When I was fourteen, I was the victim of a homophobic attack. I was sent A&E for stitches, which took three hours, and counselling, which took three years. In sixth year at school, at the age of seventeen, I was given this form to fill out as part of a survey being conducted on the entire year group regarding loneliness and depression in teenagers.
I don’t know why I never handed the form in. I filled it out in the privacy of the study hall, nose almost pressed to the desk, using my unfortunate 2012 emo hair to cover the page from wandering eyes. When everyone was filing up to hand their form in, I stuffed the envelope into my bag and raced out of the hall. I suppose maybe I was scared everyone would see what I’d written. Or that the study hall monitor would pass the results onto a teacher who would recognise my handwriting and that I’d be called out for it. (Yes, that’s exactly how paranoid I was at this point. My mental health was terrible.)
In all honesty, these answers were cushioned. Some 1s were really 2s or 3s, and some 10s were really 8s or 7s. The numbers are roughly right, except just a bit censored. At the age of seventeen, I didn’t actually have friends as much as I had a group of people I stood with at lunch. I had one close friend at an all-girls’ school about two miles away who I only saw on the weekends when we would go into town together. I had a small group of boys who were gay who I spoke to now and then. But they were interested in things like Katy Perry, Pretty Little Liars and Gay Pride Parades, while I was not. So I wasn’t really their “friend” so much as I was “the other wee lad that doesn’t like the same things we do”.
School was honestly the worst hell I’d ever been through. I’d get called gay, homo, fruit, faggot, queer, every slur under the sun, I’ve been called it. By not only bullies, but people who I thought were my friends, too. It took powering through the war zone of seven school years to realise they weren’t really. Every day I woke up wanting to roll over and go back to sleep. To everyone else, the hallways were just a commute from one class to the next. For me, it was like traversing a minefield where every boy that passed by was another potential abuser, a potential attacker and a potential homophobe. Even teachers made things worse. I had a PE teacher call me a queer and a faggot, and another teacher who told a transgender friend of mine that she wouldn’t get bullies if she “didn’t act like that”. (At the time, she believed she was still a cis male, and attended the same all-boys’ Catholic school I did.)
Apart from going to school, I couldn’t leave the house properly between the ages of fourteen and sixteen.
Even at school, there were certain halls and classes I would avoid, having committed to memory when my bullies had to walk through them to get to their classes. I would show up late to class constantly with no excuse. On certain days, the willpower to dodge my bullies was so weak that I would fake sick just so I could stay off. School days were challenges. I went to a school in the mountains (that’s Ireland for you) so there was a long, steep path into the school itself that you had to walk up every morning. Climbing that hill every morning is the perfect metaphor of what it felt like mentally preparing myself for school.
I thought there was something wrong with me. That the reason nobody wanted to be my friend was because I’m gay, and I had to change in order to make people like me. I was in the closet except for a few people, and still couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone. I felt ashamed to be gay, and believed that if I came out, I would just be inviting people to attack me all over again.
I started experimenting with religion, since Catholicism rejected me, and especially since we were taught in GCSE Religion that gay people had no place in marriage, which never sat right with me. I looked into everything - Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism - before finally settling on Wicca. Wicca teaches that gay people can be accepted as long as we don’t harm anyone. Practicing Wicca was like a security blanket, and it made me feel welcomed for once.
I’m 20 now, and my life has drastically changed. For a start, I lost the emo hair and stopped listening to Secondhand Serenade. I abandoned Wicca and I’m now an Atheist - religion never suited me as a person, and I always felt like I was clinging to something that wasn’t there for acceptance. I got an A and two B’s in my A-Levels and I got into my dream university to study English with Creative Writing. I have a few big friend groups that I’m a part of, and most importantly, I’m out of the closet to my friends and immediate family, all of whom accept and love me anyway. Today, I realise there’s nothing wrong with me. There’s something wrong with homophobes. There is no “cure” for being gay, because it’s not a disease the way homophobia is. I don’t exactly scream gay pride and wrap myself in rainbows. I’m not ecstatic to be gay, but I’m happy with the way I am. It’s not a controlling factor in my life anymore. Being gay is about as paramount and as influential to me as being right handed. It doesn’t change who I am as a person other than being attracted to men rather than women.
Every now and then I’ll take this form out and look at it to see how far I’ve come. Whenever I feel sad, I look at the numbers I’ve marked down and remind myself that it could always be worse and that I’ll never feel that bad again. If you’re suffering after experiencing traumatic homophobia, I can tell you for a fact that it does get better and the quality of your life does improve. Some day your 1s will turn into 10s and you won’t feel like you’re tiptoeing around the people surrounding you.
Welcome to part 2 of my top 200 Miku songs (100-1). Any information you may need is in part 1 (200-101), so make sure you check that out first.
(As I pointed out in part one, one of the final edits I made to this list just didn’t save for some reason. Sekirau Graffiti* is one of the most important songs that should be on this list)
Let’s get straight into it:
100. Sound 99. Yume Yume 98. Ray 97. Karakuri Pierrot 96. Ai Kotoba II 95. Hato 94. Culture Blooming Girl 93. Personality Complex 92. Ripen, Fruitless Flower 91. I Wanna Do It 90. Journal Justify 89. If You Do Do 88. Ai Dee 87. IROHA 86. Two Dimensional Dream Fever 85. Online Game Addicts 84. Deus Ex Machina 83. Meteor 82. Delusion Tax 81. Schrodingeiger’s Kitten 80. Love Trial 79. Don’t Kill the Love Song 78. Morning Mist 77. Game Specter 2 76. Love Song (LamazeP) 75. Anti Beat 74. Astro Troopers 73. Let’s Start 72. Sekiranun Graffiti 71. The People Dance 70. Shikabane no Odori 69. Embarrasxxx 68. Gigantic Girl 67. Are You Still a Bit Skittish Today? 66. Stickybug 65. Redial 64. Soleil 63. Splatter Party 62. Cat Food 61. Usotsuki no Parade (Parade of liars) 60. The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku 59. Idol wo Sakase 58. Viva Happy 57. Mono Poisoner 56. Tsukimiyo Rabbit 55. Freely Tomorrow 54. Rolling Girl 53. Kagerou Days 52. Blushifying Phenomena 51. When the Morning Glory Falls 50. Love Philosophia
49. Ironic Metaphor 48. Kuru Kuru Pa! 47. Shinkai Shoujo/Deep Sea Girl 46. Secret Police 45. Koi wa sensou/Love is war 44. Alice in Black Market 43. Antiselector 42. Bad∞End∞NighT 41. Romeo and Cinderella 40. Bacterial Contamination 39. Common World Domination 38. World is Mine 37. Matryoshka 36. Ai Kotoba 35. Raison D'etre 34. Marionette no Kairaku 33. TwoFaced Lovers 32. Kocchi Muite Baby 31. Sweet Devil 30. Initiation 29. Slow Motion 28. Goodbye, Ms. Floral Theif 27. Crazy∞nighT 26. Party x Party 25. City Boy 24. Summer Night Fantasia 23. This FuckedUp Wonderful World Exists For Me 22. Streaming Heart 21. Twilight ∞ nighT 20. EveR∞LastinG∞NighT 19. Hibikase 18. Two Breaths Walking 17. The Fox’s Wedding 16. 39 15. Tokyo Retro 14. StargazeR (Live) 13. News 39 12. Burenai ai de 11. A young girl, so vivid in the night
10. Senbonzakura 9. Violet 8. Alice in Musicland 7. The Music Wizard of Oz 6. Spinal Fluid Explosion Girl 5. Merry & Nicolaus 4. Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa 3. Odds and Ends 2. World’s End Dancehall 1. Unhappy Refrain