The Journal – Chapter 16: The Letter

The Journal – Chapter 16: The Letter

Dear Mum and Dad

For years my one and only fear was for you to be disappointed in me. That I would in some way let you down and that you’d never look at me in the same way again. This fear has long forced me to work hard and to succeed in everything that I had attempted to do. It made me pass my exams and get to university. It had also caused me to lie to you and to the rest of the family and my friends.

            I have struggled with this fact for years. Denied it every chance I got despite knowing it to be true. I am gay.

I first had an inkling about it when I was twelve, realising that I had an attraction towards boys in my year. I dismissed it, of course. Why would a normal Catholic boy like me be having such strange feelings?

            When I was 14, I had my first girlfriend, but I also had my first encounter with another boy. You might remember Jacob. I was confused. I knew I had to be attracted to my girlfriend because it was the right thing to do. That’s all I’d ever been taught. Being attracted to girls was the right way. No one had ever mentioned anything about being attracted to boys. And yet there I was, being attracted to one of my best friends. After four years, four girlfriends later and another boyfriend, I gave up on both. I didn’t know what to do. I prayed to God to help me through this.

            Now I’m at university and I am free. The shackles that held me back in Preston are gone. It’s been a fresh start and I have been able to be myself. The people here are like Nathan. They don’t care who or what I am. They accept me for who I am no matter what. Yes, Nathan knows. He was the first person I told and he didn’t see the big deal.

            But I was always scared of telling you because I knew in a small way I’d be a disappointment to you and I still don’t know how you will react. I have finally found the courage to tell you because I have found someone. I hope to be able to bring him to see you.

            Please don’t hate me. I love you both.

Matthew.

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