The boy goes by the name of Manuel Half. To protect him I have scrubbed any references to his real name, his city, his language, or his nation. One day, I am sure, he will come forward and speak publicly. But for now, he is vulnerable and must finish school without dealing with the backlash from LGBT militants and his controlling homosexual father.
He wrote to me upon the recommendation of Hommen, the radical children's rights movement, composed entirely of young men, which arose in response to Femmen and against homosexual adoption in France. Since its inception, Hommen spread quickly to other nations.
Manuel Half has been struggling painfully with his home situation, for he feels deep anger at his homosexual father for buying him, for erasing the role of his mother, and exposing him to homosexuality in the home, which Manuel feels compromised his masculinity and caused confusion in him. As his manifesto explains, he had a breakdown one night and did an internet search on his computer, looking for resources for disenchanted children of homosexual surrogacy contracts.
He found Hommen and was immediately lured by the courage and idealism of the young men's movement, which he correctly viewed as pro-children's rights rather than "anti-gay." But Hommen has a strict rule that males must be twenty years old before joining their group, so someone in the organization forwarded Manuel Half to me for mentorship and help.
When Manuel contacted me, I wanted to help him but felt fearful of his father's backlash. Like other children of same-sex couples who have contacted me, he is torn between self-preservation and self-expression. This is the dilemma that children of gays and lesbians can understand better than anybody else: Having been, so often, groomed explicitly for the purpose of vindicating our parents against their own sense of inadequacy, we learn that our whole reason for being is to protect the people who raised us from judgment and criticism. The rage and resentment we feel is something that years of emotional blackmail have usually taught us to suppress and modulate. It is crucial to choose the right time to come forward and declare one's independence from the homosexual ideology that framed and dictated our psychological relationship to the world around us.
In communicating with Manuel Half, I found that he poses a particularly difficult case. While my counsel is usually to stay away from the public eye, to avoid the wrath of homosexual extremists and one's own parents, I realize that he is different from other children of same-sex couples I've come into contact with. He does not want to wait. He is not content with having me protest on his behalf. He feels the urge to come out of the closet with his true feelings, and fight for the rights of other children not to be created in the kind of bondage he has known.
He reminds me in many ways of my mother, the daring Puerto Rican lesbian who would not be told how to live back in the late 1960s. Manuel is not a person who can live in silence, in a closet, or inside lies. But as a means of compromise, to keep him from exposing himself to too much hurt, others and I have convinced him to accept at least, the "mask" of a pseudonym and cautious internet anonymity.
I know that for him, to keep his feelings at bay and not leap into the fray alongside Hommen, publicly denouncing the wrongs he has experienced, is a heroic act of restraint on his part. It takes courage, sometimes, not to be too courageous. And so, in honor of him, to pay homage to the strength he has in living through his torment without exploding, I have translated his manifesto below. I invite you to read it.
The Manifesto of Manuel Half, and Ode to Hommen
by Manuel Half
It is an October evening.
There you are, along with me and my dread of hearing you scream at the computer, as you are prone to do.
Against the the TV and the radio too. You do it all the time.
It changes you, the anger, when it surges. The anger when people do not listen. The people, they are something else -- they are all wicked, you say, those who want to hold your head under the water.
The air is hot outside, and it is hot inside. Inside and out it is hot, for it is October in ----------------. The sound of something flung close by, in your rage, upon the ground, I hear it. In fury you shout and you stomp around and you curse your own hide.
People are wicked you say, yet they obey. And you shield yourself with you and your jokes, which you have turned into poison darts.
I asked you nothing. You replied only to my face, which has always been waiting for this. They are bastards, you chanted and repeated, just in the time that you fled to your room.
This was enough for me. But then, changing gears, you explained to me the meaning of my life. I listened to you, sitting down, and you, shrugging, were speaking in rapid-fire bursts, shooting at air targets with your arms.
People are wicked, you scream, those people who say you are not equal. Those whose love they say your love cannot equal. Those who say your boyfriend is worth less, and those for whom even less your son is worth.
People do not understand a homosexual father. Because of this, you make me call you by your name. It's more practical, more plausible. Maybe, by calling you Papa, some feeling would be kindled inside me.
But it's good night, and then that is enough, and off you went to bed.
What now? I turn on my portable radio, which I use to block out your screams.
I cannot sleep. I cannot sleep.
You were screaming at your PC. I move the mouse and away goes my face, which I use as a screensaver. There -- because of your scream, it appeared on the screen. I block myself off, focusing only on what I have found on the net: that logo, those colors, twenty seconds, adrenaline, which fix everything in my mind, and I turn around the room, on that October night, in ------------. So it goes all night.
The name I find is new, men of a new world, as new as the thoughts and the words brandished. Eager, as one who jumps and grabs at banknotes falling from the heaven in the millions, I save as many words as possible. This drive to know, to know all, cannot be quenched.
And that is how I spent the night, watching them -(The Hommen)- proud and strong, unstoppable warriors. White masks to wear, all of them, as they strut in the street. You fighters give me the will that did not exist before, the will that wasn't in me yet. Defenders of the future, as nobody like you has understood, you go to the source, to try to cover the poison wells.
And where the others, for defense, build up holy and true words, you go for the attack, to stop the bloodletting by the destroyers. And there I go with you, me too. As a warrior in the face of his wounded father.
And there--I meet my father! To call out his crimes! He is small and lisping, clawing and clinging to the man he is not.
I say to him: Your invented world stands firm on a foundation of lies: And if you only lie and if you only lie more still, you will array that world of slaves and slavery, with painted and glittering shackles. I am not, and am, only your trophy to piece together and take apart again, to show and hide as it suits you. I come to tell you this, to scream at you, my torso bare, clothed with words of truth, to tell you all this and strike a blow against you, with a fist raised between poison and the future. For there is a future, now.
You stand up for the idea of a father without a mother, which is, without a mother, no father at all, but something else. And it, that mother, you say, matters for nothing--don't think of her at all: And don't look for her among people made from fathers and mothers, since you say they suffer with their fathers and mothers.
And you say that I am the example and model that proves your full and healthy wholeness, which you built at the cost of my my full and healthy wholeness.
I am Manuel Half, half a man.
I come from a homosexual father, who boils, who fights, who laughs at women's wombs, another mother of another world--my reality, where there is neither father nor mother.
I am Manuel Half, half a man, from a homosexual father.
I wear my mask, white for truth. I craft my tear, black for lies. I wave my fist, red for pain.
I come against you, father, ready to stop you. To shout against you, I am the half who filled your void.
Fight with me, Father, to discover that love that you say was always denied you, to find the man that is man only if there is woman. And father only if there is mother. It is this new world I have found, overflowing with a love not extorted, not half but rather complete. That world is the true one.
I am he who stands before you, masked and true, to stop the bloodletting and the poisonous lies. You can touch me. Erase with one blow the hardened tear that is printed unmovingly and yet speaks.
A son does not see things as a son, cannot scream of the right that by man was taken away.
I am Manuel Half, half a man, from a homosexual father. I will never give up.