Paul is the perfect teenager: a beloved son, an attentive boyfriend, a good friend, he is perfect in anything he wants to achieve. But I felt something uneasy in Paul, a drive to be accepted that is almost unhealthy: Paul is a latino american, but when he moved to Texas with his parents, he was the odd kid out and the only to accept him was Angie, a kid his same age who was beautiful and kind, and very religious. Angie is the good kind of religious girl, the type who really understands the concept of “love your neighbor as yourself”. In the little child Paolo, the concept to be accept was similar to the concept be like Angie, if he was like Angie he would be part of a group. And so little Paolo became Paul, and he also became a good Christian boy, every Sunday in the church, and of course he became also Angie’s boyfriend. To excel in everything was for Paul a proof that he was one of them, one of the good boy.
When he is a teenager, Paul starts to have “strange” feelings for other guys, feelings that Paul is more than able to indentify, but that he doesn’t want to acknowledge: being gay means being not perfect, it’s against the religion he was taught, it’s against the life he is expecting to have, it’s, above all, against his feelings for Angie, being gay means that he has to leave Angie, and leaving Angie is something he doesn’t want to consider, Angie represents everything little Paolo wanted.
When Manuel, an out and proud gay guy, transfer to their school, it’s not the first time Paul was questioning his sexuality. It’s not fault, or merit, of Manuel that Paul realizes he is gay, Manuel is only giving to Paul the proof that there is another way to consider the question, being gay doesn’t mean being excluded, being unhappy, being a paria. Manuel is not hiding his feelings, and moreover, he is not denying his love for Jesus Christ and God; Manuel achieved the result of accepting himself and at the same time continuing to love God and religion, only that his concept of God and religion is a concept of love and acceptance, not a concept of refusal and limitation.
Paul and Manuel’s path is not easy, and they will have a chance only since, among the majority of people who will refuse them, they will find also people who will accept them, not since those people are good or kind, but simply since those people will understand that Paul and Manuel are like any other teenager.
Amazon: The God Box
Amazon Kindle: The God Box
Italian translation available from Playground Libri, E' una questione d'amore: http://www.playgroundlibri.it/libri.php?lid=42