I’m From Selingsgrove, PA.

by William Bennage

Satellite overhead image of Pennsylvania from Google Earth 2022

When I was a young boy my mom died and I did not have a very pleasant childhood. Shortly after that the man I used to believe is my father ended up moving away. Sad times for me. Then I had to move into a house with the man who claimed to my biological father and life was not easy living there. One day he caught me shaving my legs and he said he was going to tell everyone that I was gay. Then I realized I was different.

I had pressures to date the opposite sex at least until I was 21 years of age. Being so depressed from knowing I was different, I tried to end my life. After two attempts I realized that it was not worth losing my life. I had struggled with coming out to my sisters and other family members. This was hard for me to do. I sat my one sister down and asked her not to hate me and I cried. She asked me, “Why would I hate you ?” I told her I was gay and she said she was disappointed but she didn’t hate me. I then told my other sisters. Some did not take it so well, others made jokes about it. I then came out to my ex-girlfriend’s parents who I loved as my own parents. I cried and told them I was gay and there was silence in the room but I knew I had to tell them. After that life changed for me. I tried to get dates, lots of times unsuccessfully. I did not fit in with either the gay or straight community at first. After years of failed relationships and being alone I vowed just to be myself.

I now have found this wonderful older man that has been in my life for over three years and hopefully will be for more. We had a commitment ceremony last year and did not realize how many people were at odds with two people of the same sex having this type of ceremony. Some people showed but sadly no family came to see the lovely event. The reception was filled with tears as we danced. I gave a speech to him in the form of a toast, kind of like my vows to him. It was definitely a night to remember. After that we continue today to live as husband and husband facing the world together as a couple and staying strong about our future together.

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