Click on the video to listen to this a cappella song. This is only the reprise. If you like to hear the full song, then you should scroll down to one of the older articles published on the 1st of October 2021.
Lyrics by Ryan Maurice Roemer.
Filmed on 15 December 2020.
Originally, the title of this song used to be ‘I’M NOT LOVED’. I wrote this song in early 1993 when I was 14 years old. I used to sing: ‘I’m not loved. This child is not loved.’ I was a lonely black teenager who was bullied at high school, because I was different and gay, so with this song I expressed my pain and sorrow. Actually, bullying had already started when I was 12 years old. I was bullied by some older white boys in my neighbourhood Houtwijk in The Hague in the Netherlands. They always called me a ‘faggot’. They didn’t like me, because I was a girlie boy with a feminine type of voice. One day a large group of older teenboys, maybe 10 boys, started throwing big stones at me. In the afternoon me and a friend (a Dutch white boy) went to a little nature park in my neighbourhood. He was 12 years old just like me. He was a junior swimming champion and loved water sports, so we went sailing in a mini inflatable boat in the waters of this little park. The group of bullies saw us and walked to the ditch side and started throwing big stones at me and calling me a ‘faggot’ and they screamed that they hated me and wanted to beat me up. It was very overwhelming and intimidating. Luckily, my friend who was taller and very strong started rowing really fast in the water. We tried to escape to another part of the water, but the bullies kept following us, while they walked along the ditch side. We shouted that they should stop throwing stones, but they continued doing this for more than an hour. We tried to hide behind large plants in the water. We had to stay in our boat and could not return to the land, because those big boys stood on the ditch side and threatened to beat me up. Nobody came to help us, because nobody noticed. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed, because now my friend knew that many boys in the neighbourhood called me a ‘faggot’. That was not so cool of course. I also felt sorry that he had to experience this traumatic event because of me. I felt a bit guilty, because he was not gay or girlie at all. So this is how a beautiful sunny afternoon became a nightmare. Eventually, after more than an hour the bullies walked away, finally. It felt like survival. Even today I still have a mild form of social anxiety disorder and PTSD.
Because of this event in spring 1991 I became aware that I was very different from other boys and at that moment I knew that my life was going to be very different from other people’s lives. And indeed my life has been very different. I have received a lot of rejections from people in this life time. Even plenty of rejections from other gay people. When I was about 16 years old, my aunt who is bisexual warned me and said that gay men hate effeminate men. Well, many years later when I was 21 years old I found out that my aunt was right. I came out of the closet in 2000 and started exploring the gay scene in the Netherlands. It’s true that a lot of gay men hate femininity in other men. They hate softness in men. They think it’s something bad. I’ve never received any real support from the gay community. Most gay men (the masculine types) don’t really know what it’s like to be different. Being masculine is still a privilege in this world. Honestly, I think that a lot of gay men are afraid to show feminine characteristics.
If you’re a girlie boy, then most people wil stay away from you. They won’t be interested in friendship and won’t pay serious attention to you, unless you dress up in drag queen clothes. People seem to like men in drag, because they like to be entertained. I know that some people wonder if I walk around in high heals and with makeup, but I’ve never done that. There’s nothing wrong with it. If men like to do that, they should feel free to enjoy it. I noticed that drag queens have become very popular in recent years. There are also a lot of straight men who like to walk around in women’s clothes and lingerie. It has become a fetish, I guess. Because of this current hype things seem to have improved for feminine men, but that’s not really the case. If you’re a girlie boy who is not a crossdresser, then you will still be rejected a lot in daily life. Not only your social life will be very different, but also your professional life will be different, because you will get fewer opportunities. So I understand why some gay men decide to start working as drag queens. Drag queens are so popular now. But that’s not something I would do, because I don’t want to be seen as a clownesk entertainer, but as a human being in the first place.
There is a reason why I became the way I am today. After so many rejections I had no choice but to grow incredibly strong spiritually. That’s the only way to survive.
I’ve changed the title of my song to ‘I AM LOVED’. From now on I will sing: ‘I am loved. This child is very loved.’ Because I cannot and don’t want to leave this planet thinking that I’m not loved. I know that the Universe loves me, the great Cosmic Spirit loves me, Mother Nature loves me and my own mother who gave birth to me loves me too. And I also love myself. In this lifetime I have encountered angels protecting and guiding me. So this is my message to all children who are victims and survivors of bullying: I know this is a very nasty world, but don’t ever stop loving yourself. And don’t let the bullies trick you into thinking that God doesn’t love you. That’s the biggest lie of all. God loves you more than you’ll ever know.