It’s a surprisingly common burden, Ann Litts. Much more so than many people understand. Oh, rejection doesn’t always lead to the streets like this, and it isn’t always overt, but it’s always toxic.

Even this boy, from the story he told me, or as much as I can remember of it all these years later, wasn’t physically thrown out of his home. His parents let their disgust with him be known, they placed intolerable restrictions on his life and freedom, and they demanded that he change something he had no control over.

He fled out of a combination of self preservation and grief. I don’t suppose he made it, if you want to know the truth. HIV was raging, he couldn’t afford food let alone condoms, and I’m sure he had little to no access to health care.

You think a mother’s love is inviolable, don’t you? It’s a romantic ideal. And to you and countless good people like you, it IS real.

Sadly, for some of us, ideals are never fully realized.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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