|(A white unicorn with a rainbow shooting out it's mouth stands before the slogan: It Gets ... Different)|
it gets different.
Attending the University of Victoria, I discovered several things. One of which I was worthy of friendship, even love. Joe and I, who met in high school, were there together and together we navigated the quiet, secret, hidden, fearful, lives of gay teens before the revolution. We both knew that no one knew, and we both understood that, though we had no desire for being different, suffered from no temptations for therapy, the pressures to be something else were enormous. The message that we were different and deviant weren't, shall we say, subtle. The message 'anything but gay' - it was, and still is in some places, more acceptable to be a murderer than it is to be a boy kissing a boy. We were under no illusions, no one would willingly switch places with us - something that we would have refused nonetheless.
I get differenter.
The advent of the wheelchair made it clear that I was now an other other and that no one, no one, understood that I was just rolling instead of walking. "I'd rather be dead than disabled." Right.
I was sitting in my front room chair. The one without wheels. When I heard Sadie climb into my desk wheelchair and begin to push herself around. When her mom asked her what she was doing she said, "I'm being Dave." She continued to play on the chair for several minutes, not crashing into a single thing, and then she hopped off the chair to become Sadie again.
I was in my chair thinking about all those times in school feeling alone. All those times at university hiding. All that time adapting to life on wheels. All that time I never imagined that anyone would ever willingly step into my place. That anyone would ever pretend to be me for fun.
But I guess that's because Sadie is a little girl who has learned that big men in wheelchairs who live with a man named Joe - isn't such a bad thing to be.
Isn't such a bad thing to be.
"I'm being Dave." Three little words that smash through years and years of history.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only three little words can smash the picture of the past.
I'm. Being. Dave.
It. Got. Better.
It. Got. Different.