I remember as a young kid my two older brothers talking about girls; then realizing I had similar thoughts, but for boys.
I remember when a neighbor told my parents all gay people had aids.
I remember adults I admired treated homosexuality like it was a literal plague.
I remember trying to calculate every mannerism and word as to not give away my own secret.
I remember my first group of friends where I had no fear of being attacked or shunned.
I remember fighting with my brother when I found out the LDS church grouped gay people living together along with pedophiles and rapists.
I remember the apathy of loved ones stinging more than the explicit hate from strangers.
A lot of memories went into this painting; a lot of relics from my past. I feel like if I never touch on the subject again, this painting could stand as a monument to growing up as a gay mormon in Idaho. The good and the bad, the light and the dark, the pain and the hope all interacting and woven together.
There is no going back; and for that, I am grateful.