Dreamspinner Press, HAHAT Blog Tour, Kade Boehme

HAHAT 2014 Continues With A Guest Post By Kade Boehme And A Giveaway


Please welcome our second contributor to The Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Kade Boehme. Kade shares a very personal story about his own coming out with us today, and there’s also another chance to win a $20 Gift Card for Dreamspinner Press (the first can be found HERE – Deadline Midnight PT 5/21/14).

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

And now, here’s Kade:

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Homophobia. Obviously it’s a strange concept to me since, well, I’m the homo that’s being phobed. I never understood it. I grew up knowing what the people around me thought of gays. Good lord, my dad would see an episode of Will & Grace coming on and he’d complain about how they were “promoting that shit.” He said the same thing about biracial couples, Jews, Catholics… He was pretty equal opportunity, but I digress.

I knew from such an early age that I liked boys. I said Johnathan Taylor Thomas was cute when I was 7, for heaven’s sake. I was ogling boys in tights in the ballet film Center Stage when I was 12, never giving a passing glance to the girls. I “stumbled” on gay porn at thirteen, and it’s like the final pieces of the puzzle fit together when I realized boys could be together like that.

But my being gay since effing birth came from an innocent place well before I even got what being gay meant. Before my being gay was something sexual, something political, something controversial. Before all of that, I was just the 10 year old boy with a stomach-aching, sweaty-palmed, want-to-see-him-smile-all-the-time crush on his best friend Caleb.

Then, my dad said it. Queer. Hell, I still cringe just as fast at the word “queer” spoken with a southern accent as I do “faggot”. In the south, it’s kinda one and the same. I’d never paid any attention to or understood just who these queers were or who those gays were who were promoting their “shit” in such a way that my father took offense. They were the others. Until I realized, oh fuck, They is actually We.

And I officially didn’t get it. Here I was, thirteen, not understanding why my dad thought something was wrong with it. Didn’t he realize I liked boys like that too? What exactly would I be promoting if I simply… existed?

Eighteen, my dad finds out I’m gay. He tells everyone. Yeah, that didn’t go so well. We haven’t seen each other in 8 years, not since the night he found my copy of Eating Out. Damn that cover for looking like porn. Hmph. Guess it’s good he didn’t find the M/M YA I had. His head would have exploded over some of those early ’00s covers, just sayin’.

In those eight years, I’ve also not spoken with my family—seriously my grandmother used the I have friends who can help with this line…seriously—and my mother and I fell out pretty hard over it.

But something fucking amazing happened in that almost-decade. First, I never ran into others who weren’t accepting. All of my friends, no matter how religious or what family they came from, seemed to rally around me. So as a sample of my generation, they seemed to be indicative of a changing tide. Then marriage equality seemed to grow legs, DADT was repealed, DOMA was overturned. My mom made gay friends.

I still catch myself taking a look around the room if my date is forwardly affectionate in public, still hear my dad’s words in my head and reel from the things my mother and I went through. But I can report, it is in fact getting better. I know my experience isn’t the same as everyone. The changes may even be too subtle for people, but the strides we’ve taken in just a decade… Man, how I wept when DOMA was overturned. It gave me hope. Hope that I may actually get to be married and have those things I was convinced by my family I never would.

I like to think a kid born now won’t have the same experience by a long shot. When he’s eighteen and his dad finds out, his dad may flip but maybe, just maybe, they’ll be solid. Maybe he won’t have to go through kids constantly asking him, “Are you gay?” when they mean they’ll kick your ass if you say yes. Maybe homophobia will be a word no one has to even try to understand.

Maybe he’ll hold his boyfriend’s hand and never even think to check the people around him.

Here’s hoping.

And for the record, those gay friends helped. My mom is now my best friend. So yeah… hope.

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49 thoughts on “HAHAT 2014 Continues With A Guest Post By Kade Boehme And A Giveaway

  1. Pingback: The Hop Against Homophobia And Transphobia 2014 Kicks Off Today With A Giveaway « The Novel Approach

  2. Jaycee Edward says:

    So much I want to say, but words aren’t enough. I’m in awe of the courage it takes to be out in this world. It’s courage we straights never need to tap into. Thanks for sharing your very personal story. I’m sorry for what you went through, but I’m glad it’s getting better. Someday this will not be an issue. I hope to see it in my lifetime.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. pointycat says:

    Hugs. Mum and I have had some long conversations about guy rights…she still struggles with some of it, but it was always a given that she still loved me. I’m bi, and poly – both my partners know about each other and all is good. My parents said that as long as I was happy that was fine – and I am aware of just how lucky I am that they have been so accepting.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Antonia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I hate that anyone has to go through something like this, and I hope that it keeps getting better.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What a great, honest, and relatable post, Kade. I grew up in the 1950’s and ’60’s, a time that really resonates here with your family’s issues about your being gay, so my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your own coming of age story. :) Paul

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I was fortunate enough to grow up with parents who are therapists and who were so liberal they marched for civil rights in the 1960’s when they were just teenagers. So I never experienced that kind of rejection from my parents. My heart just breaks into little pieces when I read posts like this. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience this way.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jen CW says:

    Thank you sharing such a personal story with us. I’m glad that you had your friends and now (finally) your mother. As a mom myself, I have never understood turning away your children because of who they are.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Thank you for your post I’m sorry about what you went through but so pleased your mom has become your friend again. The world is changing and I hope that in the future it will be easier.

    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jay R> says:

    Thanks Kade for a timely post. Being 78 I’ve seen many a change and thankfully for the better. There is still much to be accomplished, but almost daily change is happening.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thanks so much for sharing your story which you do with so much heart and humor. It breaks my heart that you had to experience hate and rejection especially from you own family; so happy for you that you and your Mom are close again. It cannot be easy to share such a personal story but I truly believe that sharing stories like yours – stories of pain but also hope – helps others. ~hugs~

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Rod B says:

    Great post Kade! I didn’t come out to my family until I was in my mid twenties & living with a guy. It’s such a struggle. Thank God they were accepting and supportive. I wish it were so for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. leightonrose says:

    Kade, the courage you possess amazes me. The things you went through suck, and I wish you hadn’t had to go through those things, but those sucky things, those experiences that made you stronger, they helped shape you into the person you are today. And that person is pretty kick*ss :) You write stories that give people hope. You write stories that deal with issues some people won’t touch and you do it with class, respect, and dignity. You have so many friends that love and support YOU AS YOU, that yeah, things are changing for the better pretty rapidly. I’m bi, my family knows (because my mom accidentally outed me at Thanksgiving one year with an innocent comment she made about me swinging both ways) My mom is cool, my dad… We don’t talk about it. It’s easier to keep the peace that way. I keep it quiet around people I know have a problem with it, but I am never quiet about my support of equal rights. So, to conclude, my point is… Great post, Hun. Thank you for being so strong and sharing something so personal with us. You are amazing and I know that will never change! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  13. <3 So much bravery. To be yourself despite rejection, to share your story here, and to live out loud every day.
    I do think things are changing, and I think people like you are helping that change along, both with your writing and just by being true to yourself. :)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Debra E says:

    I watched my extended family, spearheaded by three older, Italian Catholic aunts, throw a baby shower when my cousin and her partner brought home their adopted little girl so to me it’s just unbelievable when the ones who should be supportive are the ones who tear you down. Glad you have your mom now to add to your list of supporters.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thank you Kade for sharing such a personal story. I am so sorry that you experienced such painful problems at a time when you needed support and unconditional love. The saddest part was when you said that you still look around you when a boyfriend is affectionate in public. That so upset me no one should be wary about showing love and affection. I’m glad you find things getting better it can’t happen soon enough for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Kade, you are a wonderful example of the face of change. You give me, a woman twice your age, hope that things are changing. My gay brother is in his late forties and TODAY his home state of Pennsylvania began marrying same sex couples. If it weren’t for brave young (and some a little older) men like you giving me the courage to speak my mind, I would never have gotten involved in a movement which has come to be such an important part of who I am. Your bravery in the face of bigotry spills over and fills those of us who have a soft heart open to change with your overabundance of bravery that you spill everywhere you go. I am proud and honored to know you. For the record, I still officially don’t get it. But I love you and will stand by your side to fight for your right to marry or not. It’s nobody’s fucking business.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Awesome that you were able to overcome it and that your relationship with your mom is thriving. It is a great thing that a lot of personalities have changed toward the subject. Their isn’t as much fear of the unknown. Hopefully we will continue to grow.

    Like

  18. Andrea Goodell says:

    Wow, You are such a happy – go- lucky person. Had know idea you had to struggle through such heartache to get to your happy place. At least you have your Mum by your side now.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Jennie LovesBooks says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad you & your mum are close again. I think the world is changing it’s view & I hope someday soon it will be seen as just another difference, like race or religion. Like the song says, “We all bleed red.”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Kym D says:

    Kade, as a mom, I am so happy that your own mom finally remembered who she is…YOUR MOM! While rejection from your family must have been so damned hard, I can tell by the relationships you have on FB and your books that it (rejection) also made you the absolutely wonderful person you are! My son will be 14; I have absolutely no idea if he likes girls OR boys (which is weird that a 13-almost-14 year old isn’t hormone-ing all over the place) but I do know that, either way, he’s my baby and all I want is for him to be happy…and I’ve told him this many a time. So, thank you for this post and thank you for making me tear up at 5:30 in the morning. <3

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks for sharing your story. I was lucky to grow up in a house where I can honestly say that none of the things that others saw seemed to matter. Race, sexuality, ect…until I got together with my husband I really didn’t realize that any of that was a big deal….my family always seemed to look at love was love and if who you loved made you happy it didn’t matter what race or sex they were…now looking back I was a little naive back then but still believe at love is love regardless. <3

    Like

  22. Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Kade. Glad you had such supportive friends and a mom that loves you no matter what. Here’s hoping for even more positive changes to come. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Kim W says:

    Thanks for telling your story. I live in SF Bay Area and I forget how things are in other parts of the country (though I’m sure there are plenty of bigots around here, just not so overt).

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Pingback: Our HAHAT 2014 Blog Tour Concludes Today With Jaime Samms And A Giveaway « The Novel Approach

  25. ladyfae74 says:

    Kade, I’m so glad that you and your mom have worked things out, even if it’s still not 100%.

    Sometimes I think things happen to a) seriously test us and b) for us to find the family (chosen family) that we were meant to have originally. It utterly blows to be made to feel less or outcast from your family, you came through it and luckily you have what sounds to be fantastic people in your life that have supported you completely. I kept/keep my sexuality out of my family’s circle. Mostly I did it out of respect for my grandparents that helped raised me and were very old school (they were the first generation born in the US.) Now it’s just the people that matter to me most, already know and accept me for who I am and who I want to be with. I’m really okay with that though, because they are the family I was meant to have. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Barbra says:

    I’m sorry your experience was so bad. I grew up, and have always lived, in the south. I can honestly see a big difference between now and 20-25 years ago. It’s obviously still not perfect, but it’s getting better. Maybe soon.

    Like

  27. Good morning, everyone, and thanks so much to all of you who followed along on the HAHAT 2014 Blog Tour. And a very special thank you to Kade Boehme for sharing such a personal part of himself with us.

    The giveaway for the $20 Dreamspinner gift card is now closed, and the winner’s been selected. The gift card goes to

    Penumbra

    Congratulations, Penumbra! I’ve emailed DSP Customer Service for delivery, so expect to hear from them soon. :)

    Like

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