I'd like to thank you for wanting to learn more about me. My name is Caleb Mertz and I'm twenty years old. I grew up in a small Christian town; Nazareth Pennsylvania. When I was younger, before I wrote this book, I had a burden resting on my shoulders no one could figure out. I didn't even know what was so different about me until I was thirteen. That's when I placed the word "gay" with my life.
I was a regular boy facing many extraordinary difficulties unique to those known to other students in high school. I kept a journal to try and establish order amongst the chaos in my life. I struggled with the fact of homosexuality, and was determined to keep that to myself. Anger crept its ugly face into my life and suicide became a definite option.
The urge for suicide was so strong because I attended an Assemblies of God church at the time. I was involved in Royal Rangers, Youth Group, and had a strong faith in what was taught. With that one of the most powerful sermons that affected me the most was on "The Falacies of Homosexuality." I learned a demon takes control of a lost soul, and after that sin had been committed, would be harder than a heroin addiction to break. (Not even to mention that it was an unforgivable sin). One night I said "Screw it, I'm going to hell anyway. No one will love me..." blah blah blah. I wanted to take my life that night. I stopped and that is what gave me the strength to continue. Shortly thereafter I learned a young man by the name of Matthew Shepard had been tied to a fence-post and pistol whipped to death. I, by the age of 14, had realized how much hate there was in the world.
It wasn't until three years ago that I postulated why there was so much hate. Maybe nobody knew what it was like. Maybe ignorance was breeding this intolerance. Before I realized what "gay" was I'd never been exposed to this possibility. I'd been programmed in school and in daily life that a guy was with a girl. So when I realized an attraction to guys I thought there was something wrong with me. This only made my confusion worse. I did research and found that supposedly Homosexuality was learned. This I knew could not be the case. In order to learn something, you must be exposed to it, or study it, not live it.
I continued on this path of self enlightenment by doing constant searches on the internet, talking to other gay people, and even went to a therapist with my issues. Here Dr. Krause informed me that it is not abnormal, and that 10% of all teenagers in the United States were gay. It was a matter of finding those ten percent to make friends with. This made me feel better, but what I didn't realize was the amount of self-enlightenment heading my way.
One day while packing my things to move out of my mom's house I found my old journal. I sat down and for the following two hours read what I wrote. I had more insight than I thought I did and managed to describe things so well it was only right to make it a book. I wanted the world to know what it was like for Jason going through life, just a little different than any other kid he knew. I altered scenarios and added a lot to the manuscript to make it more appealing and readable. I thought that maybe, just maybe there might be someone out there that could pick up my book and gain as much insight as I had. I didn't publish this book under the "gay" genre because it has no reason to be there. It deserves to be in with all the other books, unsegregated, and easily attainable. I know that I would not have ventured down the "gay/lesbian" section of a book store if I was still in the closet.
Until recently I hadn't officially come out to my dad. Well, I didn't have to. My sisters did all the work for me. Just about a week ago, my dad referred to me as a "faggot" and a "fuck up". My sister whom was talking to him flipped out on him, and wound up hanging up the phone. My sisters consoled me later that night with tears in their eyes. They couldn't understand why our father, who was supposed to love us no matter what, would say such nasty words about me. I looked at them and told them it didn't matter. I am who I am. He is who he is. "He'll come to love me one day if he doesn't already. He was mad and didn't mean what he said." That was until he showed up at the house to take the one sis driving. I was sitting out on the porch, unaware of these plans, when he drove by. When my sis called him after I told her, he said he wouldn't stop by as long as I was there.
I can't explain the undeserved sense of loss I feel knowing that my dad feels that way about me. No one that I have run into has had such a distaste for me like my dad. I realize this happens everyday. There is no real way to get over it, there is no way that you can wave a magic wand and make it change. Only time can do that. I can't wait for the day when he accepts me. When gay marriage is legal, I would love to see my dad at my wedding. If he isn't there I can only hope the pain won't be as bad, as when he drove by and didn't even stop. Thank you again for reading this, and blessed be.
Author "With Thoughts of Jason" and "The Silhouetted Leaves"
As a follow up, my dad has come to terms. He isn't thrilled, per say, but he has come to accept all of his kids flaws. Love you Dad!