Hi everyone, I thought I would take the time to talk about my best friend. His name is Balto, and I have had him for 10-11 years now. He never liked dog treats. He was always a messy drinker, and for some reason his favorite toy was a water bottle. He was always there with me, he watched me grow up and finish elementary school. He saw me off on my first day of middle school and He was there waiting for me on my last day of middle school. He saw me off for my first day of High School, and he was there when I first put on my graduation cap. He was always there for me, waiting for me to come back home at the end of the day. He was always there next to my side, whether I was playing games on the Playstation, doing my homework, eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Not a single moment went by, that he wasn’t by my side. I would talk to him about my problems, I would cry and hug him, whenever I was sad and he would always know when something was wrong with me. He would lay on my lap, as I tried to do homework. He would jump on the bed and then me, and try to wake me up. He would always go to the window and watch me drive off for school or wherever I was going, and he would always be there when I came back. Even after I moved away from home, and went to college. Whenever I would come back and visit, somehow he would know i was coming and wait by the door and bark as I pulled into my street. He would also get mad when I would try to give him a bath, or really get mad when I would take him to get a haircut. But no matter what, he always had this smile on his face, that just made everything better. He was always so dumb and dorky, and he would put up with my stupid ideas, like when i put a paper through his face. We would always go to Starbucks, he would always sit in the front seat, and I would always get him a puppucino. The way the lights and sun would reflect off his beautiful golden coat and shine off his eyes. He brought so much joy, happiness, and laughter to everyone of my friends. Our birthdays were a few days apart, so I would always go to any extent to be with together. All he ever did was make me happy. And Im so happy that he got to meet so many important people and friends in my life and his. And I wish that I could have done more for him, in his final hours. His stomach was twisting on itself, and the doctors said there was less than 10 percent chance of him coming out alive due to old age, and possibly another issue. The cost of his surgery would have started at 5,000 and would have gone up. And there was nothing I could do for him, except put him down. I wasn’t expecting to the first day of him coming and getting used to my apartment, so that he could live with me finally, to be our last. I only wish that I could know, I hope he knew that I tried my best, and that I would have done anything to help him. We were each others light, but in the end I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t keep him alive. But I also know, that he isn’t suffering anymore. Did I make the right choice? As much as people tell me I did, and that I did everything I could for him, I still cant help but feel responsible. I left him after moving away. I feel responsible, because I didn’t have the money for his surgery. And now at this point, I have his ashes with me, and I somehow feel better, that he is back home, with me. I haven’t yet come to terms with him gone. But I know that I have to keep on living and keeping his memory alive. And as stupid as it may sound, I feel like he is watching over me, and supporting me, because that is what he always did. As the light faded away from his eyes, I know that he was going to a better place. And as our last hour was ending, I played Sia for him, because Sia’s music was always his favorite. Whenever he was anxious and crying, her music would calm him down. I’m happy that the night before his last, was when he got to be with close friends as we celebrated our friends birthday. I’m happy about the scars that he gave me. I never liked talking about it but one night, he was sleeping and was having a nightmare. Not knowing this, I got close to him, thinking something was wrong with him, and he suddenly got scared and umped at me and bit me on the mouth. That night I was taking to the hospital to get stitched up and left with three scars on my face. He knew what he did and I knew hat it was an accident and it wasn’t his fault. I couldn’t stay mad at him, and the way he acted around me after that, he was always careful and didn’t want to hurt me again. I was always so self conscious about it, thinking it made me look ugly or bad. I always felt so insecure about my face with scars, but now, I’m happy that he gave them to me. To me, its another part of him, and it will always be on me, as a memory of him. My last words to him, I will never forget them. “Balto, thank you, I love you so so so much. Im sorry that you’re hurting right now, but you’re going to be in a better place now, you wont be in pain anymore. I love you.”
So today is coming out day, and I thought I would talk about it, I was… I never came out the way I wanted to, I never got the chance to go to my mom and tell her about me, I… the way I came out, or the way I was outed, was when my sister walked in on me, kissing a boy. I told my sister if she could not tell my mom, that I would tell her myself, and she agreed. Well, I come back from school, guess what. my mom is calling me to her room, and that we need to talk. and at that moment I knew, I knew what it was about. I was like… shit, I was so mad, I was so mad at my sister for betraying me. I wouldn’t call it betraying , but I was just mad that I didn’t come out the way i wanted to. That conversation went by my mom questioning me. Are you sure your gay, maybe it’s just a phase, is the other boys parents okay with it, you could get in a lot of trouble. all I just told my mom, that it’s just this, I’m not gonna change. She eventually came around to understand, little by little she learned more about it, and now we’re at a stage where we can casually talk about men and stuff. She accepts me for me, and she loves me and I love her. But every time I think about it, it’s really hurtful because I never got the chance to go to my mom, and tell her “mom, i’m gay.” and honestly I don’t know if I wanted to come out to my mom in general, I was outed sophomore year of highschool and I had no plans on telling anybody. My close friends already knew without me having to tell them, but to other people, I guess I don’t come off as gay? I guess I’m not gay enough? But I don’t have to be a certain level of gay to be happy with who I am.
My mom told me that I didn’t have to tell me dad or anyone else, she kept my secret and I’m really happy that i have that support from her. I was really surprise by the support of my moms side of the family. For a week, my mom and I went to Ensenada, Mexico for an annual family event, and after when we were on our way back to the U.S., my mom told me about my uncles conversation. Apparently my uncle and mom had a conversation about me. My uncle had told my mom, that she should let me be free and happy, and to be who I want to be. This of course was about me being gay. I started crying, I couldn’t even fathom that my uncle would support me, and even tell my mom to her face that she should let me be out and gay. But of course my mom already knew about me and told my uncle to fuck off, that she was already doing that. Later on, I found out that one of my favorite cousins came out as lesbian. She had been married to a man, and even had 2 kids, then she got divorced and is now happily with her now girlfriend. I feel that everyone should have a chance, on their own terms, to come out. There are people who still aren’t out of the closet and that is okay, they have the right to wait.
This year I had the great experience of going to San Francisco Pride with some of my amazing friends, and it was just so much fun. Seeing all the different people from the LGBT+ Community, all together just living their lives and having fun. I called my mom who was now about 400 miles away from me, and she was just so happy hearing about how much fun I was having and she was just so glad that I got this opportunity.
So to the ones who haven’t come out, take your time, there’s no need to rush, and just know there is a loving community patiently waiting for you to say you know who you are.