I’m From Rootstown, OH.

by Nathan Gibson

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

Bags are packed. Rejected by peers and family members. I take a deep breath as I go through the security line at the airport. At first the obvious questions begin to race through my mind. Did I forget anything in my pockets? I hope I don’t get put in that little side room for questioning. But then I start thinking; I have never been on a plane before. What if it crashes? What if I miss my connecting flight? Which leads to even more racing thoughts: Maybe the ex-gay counselor was right? What am I doing? Why am I moving to New Mexico of all places? I know nobody there. The farthest west I have ever been before is St. Louis, Missouri.

Preoccupied with my racing and anxious thoughts, before I knew it I had made my way through the security line and had already made my connecting flight, with only minutes to spare before I would land in New Mexico. I couldn’t help but think that there is no going back now. This is my chance to begin figuring out what being a young gay man is all about without any outside influences. I could only be so lucky to have a clean slate to work with. If worse comes to worse absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? The plane lands in New Mexico and I take another deep breath and make my way off the plane.

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