I’m From Orange County, CA.

by Steven Norris

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

When I was younger I lived between houses–one week at Mom’s, one week at Dad’s. Both my parents were remarried. My step-mom was very uptight and treated the kids that weren’t her own with more disrespect than the others. I remember when I was 16, I was going through a tough time because though my family didn’t know, every day after school I would walk home crying feeling so alone and I would stick a shotgun my dad had in the attic in my mouth with my finger on the trigger wanting all my sadness to end. The only thing that kept me from pulling the trigger was the hope that life gets better and the fact I had never fallen in love.

Times in Orange County for gay people were a lot different then they are now. When I was growing up if you were gay you deserved to die and burn in hell. “Fag” was the worst insult you could call someone. My brother once made a joke when I was 13 to my mother asking what she would do if he was gay and my mother replied she would disown him. That struck fear in my heart to never come out of the closet. It wasn’t really until the tragedy of Matthew Shepard did I really see times start to change a little. People started to realize that homosexuals are also humans. Times were scary though and hard especially trying to hide the fact of being gay yet never dating a girl.

I did end up falling in love, though, and was actually engaged when I came out of the closet at age 17. I even took my fiance to prom and was the first male to take another male to prom at my high school. Though as we all learn when we’re young, love sometimes doesn’t last. My fiance disappeared on me, left me in debt and had been cheating on me with my best friend for a few months. We all experience relationships differently and even I haven’t mastered them. Sadly I have been cheated on by every guy I’ve ever dated and it’s currently been 3 years since I have dated. I expect when the right guy comes along I’ll know. My main focus is trying to get back on my feet in these trying times.

All I can do is keep hoping that things will get better. I just believe life is about love. Spreading love to others and loving yourself. I know it sounds corny but I’m a hopeless romantic.

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