Moving On To New Places

by rheeb

I met Winny when we were in the third grade, but we didn’t become best friends until summer camp two years later.  She doesn’t remember this.  I was sitting in the camp room when I saw her walk in.  It was like a breath of fresh air to see someone normal after being trapped with a group of ten year old assholes several weeks prior.  Instantly, I knew we would be best friends.  It was kismet.

Throughout the next year, we were inseparable.  We had our little group of friends, but Winny and I were each other’s aces.  We both listened to Hanson, watched TGIF religiously, wrote several stories together about how our lives would be in our twenties, and were just…in sync.  After many years together, we both knew several embarrassing stories about each other– you know the kinds that never stop being funny (like the time Winny put her mother’s high heels on and ended up flying down the steps.  Or the one where I was racing this bitch JG in gym class, and my left breast came flying out of my bra, making me limp to the finish line to decrease movement).  My point is, Winny and I were soul sisters.

As you can guess, a huge turning point came in our relationship two years ago when I was beginning to finally come out of the closet.  I had been going through an emotional symphony for weeks that summer, and back then, I was so intensely private about my inner life that I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone about it.  One night, I finally mustered the courage to tell Winny about my journey of accepting myself, and I cried so hard during that phone call, that I had to cover the speaker, because I felt deep, guttural sobs trying to escape me.  Her response to everything was that being gay is a sin, and that she will never accept it.  That was the first time I ever felt alone with her.  It was as though she looked past me…my humanity, my soul.  She looked past everything she ever knew about me, and I felt empty.

Of course, as time went on, things with Winny became more strained.  I was finally growing into myself, and as we would talk, I realized that there were fewer and fewer things that we could speak about.  I was so…on edge in terms of my friendship with her, that I would spend hours on the phone just listening to her and never contributing to the conversation.  I didn’t feel free enough to tell her anything.  Whenever I want to discuss her anti-gay stances, we would end up having such a stalwart argument that we would go weeks without talking.  Finally in October of 2012, during the last presidential debate, Winny called me to talk about her life, as usual.  She told me that she wasn’t sure who she was voting for between President Obama and Mitt Romney (and anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to politics, I am so fucking liberal that the very mention of “Mitt Romney” makes my head begin to spin, and I start vomiting angry rainbows).  Winny and I broke up that night.  I told her that we couldn’t move forward as friends if she couldn’t accept me as I am…especially when she was very candid about actively working against marriage equality.  Why not just shit in my driveway?

From there, we didn’t talk for nine months.  It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, that I decided to give her a call, but of course, it wasn’t the same as it was when we were growing up.  She acted as though I had been having an extended tantrum and would finally come back to my senses and be friends again–as though nothing significant lead to those nine months of silence.  It amazes me that she didn’t seem to realize (or care) that she was rejecting a major part of my personhood.  Today, she invited me out with her, but I declined.  It’s over.  And I’m certain that it will never be rekindled unless her viewpoints change in a drastic way.  Being close friends with someone is like being chosen family.  Chosen.  So to have someone I chose hurt me so badly has definitely changed me.  I have learned to not hold on to dead relationships because of “history” or because of pleasant memories.  The best part is that I finally have genuine friendships with people who fully accept me as I am.  And that, my dear readers, is the best place to be.

Song of the Day: I’ll Take You There by The Staple Singers

Thought of the Day: I wonder if I have a chance with Lea Delaria?