Once in a while, you come across someone who you meet. I remember meeting this person at a party. He was dating one of my former friends. We met from there and our friendship took off. I experienced a ton of things with him. He forced me to open my mind in ways I could never imagine. When I was sixteen, my best friend, Aaron came along. At that time, I only hung out with guys for the most part. I still prefer male friendships over female friendships. I have a lot more in common with men versus women.

I don’t enjoy wearing dresses, heels, or spend money on purses or makeup. I never enjoyed the “girly” things in life. I actually loathed those things. My mom would force me to wear dresses and I hated those. I would be the girl who tore off her dress as soon as she returned home. I used to make my mom so angry with me. “You have the body and the looks! You need to be more feminine.”

I hated that. I loved dances but I hated wearing a dress. I remember Aaron coming along and he helped me pick out a small black velvet dress. I did have the body at that time. I was small and 118 pounds. After having 4 kids, surgeries, and autoimmune diseases that is no longer my weight. Anyway, he helped me pick out the heels and the tiny black dress. I still have a picture of that dress that I buried. I’ve successfully buried my prom pictures too. You won’t find a picture of me anywhere. I can’t speak for my exes. They may have some of my pictures. But they won’t reveal them. They aren’t that mean.

Anyway, it drove Aaron crazy because I would wear the baggy black pants and baggy t-shirts. I had layers and layers of clothes on. I hated when Aaron forced me to shop for clothes because he picked out my outfits. “You have curves. What are you doing, girl?”

Aaron was crazy. He was a stoner who listened to Nirvana and Live all the time. He would dye his hair all sorts of colors. Sometimes he shaved his head and sometimes he had spikes. He always had a dog collar around his neck and wore black eye liner all the time. He had the baggy pants with chains down his side. Anywhere I went, he followed. Aaron, Kevin, Robert, Billy, and a few others always kept an eye out for me at parties. None of them were gay or identified as gay. Aaron had a brother who was trans. For work purposes, his brother became a guy. But when he was home, his brother turned into a good-looking woman. It was the first time I was exposed to the LGBTQA world and it is a wild world.

This will sound probably embarrassing, but I never seen a penis until Aaron showed me magazines. Any questions about sex, I asked Aaron. He would often laugh his ass off at me and I could remember being so pissed off at him. Remember, I grew up in a staunch conservative family. The topic of sex was forbidden. My mom didn’t want to discuss it or have a part of it. I remember asking my sister-in-law about anal sex in front of my mother and she threw a fit. My mother made sex dirty and the topic of anal sex was too taboo. I had to get that filthy idea out of my head. Sex is only for procreation and nothing else in her world. My mom was about to give me an exorcism and sprinkle holy water over me. That is how bad her reaction was.

When I did have sex for the first time, I didn’t wait. I rebelled and did it well. I made sure to use a condom and had birth control. My friends and other family members talked to me about sex. Aaron helped my mom understand that sex was natural. She hate Aaron with a passion. But Aaron had one of those personalities that you couldn’t ignore. He was born in Orlando, Florida and his family moved to Kentucky. He hated the state as much as I did.

Anyway, Aaron and I helped other teens who were struggling to come out of the closet. We protected other LGBTQA from fights from their parents. One of our friends hung himself in the closet and it nearly destroyed us. Kentucky is coming around but it is still a red state. Several of our friends came out of the closet with our help to explain things to their parents. Now one of them is happily married and he was the first one in that line. That was a proud moment for us.

Because of Aaron’s loving heart, he changed me as a human being. He helped me see things differently and I’m so glad he did. As the years rolled by, Aaron later on married and had two kids. Unfortunately he died in his sleep at age 35. We lost him last October. His family still leaves his Facebook page up. I won’t delete his page either. He was loved so much by so many. I still can’t believe he’s gone. He left behind a little girl and son.

If my books ever take off, I swear on my life, I want to open up Aaron’s home for the LGTBQA runaway teens. There are so many of them living out on the streets. They need a place to feel safe and wanted. So many families still have that narrow-minded thinking. When you have a child, you’re supposed to love them unconditionally. It makes me sick to my stomach that there are so many people who are kicking their children from their homes, just because they are LGTBQA. I could never do that to my children. I make sure to keep an open dialogue with my children. I don’t want my kids to fear sex or fear who they are. I would also like to become a part of reforming our foster care system, which is a total wreck. We need proper education for when teens age out. The whole system needs an overhaul. We need the right people in the system. The adoption system needs overhauled too. We need proper monitoring so people will stop getting ripped out of their hard-earned money for broken dreams. Those are my goals as a writer. I don’t want to be famous. But it would be nice if my series took off. My bills are low and I want to be comfortable. I don’t need a fancy mansion or an expensive car. I want to make sure my kids are taken care of. But I would take every penny and make sure Aaron’s House comes to life. That is my ultimate dream. And to raise mental health awareness. We need more education where it’s lacking. Maybe one day, we will all become a more tolerant society.

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