Life is influenced by the choices we make, but my story is different. I didn’t make the choice which my life revolves around. My grandmother did, I can’t blame her. Since she thought she was doing a great thing for some reason, I’m glad she did. I had no say because as a child I couldn’t make choices for myself. Even though it’s unfair, I had to do whatever she said was best for me.
Since grade 2, I’ve been staying indoors. Not that there was something dangerous outside, but because she thought it was best for me and all the other kids. I was the only boy of all the five kids in my home and the oldest grandchild, the girls used to play girlish activities each and every single day. Being the only boy in the family was the hardest thing I had to live with. Every day all I had to do was read my books, write my homework and then wait to sleep. James Howell said, “Work with no play makes a jack a dull boy.”
My grandmother suggested that I should play with the girls. Thinking about all the loneliness, I tried my grandmother’s suggestion. It’s insane, that’s what everyone else would say. I didn’t care what anyone would say. It was my life after all. I was the one who played with the girls so I told myself that no one should tell me what to play.
Everything was going great. I passed my grades with maximum distinctions. I remember my grandmother used to brag all about it, telling everyone that her first grandchild was a genius. I believed so too. The teachers used to fight when I moved to the next grade, all the teachers wanted me in their classes I mean who wouldn’t? During the second term, we all had to choose our sport extramural activity.
I knew that I couldn’t play soccer so I chose volley ball. Everyone thought I was good at everything and I thought of how everyone would respond after realising that I couldn’t play soccer. Everyone at school thought that it a boy is supposed to know how to play soccer. Even though I was going to learn how to play soccer it was already too late, I was in standard four. I saved myself the embarrassment.
Luckily, I was not the only boy who wanted to try out volleyball, so people did not think that I couldn’t play soccer. I had fun playing, well everyone did. I was a server, the role of the server is to give the opposite team a hard time, it’s the most important role in the sport. Girls used to play girlish activities after the practice. I sometimes joined them and once again, I was the only boy.
Weeks passed and other boys started calling me gay for playing with girls most of the time, or should I say every single day after practice. What added to them thinking that way was the fact that I had a nice handwriting and that my work was neat and creative. That’s why every single teacher envied me. I didn’t like being called this kind of name, I mean I was not even what they said I was.
I spent a lot of my time reading books and surfing the net to get the true explanation of gay. It took me three days to know the real definition of gay. While surfing the net I came across the LGBTQI acronym, which explained what I was being called with meant. I found it odd because the true meaning of gay didn’t match up the reasons why I was being labelled gay. A gay person is someone who has feelings or is attracted to the same gender. It pissed me off, and most of all it hurt me.
The teachers soon realised that my marks had dropped which was not a good thing. They tried to normalise the situation, but they failed. I learnt that people always want to bring you down because they see something good in you. It still pains because whenever I go to visit grandmother, they still call me gay. I always asked myself what people would say before doing everything. Even today, I still fail to express myself but with my aunt on my side I know that I will get over it and be a better person.
Tell us: Do you think it’s fair to label people without knowing them?