Dear Man I Never Met,
I missed you. Where were you when I needed you? I still miss you and I see you in every guy I meet. Maybe you're there to remind me you're always with me. Maybe you're there to taunt me. I'm not sure. But I still need you.
I grew up in a predominately white suburb of Chicago and it wasn't easy. When I was 12 or 13 I knew something was different about me. I wasn't like the other kids in my class. I wasn't into sports, I didn't like hanging out with anyone else except myself. I looked for you at my school and I couldn't find you. I said "Maybe I'll meet him next year"
The next year I was in middle school. We had just moved into a new house and we got a dog. He was my best friend. The kids at the bus stop made fun of me because I was 14 and had a mustache. I hated my mustache. Why did I have to have one anyways? Was THIS what being Mexican was about? If so, I didn't like it. I had a lot of bad days in middle school mostly because you weren't there. One day I had a good day, I walked home from the bus stop with a smile on my face. When I got home my dog was gone. My parents had given him away. I needed you really bad that day but you weren't there. I was hoping to meet you in middle school, but you weren't there either. I said 'Maybe I'll meet him in high school'
I tried shaving for the first time my freshman year, I cut myself pretty bad. Thank god for the internet. The internet really showed me how to do it the right way. I wanted to ask my dad but I was too embarrassed. I wanted you to show me, but you weren't there. Everyone was getting boyfriends and girlfriends that year. I got teased for not having a girlfriend. But the truth was that I didn't want a girlfriend. I wanted a boyfriend. But I was scared. I wanted you to tell me it was okay, that it was okay to feel this way, to think this way, to BE this way. But you weren't there. "Maybe he doesn't live here" I said. "Maybe I'll meet him next year when I got to Texas with my mom."
Texas was different. Everyone spoke Spanish except for me. I couldn't really communicate with my grandpa or my uncles and it sucked. They made jokes about me not knowing Spanish. It was all in fun but it made me feel sad. I needed you to be there to tell me it was okay to be Mexican and not speak Spanish. I looked for you as we drove around my mom's hometown. I figured I'd recognize you if I saw you. But no one looked familiar. "Maybe he's just busy" I thought to myself.
When I turned 18 I met someone. He was nice, and he reminded me of you. He was smart and he taught me a lot of things. He taught me that it was okay to be Gay. I always wanted you to teach me that but I guess as long as I learned it it was okay. He looked a lot like you, but he wasn't you. He broke my heart. I know you'd never do that but I was still mad at you for not being there after I was heartbroken. I needed you to be there as I spent countless nights crying in bed. But you weren't. Maybe you were busy doing something more important that helping someone get over over their first heartbreak. I really hated you that year. Can you blame me?
I met someone else, he was nice too. He didn't look like you but he sounded like you. And he taught me some cool things too. Like how to style my hair differently and dress nicer. Those are things I wish you would have shown me. I wish I could have seen what you dressed like so I could be just like you. But you weren't there. He broke my heart too. You weren't there for that either. I was starting to really not like you anymore. Why couldn't you just visit me? Just once.
I met another boy. And he looked AND sounded like you. He wanted to have sex. I didnt think I was ready and I needed you there to tell me what to do. How to handle it. But you weren't. I had to figure it out on my own. It wasn't the best experience and I really wished I had you there to talk about it afterwards. I waited and waited, but you never showed.
I see you in every boy I meet. You're there. In all of them. Teaching me things, showing me things. Helping me see me for me. But here's the thing, none of them are you. So I drive them all away and leave them before they leave me. Sometimes I act out and self destruct. I make them believe they're the ones leaving me so they don't feel as hurt. The thing is I really need you, and I've been waiting for years to meet you but you never show.
I'm older now. I'm turning 26 in a few months. Hey I made it! It's hard to think about you still. I still have anger built upside me from years of you not being there. Sometimes I take it out on the people closest to me although I don't mean to. I should really show the people I love how much I love them. I'm gonna work on that next.
Guess what? I have a nephew now. He's the cutest thing in the world. I couldn't imagine not being in his life. He's the reason I keep going. I made a promise when he was born that I wouldn't turn out like you and go missing when he needs someone. I made that promise about him and my other two younger brothers. For years, I needed you. I needed you to show me how strong I can be. How much of a privilege it is to be a Gay Mexican-American in America. I needed you there to guide me and you never were. I spent a lot years lost because of you. And you know what? It's your loss because I think I turned out pretty well. And you missed it.
Wherever you are, whoever you are, I hope you're there for the next kid who needs you. Because everyone deserves to have someone to talk to. And everyone deservers to have someone to guide them.
I wish I could say I don't need you, but I wish I could meet you. Just once. Cause I still miss you.