Wait a second! Have you read ‘Home Sweet Home’ yet? WARNING-This post mentions self harm and suicide. Nothing descriptive, but still mentioned.
Myles leaned back in his chair, hands falling to his belly as he sat back.
“Mom the food was amazing!” He said, looking at her.
“I know, I made it.” Rose said, causing everyone at the table to laugh.
Myles eyed the fried plantains, debating if he had room for just one more.
Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Maria shaking her head as she looked at him.
“Babe don’t. Cause if you wake me up in the middle of the night when it’s all coming back up, I’m gonna kill you.” She said.
Myles turned to look at his wife.
“Baby, I used to be a cheerleader. I know how to throw up quietly.” He said, causing his brothers at the table to laugh.
Maria swatted her husband’s chest, causing him to laugh.
The couple sat and talked with their family a little more before it started to get late.
“Alright mama, I’ll see you in a couple days,” Maria said as she and Rose entered the kitchen.
“Of course my love.” She said as she pulled her daughter-in-law in for a hug and a kiss.
Myles handed his father the last dish before rinsing his hands and kissing his mother and father goodbye.
“I love your family, they’re the best.” Maria said as they made their way down the stairs.
Myles smiled as he looked at her, tucking her under his arm before leaning down to kiss her.
“Yeah, we do have a pretty great family, don’t we?” He said.
And it was true. Myles’ family were his biggest fans and supporters; they’d always been.
Back when Myles was younger, struggling with his identity, he spend countless nights, up worrying, wondering what was wrong with him.
Myles’s dysphoria didn’t hit right away. He went through puberty; grew boobs, got his period, and seemed fine. Sure, bras were annoying, and every time he got his period he cried funeral tears. Every. Single. Time. But no one liked getting their period, right? His sisters and friends all cried when they’d got theirs, and the sinking feeling and the disgust he felt every time he got his was normal… right.
At first, he tried to ignore it; did his best to pass as a lesbian. Myles had a few girlfriends, but when it came time for sex, that was when the dysphoria started to ramp up.
In the beginning, he thought it was just normal teenage insecurities, after all, he loved his girlfriends’ bodies. But the idea of someone touching him… the idea of someone having their hand on his breast, or a finger in his… no, no, hell to the no. The thought alone made his skin crawl.
For months he cried himself to sleep every night. Coming out as a lesbian was already hard enough, but now he had to come out again? As a…. As a what?
Back then, Myles didn’t have the language to describe himself. All Myles knew was his outsides didn’t match his insides, and that pained him. He felt like he was stuck in a costume. And the only way he knew how to get out was through cutting.
It was odd really, he’d heard about it in TV shows and read about it in books, but he didn’t think people actually did it.
It started out slow, purposely nicking himself when he’d shave his legs, and it snowballed into slits in his arms and legs.
Luckily for Myles, it only lasted a few weeks, before his mother caught him in the bathroom.
“Love?! What are you doing!” She yelled.
He tried to lie and say it was an accident, but the story was laid out like a book across his left thigh.
Johnny got a second job, with better insurance, and they got Myles a therapist.
Dr. Jackson was in no rush. She took her time, listening to Myles closely, asking him to explain things when she didn’t understand, and she stood by him every step of the way.
And when Myles finally mustered up the courage to come out to his parents, Johnny and Rose surprised him by accepting him without batting an eye.
For Johnny and Rose, they were there to guide and shape their children, not turn their kids into someone they wanted them to be.
It took some time, but Johnny and Rose started to use his pronouns, and they even helped him pick out a new name. Since money was tight, new clothes were tricky, but Myles could see that they were busting their asses to give him everything, and he loved them for that.
And when members of Johnny and Roses’ family would purposefully misgender Myles and try and tell him that he was sick, Rose and Johnny told him they were wrong, and helped him to feel secure.
People called it a phase and sent death threats to the family, but Rose and Johnny knew firsthand that they were doing right by their son.
Johnny had lost countless friends to suicide. It broke his heart that his own family members, friends, neighbors, and peers had pushed some of his favorite people to end their lives.
Rose’s best friend was a lesbian, but in their culture, there was none of that. There was ‘no such thing as being gay’ where she was from, and other than a few outcasts, there was no talk of being trans or anything of that nature.
Rose wept as she watched caskets of friends, family, and peers be lowered in the dirt. They blamed demons, sickness, and everything under the sun; all while refusing to look in the mirror and acknowledge the hatred they were spewing.
When Myles came out to his parents, Johnny and Rose made a promise to themselves and to one another; they would not bury their son. Even if it meant losing their families, and being alienated from their friends and community, they would not live to see the day when Myles’ casket was lowered into the ground.
It took everything they had, and then some, but they did it, Rose and Johnny managed to get Myles the help he needed.
“We have the best family,” Maria said.
Myles’s eyes twinkled as he looked at his wife. Leaning into her, he kissed her slowly, taking his time to really savor the feel of her lips on his.
“We really do.” He said, looking at her.
After climbing into Myles’s car, the couple made a stop at their local ice cream shop before making their way home.
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