22 years ago I gave the closing address to Xavier University Preparatory High School’s class of 1999

I was 17 years old

I remember my rolling stone of a father showing up and when the parents were asked to stand for recognition my brother’s Godfather glared him down in a silent gay rage

The thought of it brings so much joy to my heart that it almost negates the ache I feel thinking of my “aunt” who refused to stand
She was not blood but she was someone who loved my mother with such admiration and devotion that she took us into her home and raised us as her own

I knew it was because my mom was afraid people would think they were gay

That was all I could think about that night 22 years ago

Even after seeing most of the women my father reproduced with or was married to in the same room together
with my own mother

Even after stubbing my toe while almost getting caught sneaking in the contraband Bacardi Breezer that “THAT UNCLE” on my father’s side passed me

Even after feeling the strange cool cleansing wind that rustled papers off of my desk
moved my hair around my head
Because when my brother’s Godmother blessed my room she closed a portal I opened a year earlier on some #babywitchshit

All I could think was how fucked up it is to not acknowledge someone because of what others may think

I didn’t understand then
Even though I had my own secret laying next to me
wrapped in my arms
with her head against my chest

I was her secret too

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