He was from the south originally but moved to Chicago after college. More than ten years later, he was still there– the only one from his family who’d ever left his home state. We liked a few of the same things. We’d had a few similar experiences. Chit-chatting was hard, but he was talented and funny.

“Did you always plan to move to Chicago?”

We were waiting for friends and found ourselves alone at the snack table.

“No, not really. I would’ve preferred to stay in Alabama. I wanted to be closer to my family.”

“Oh, so why did you move?”

I’m rooting for Titus Andromedon.

Everyone I know who has “come out” has had the most heart-wrenching story.

A friend of a friend in college—who was forced to move away.

A friend of a friend in middle school— who turned to anti-depressants and harder drugs.

A friend of a friend in graduate school—whose brother chose not to speak to him again.

A friend of a friend at work—whose parents said she’d burn in hell.

A friend of a friend who attended medical school—who later killed herself.

People say it’s why Whitney Houston turned to drugs and, later, to Bobby Brown.

I’m rooting for Titus Andromedon.

I’d root for him anyway, but it seems that no one will let him be great.

He has to bumble along, buffooning his way through each self-defeating episode—shiftless, inconsistent, incapable of fully supporting himself, of maintaining a good relationship, or of reaching his full potential. Incapable of seeing the best in himself or of doing for himself what he can do for others, time and time again.

“Oh, so why did you move?”

He looked up at me with a hint of disbelief, contempt, and a little sadness. “You can’t really be gay in rural Alabama. You can barely be black. But gay AND black?”

He laughed with such fierceness it made me wince in heterosexual privilege.

There are plenty of reasons to root for Titus, but these are mine.

Who are you rooting for?

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