgers, cheese-no cheese, onions-no onions, bacon-no bacon, double patty-single patty, 11 cokes, nine milkshakes — vanilla, chocolate, pecan, orange, 14 sundaes, and so on. Oh, and although he’s started setting up the patio, it was still standing room only.
Uh, exposing their masculine side? Well they could take up rugby. Then again, since none of them are big into pain or bruises, forget rugby. Besides, football did a reasonably good job of that. Standing naked in front of the mirror touching themselves. Oh, yeah, that could be fun. Not all of them together though … sadly. But for Andreas, maybe Jayden could join him and expose his masculine side too. It might not help “convert” them, but it sure as hell could be fun finding out.
So what to do? Well whatever wouldn’t get them into trouble with their folks was thought of, but it was decided it wouldn’t be as much fun. So some football, visiting Joe’s, laying around in the grass, keeping young ladies happy, keeping young guys happy, which by the way is much easier and cheaper … and that was about it.
And then it was final exams for semester two and again fun was had by all. Yes, it was.
And then it was summer. Andreas spent eight hours a day helping build fences, Jayden spent eight hours a day helping build decks, Tom spent eight hours a day helping mow lawns, Les spent eight hours a day helping pour cement for sidewalks and stuff, Roy had to go to his grandpa’s and help on the farm, and so it went. And yes, fun was had by all. Well maybe by Sam, as he helped coach at an under twelve baseball program with the YMCA.
There were still evenings though, when a tired bunch would often occupy Joe’s entire patio, or sprawl out in the park with the football lying there on the grass beside them. Unfortunately, Roy wasn’t there to yell “Football!”
Then one lazy quiet evening as Andreas and Jayden were walking alongside the river, they saw two boys walking towards them. Suddenly recognitions took place, and within a couple of minutes, and after some big hugs, Scott and Robbie were being introduced to Jayden and Jayden was being introduced to Scott and Robbie. It seems Andreas had met them at His Grace Camp for the Wayward. It seems they were still wayward and the four immediately found a place to plop down and enjoy a nice long chat.
And yep, they were all destined for hell, although they didn’t think Dante was thinking of them when he wrote his poems. The boys were no longer living in their hometowns or with their folks, no surprise there. They were living with Robbie’s brother and his girlfriend. Apparently, they were going to hell too, and not for just harbouring the damned, but also living in sin. Then Robbie’s brother got a job offer he couldn’t refuse, and after moving two weeks before, they were now living about ten blocks from where they were sitting. It was at that point the group of 28 became a group of 30 and the 22 less fortunate now had 8 fortunate. A continued half-hour walk, a visit to Joe’s for some health food, a meeting of 8 of the now 30 later, and they were all headed home for dinner.
Then, ’cause time flies when you’re having fun, it was suddenly mid-August … so work over, a weeklong camping trip for the 16 of them who weren’t keeping young ladies happy, then a week of doing nothing, and then grade 12 would begin. They could hardly wait. Yeah, uh huh.
Anyway, for whatever reason, going back to where all this crap started, I guess, Andreas had to admit he’s always tried his best. All things aside though, some things are bullshit, and as studious as he was, he knew conversion therapy was BULLSHIT, yep, in capital letters, BULLSHIT. I mean, try your best just wasn’t in it. He knew you are who you are and can’t change it, so why try … and besides, who the hell would want to give up being one of the fortunate?
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This story may contain occasional references to minors who are or may be gay. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG13 (in a more enlightened time it would be rated G). If reading this type of material is illegal where you live, or if you are too young to read this type of material based on the laws where you live, or if your parents don't want you to read this type of material, or if you find this type of material morally or otherwise objectionable, or if you don't want to be here, close your browser now. The author neither condones nor advocates the violation of any laws. If you want to be here, but aren't supposed to be here, be careful and don't get caught!