I've never been much of a joiner. My personal experiences growing up in the late 60 and 70s have led me to expect my interaction with groups to resemble The Frankenstein Monster's relationship with the torch and pitchfork set. Believe it or not there was a time when being gay was considered bad. When I was a kid my undeniable homosexuality caused me to be ostracized from my family and neighborhood cliques which in turn precluded me from attaining the physical confidence, coordination, and rudimentary knowledge that are prerequisites of athletic pursuits. The time not spent on the field or court or playground , was spent at the library, where by the age of nine I was on a first name basis with the entire staff. Because of that, by the time I was twelve I had read most of the classical philosophers and was beginning to crack open the complexities of Existentialism, I was able to converse with confidence about several of Shakespeare's plays (especially my favorite "A Midsummer Night's Dream") and I had memorized Sammy's monologue from "Dark at the Top of the Stairs" in order to entertain adults at parties I couldn't not be invited to, I knew more about Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple than I did my own parents, and I had read, in an attempt to get an intellectual grasp of my aberrant sexuality, every nonfiction book that had a reference card under the heading "Homosexuality" including Sigmund Freud's Notebooks and a silly religious book that claimed I became homosexual as the result of luxuriating in too many long, hot baths. Now, don’t think I was just some super smart egghead kid who just needed to find the right social situation in order to flourish. My homelife was atrocious. My parents had a sense of the nature of my oddity and their fears were finally confirmed when my second grade teacher, Miss Gentry (the only Ph.D. on staff) came to the conclusion that the reason I didn’t seem to be learning, despite the beatings, dumping the contents of my desk on me every month, and demeaning me in front of the class, was because I had brain damage. The School Psychologist tested my 7 year old mind for mental defects that my teacher suspected were there, only to find that I had an I.Q. of 147, was reading at College Level, and , oh, yeah, I was homosexual. That is when they stopped raising me and I became an obligation they had to contend with until I turned eighteen, when according to what they had been told about homosexuals, I would go out into the world only eventually die in some back alley as the result of a horrible disease I contracted in the arc of perversion that my life was sure to be. There were moments of genuine caring but in their eyes they had three other children who needed their resources, so why waste them on a lost cause? This attitude didn’t mold me into the kind of kid that got picked for teams in gym or picked for much of anything. Because of this, I never developed a team mentality. I seriously have no inkling as to how one can get caught up in whether one team wins or loses to another; even Nationalism is a complete mystery to me.

I am, for the first time in my life, putting together a team: I am looking for some comrades who, like me are at a place in their lives that necessitates a reinvention of the self. I am the only one here in this team, but please, pick me so we can be a team and even if our personal burdens and journeys remain the same we can help one another simply by being there. Go team!


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