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Independence Day

by Victor Thomas

My boyfriend Kaden and I were in his room; actually it's my room as well now. Let me explain.

I'm Mason by the way, I'm sixteen years old, about to turn seventeen in August. I'm a senior in high school, or will be when school starts back up at the end of August. I'm also gay, one hundred percent gay, and I'm out and proud at school and in Chouteau as well.

I wasn't always out but that happened by accident. My parents are real right wing Christians. And I use the word Christian very loosely. I mean about as extreme as you can get. My whole life I was forced to attend the Faith Bible Church here in Chouteau. Our pastor is constantly denouncing gays and other groups from the pulpit. He also goes off on Muslims, calling them terrorists and all the usual crap, never stopping to think that his brand of Christianity is just as bad. No, they haven't blown up any buildings or crashed any airplanes yet, but there are some who might be just as crazy.

But anyway, back to the story. I figured out I was gay by the time I was fourteen. I always liked looking at other guys ever since I was in grade school, but it seemed perfectly natural to me. I just assumed every boy was like me. As I got older I started to figure out that I wasn't like every other boy. Most of them started to like girls, the perverts, when we hit about twelve or thirteen.

It took me a while to figure it all out and I prayed and prayed that my thoughts and feelings would go away, but they never did. The older I got the more it seemed I lusted after other boys. I knew with my crazy parents and the crazy people in my church I had to keep all this a secret.

Although my parents and the people they associated with were extremely homophobic, the people in Chouteau were generally more accepting than you might expect in a small rural town in southeast Kansas. Over the last several years a number of boys, and girls of course, had come out as gay, including several of the football players, and surprise, the world hadn't ended.

But of course to Pastor Fraser, that was just another sign of the second coming of Jesus and the rapture of the church. If all that is really true than surely him and people like him are not going to heaven. I have read the bible, the entire bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and all I have ever reads is that Jesus loves everyone. Not once that I have ever read did he denounce homosexuality. But then, I think I must have read the wrong bible or something, because the one I read and the one they use in church seem so much different.

Enough about all that bullshit for now. My best friend is Connor; we've been friends since we started kindergarten. We just sort of latched on to each other our first day at school. Connor doesn't go to my church and my parents don't approve of him all that much, but they more or less tolerate him. It's nothing he ever did, it's his parents. They go to a more liberal church on occasion, but not on a regular basis, which Reverend Fraser is always denouncing. Not that particular church, but liberal churches like it.

If my parents only knew. You see Connor is gay as well. Yeah, no shit. I was as surprised as he was to find out about me. The two of us were at his house one afternoon last year when the subject of gays came up. The Supreme Court had just ruled earlier in the week that gay marriage was legal in all fifty states. I knew that was certain to be the topic of this Sunday's sermon at church.

"So, what do you think of the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage?" he asked me. "Me personally, I think it's pretty cool, you know, we can now get married legally."

"I think it's about damn time it became legal," I said. Then I stopped talking as it hit me what he had just said. "Wait a minute, did you just say so we can get married. Did you mean…"

"Yes, Mason, that's what I meant. I've never kept anything from you except for this one thing. Yes, I'm gay. I've known for the last two years. I was always worried how you would react, you know. I know what your church preaches and I wasn't sure what you thought."

"Do you really want to know what I think?" I asked.

He nodded.

"This is what I think." I leaned over and kissed Connor right on the lips. "That's what I think about gays and gay marriage. I'm gay as well Connor. That's also the only thing I kept from you. Like you, I wasn't sure how you would react, but more importantly I knew how my parents would react. They would freak if they ever find out about me. I was pretty sure you would be okay with it but it just never came up so I never said anything."

"Oh, my god," was all he said.

Connor then leaned over and kissed me back and before either of us knew what was happening we started to make out on his bed. He started rubbing my chest and I started to rub his as well, and then he went to pull my shirt off. I pulled his shirt off and we continued to make out bare chest to bare chest. By now I was so hard I thought I might cum in my pants if I wasn't careful, and I could feel Connor was just as hard as I was.

Connor started to rub the front of my pants and I was getting more and more excited by the second. I started to rub him as well and suddenly I felt him start to shudder and he moaned. I knew immediately what had happened, and this sent me over the edge as well.

After we had both came down for our orgasmic high, I suddenly thought about how wrong this was. Not because I didn't enjoy it, and not because I thought being gay was wrong, but because we were best friends. As hot as Connor is I knew that we could never be boyfriends and not even fuck buddies.

If he had just been some guy at school that would have been different, but he was my best friend. I didn't want things to get weird between us, or cause our friendship to end. Connor was my best friend, but he could never by my boyfriend, not that the thought wasn't hot.

Connor started to kiss me again, but I put my hand up and said, "Connor, please, we can't do this."

"Why not?" he asked. "We're both gay, we both clearly liked what just happened. We both like dick, we've both got a dick, why not do it with each other?" He reached over and rubbed the front of my pants again, which got an immediate reaction."

"Because we're best friends, Connor," I said. "We've been friends since we were five years old. I love you, I always have, but we can't be boyfriends. Not because I don't want to, I would love to, but because I don't want something like this to ruin our friendship. I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say. Sex can ruin things. Yes, it would be hot to suck your dick, and have you suck mine, and I would love to get some of that cute ass you've got, but we can't. Can you understand what I'm trying to say?"

Connor looked at me for several seconds and then reluctantly said, "damn, I hate it when you're right. But you are of course. I don't know what came over me just then."

"The same thing that came over me, I think. We're just two horny teenage boys who reacted without stopping to think. I'm not sorry it happened, but that has to be it."

"I agree, Mason," he said. "As much as I would like some of that hot ass of yours as well, I know we can't. But, it was hot, wasn't it?"

"That was the hottest thing I have ever done," I said. "I need to find myself a boyfriend now. I can't wait to try everything with someone else."

"Exactly," Connor said. "Let's help each other find boyfriends, shall we?"

I'm happy to announce that Connor found himself a boyfriend about two months later. He has remained in the closet because of me. He doesn't want my parents to find out and keep us from seeing each other. They already don't care for him that much and this would be the final straw, at least to our way of thinking.

And I managed to find myself a boyfriend as well shortly after school started back up in August of last year.

So, Kaden and I first got together about a year ago. It was the damndest thing. We had been friends since junior high, not best friends or anything like that, more like acquaintances, than friends. We talked and sat at the same table during lunch, but we didn't hang out together or anything like that.

I had been watching Kaden, not only because I thought he was extremely cute, but I had noticed he seemed to like looking at the other boys like I did. Every time a cute boy would walk by his head would turn so he could look at their ass. I did the same thing, which is probably what made me notice. He would just look at me sometimes and just grin, like he knew I was thinking the same thing he was.

So, one day after school, Kaden catches me as I'm gathering my books at my locker, ready to go home and start my homework.

"Mason, can I talk to you for a few minutes after you're finished?" he asked.

"What about?" I asked.

I wondered what he could want with me. Like I said, we're not really friends. I mean we are, but we don't hang out together or anything.

"I'd rather talk outside in private, if you don't mind," he said.

"Sure," I said. "I'm ready now. We can walk out to your car if you want."

I threw my backpack over my shoulder, and we headed for the back door. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but Kaden is a really cute boy, black hair and green eyes, about 5' 11" and probably around a hundred forty pounds or so. I can tell just by looking at him that he works out, at least a little. And he also has a cute butt, which I was watching as he walked in front of me toward the door.

I walked beside him as soon as we got outside and we walked to one of the picnic tables behind the school and sat down.

Kaden looked at me for a few seconds, started to say something, and then hesitated. He did that a few times before he finally worked up the nerve to say something.

"Would you like to go out with me sometime?" he blurted out. "I mean… on a date or something?"

Now it was my turn to hesitate. I was a little startled at first, as you might imagine, but I recovered my composure quickly.

I smiled and said, "you're asking me on a date? Really?"

"Yes, I really am," he said. "If you're not interested, I can understand, but I'm really taking a chance here, so please don't hate me. I'm gay as you no doubt have figured out by now. Why else would I ask another boy out? And if you aren't I apologize, and please don't tell anyone else. I'm not looking for any trouble."

"I would love to go out with you," I said. "But how did you know I was gay? I'm not out and I can't be out. My parents go to this fanatic church and they're as crazy as all those other people when it comes to gays and other subjects."

"I didn't know for sure until just now, but I have been watching you for a couple of weeks, the way you look at other boys sometimes. You never talk about girls like the rest of the guys at lunch. Just a lot of little things that made me decide to take a chance."

"Yeah, I noticed you as well, the way you would turn when a cute boy walked by, looking at his ass, no doubt. I was looking as well, so I kind of wondered. I'm glad you had the balls to say something. I'm not sure I would have, not given my situation at home."

"Yeah, I'm guilty as charged," he chuckled. "I can't seem to help myself sometimes."

"So who else knows besides me?" I asked.

"Other than my best friend Dave, nobody else knows. Dave is cool though. He has an older brother who's gay, so it doesn't bother him in the least. My parents know, but they don't care. They just want me to be happy."

"I wish my parents felt that way. I have very little doubt that they would kick me out of the house if they ever found out. My dad might even beat me, I don't know. He never has in the past, but he might over this. I'm scared to find out."

"So, you want to go to the Hornet's Nest and get something to eat or drink?" he asked. "We can sit there and talk some more, if you want."

"Sure," I said. "This can be our first date if you want."

"I want," Kaden said, laughing.

Just then I saw Connor looking over at me. He was with Alex, his boyfriend. I motioned the two of them over so I could tell them the good news.

"Hi, Connor. Hi Alex," I said. "You guys know Kaden? I have some good news for the two of you."

"What's up, Mason?" Connor asked.

"Kaden just asked me out on a date. We're boyfriends now. In fact, we're getting ready to go on our first date, out to the Hornet's Nest ."

"Oh wow, cool, Mason," said Alex. "How long have you two been together?"

"About five minutes," Kaden laughed. "I just asked him and he accepted. Are you two dating as well?"

"Yeah, we've been dating since right after school started, about two weeks now," Connor said. We're trying to keep it quite so Mason doesn't have to listen to any shit from his parents. Has he told you about them?"

"Just briefly, but I'm sure I'll find out more soon. From what I gathered they are extremely homophobic."

"That's putting it mildly," Connor said.

"So, you guys want to join us," Kaden asked.

"Maybe some other time, we can all go out together, but not now," Alex said. "You guys should enjoy your first date alone. You don't need me and Connor tagging along. But maybe we can do something this weekend."

"That sounds like fun," I said. "We'll talk more in school tomorrow. I'll see both of you later."

We then turned and headed for the parking lot and Kaden's car. We both ordered some ice cream and sat at the Hornet's Nest for over an hour, talking and laughing. It was the most fun I'd had in quite a while.

So that's how Kaden and me got together and started dating. It wasn't easy going on a date, even if I had been going with a girl. You see, my church frowns on going to movies, sporting events, dances, or anything that might even remotely be considered fun by normal people. All that is considered a sin. I persuaded Kaden to attend church with me occasionally, and he met my parents. Since he attended church, at least occasionally, they didn't seem to mine when we hung out together. We had to sneak around behind their backs, but we did see the occasional movie or went to the local football and basketball games and stuff like that.

Kaden was also allowed to stay over at my house on occasion and I was allowed to stay at his as well. He had to sleep on the floor whenever he was at my house, but of course we slept together at his house. His parents didn't seem to mind.

They knew we were having sex, but as Kaden's dad had joked the first night, "just keep the noise down so you don't disturb the neighbors. And I don't want either of you ending up pregnant." He laughed when he said that.

I never felt so embarrassed in my life, even though I thought it was funny. If only my parents were more like Kaden's. And we have tried, several times as a matter of fact, but neither one of us had ended up pregnant yet.

All this happened back in August of last year. Everything was going great, we were careful not to do anything in school that might give us away, and when we were together at my house we would make out in my bedroom, but only if my parents weren't home.

June 2016 was a very pivotal point in my life. Several things happened that really affected me in ways I never would have anticipated.

Connor, Alex, Kaden and I were all in the Hornet's Nest one afternoon right before school was letting out for the summer. Jeremy, one of the boys who went to my church and had recently graduated, was in there as well, with his girlfriend Dawn. Jeremy looked over at the four of us and acknowledged us, but we didn't talk. The four of us just sat there enjoying our meal and each other's company when we heard Dawn yelling at Jeremy.

Everyone looked over just as she dumped her ice cream sundae all over his head, stood up and stormed out. Jeremy just sat there for a few seconds, looking and feeling stupid, not doubt, and then stood up, walked into the bathroom and cleaned up as best he could before walking out to his car and going home, I assumed.

I never really thought anything about it at the time, just another couple getting into an argument. It happens all the time with couples in high school.

That incident was soon forgotten by the four of us. Then on the first Sunday of June something happened at church that I still can't believe happened. If I hadn't seen it myself I would think people were lying about what happened. I swear to god, if I live to be a hundred I'll never forget this incident.

I was sitting in church, listening to Brother Fraser's usual rant about what was wrong with the country. Liberal democrats like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were ruining the country and Donald Trump was our only possible salvation. The usual bullshit I had come to expect from the preacher. Nothing ever changes it seems. He even managed to work the latest gay outrage into his sermon. But again, nothing unusual there.

About ten minutes till twelve I noticed Jeremy stand up and grab his backpack before heading toward the restroom. A few minutes later I heard a loud gasp from the congregation and noticed everyone had turned their heads to look toward the back of the church. I wondered what was going on and turned to look as well.

There stood Jeremy, wearing nothing but a pair of tight, cutoff jeans that left very little to the imagination. I knew Jeremy was cute but I had never realized how hot of a body he had. He was really very gorgeous. What the fuck is going on, I wondered.

I got my answer about ten seconds later. Jeremy strolled up the center aisle, shaking his cute ass, turned around and looked out over the congregation, and then right at his parents.

"I have something to say to all of you before you leave, especially to my mom and dad and Reverend Fraser. I'm gay. I have always been gay. I was born gay. I suck cock and get fucked in the ass. I fuck other guys in the ass. And I like doing it. I'm not ashamed because I have nothing to be ashamed of. God made me this way."

I heard a huge collective gasp from the entire congregation, then everything became deadly silent. Jesus fucking Christ, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Jeremy was gay. Wow, I had no idea.

"This is the last time any of you will ever see me," he continued saying. "I'm leaving this fucked up town and this self-righteous, fucked up church right after I finish with this little goodbye."

He then reached down, unbuttoned the tight shorts he was wearing, turned his back to the audience, dropped the shorts to his ankles and shook his bare ass at all of us. He had a nice ass, let me tell you.

"This church, this town, the school, and my parents can kiss my gay ass. Fuck it all. I'm out of here."

He quickly pulled up his shorts and ran to the side door in front of the church before anyone could react and try to stop him. It took all of my self-control to keep from standing up and cheering for him as he left. The church was deathly silent for several moments before I saw Jeremy's parents quietly slip out the door. After this little incident I will be amazed if they ever show their face in here again.

The preacher was speechless, so finally everyone just started making their way out of the church and to their cars to go home. I looked at my mom and dad and my dad was extremely pissed off and my mom wasn't any happier. Me personally, I was ecstatic about the whole incident. I couldn't wait to tell Kaden about it.

"I bet that boy's parents will never show their faces in this church again," dad said on the drive home. "His father needs to take a whip to him. If my son ever did some shit like that, I'd beat him to within an inch of his life. He'd wish he was dead after I got through with him." He made a point of looking back at me as he said it.

I had no doubt that he meant exactly what he said.

Jeremy just seemed to disappear after that. No one seemed to know what had become of him. I would have like to have talked to him and told him about me, and tell him I enjoyed the show and I was behind him a hundred percent, but I guess not. Maybe I'll see him around sometime and we can talk.

Not even two weeks later there was the mass shooting at the club in Orlando. Unfortunately, incidents like this have become all too common in the Unites States, so I wasn't totally surprised, or shocked. I could already hear the members of my church talking about the need for more citizens to be armed so stuff like this would be less likely to happen. Again, some things never seem to change. Not that I'm against a man having the right to have a gun at home to protect his family, but sometimes they seem to go way overboard.

I had been out with Kaden earlier and when I woke up the next morning and started getting ready for church, it was all over the news.

"That's terrible," I heard my mother say.

At the time we didn't know it was a gay club where all this had happened. My dad just shook his head but didn't say anything. About an hour later when they announced that it was not only a gay club but that the shooter was Muslim, is finally when he went bat shit crazy.

"Just a bunch of faggots," he said. "They deserved what they got. And killed by an Islamic terrorist. The preacher has been saying it for years about how the faggots are taking over everywhere. This is just god's wrath for all the sin. And he used a Muslim to carry it out. How appropriate."

That's a very Christian attitude I thought to myself. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, although I guess I shouldn't really be all that surprised. I wanted to say something so bad but I bit my tongue. Just one more year, I kept telling myself. Just one more year and I will be out of school and out of this house.

Naturally, the shooting in Orlando was the subject of this morning's sermon. I mean, what else was he going to talk about, right? I guess he could talk about the tragedy and ask the church to pray for the families who's loved ones had been killed. He could talk about god's love for everyone, even gay people. He could have done that and more but, of course, he didn't. After all, that might be something Jesus would have done, and my church seems almost the opposite.

The very next day Kaden was at my house. My parents were both at work so we had the house to ourselves. Naturally, we were up in my room, with our shirts off, making out on my bed. We both wanted to do more than just make out, but it was too risky in my house. We would save that for when we were at Kaden's house.

I still don't know what happened, but for some reason dad came home early. We were so involved with each other that we neither one heard the car pull into the driveway or the door close. All I know is that suddenly my bedroom door opens and there my dad stood. Oh my fucking god, I thought.

"Hey Mason, can you…" dad started to say, until he saw what Kaden and me were doing. He just stood there for a few seconds while his mind registered what he was seeing. "What the hell are you two doing?" he yelled, once he was able to speak again.

Kaden and I were still lying on my bed, half naked, when he saw us. He started toward the bed with his hand raised in a fist like he was going to hit me, which was a very real possibility. Kaden quickly jumped up and stood in front of me like he was going to defend me if necessary.

For a second I thought dad might hit Kaden, but he just shoved him out of the way and said, "get the hell out of my house, you little queer."

He then turned toward me and I had no doubt he was going to hit me. There was fury in his eyes like I had never seen before. I quickly jumped over to the other side of the bed as he was nearing me, so I could avoid him. That just pissed him off even more.

"As for you, you little faggot, you can go with your boyfriend. No son of mine is going to be queer. I should beat the gay out of you, you little shit. Now both of you get the hell out of my house. I never want to see you again.

Kaden and I quickly ran out the door and out of the house before dad could say anything else, or manage to get his hands on me. I didn't know what I would do now, but I would go to Kaden's house and we could figure this out.

I was crying as we drove to Kaden's house. The thing I had feared the most had actually happened. My father had found out I was gay and had kicked me out of my house. I had no idea what I was going to do now, how I was going to survive and finish school, where I would live, nothing. I knew there was no way I could ever go back and live at home. Even after my dad had a chance to calm down I knew he wouldn't take me back.

I finally calmed down enough by the time Kaden's parents got home, to explain what had happened and wondering what I was going to do.

"You'll stay here of course," Mr. Dalton said, like it was no big deal. "You can stay here with Kaden and us until the situation is straightened out at home."

"But I don't think things will ever be straightened out with my parents," I said. "They go to the crazy church and they are so anti-gay that I don't think it's possible for me to ever go back. I remember my dad once saying he would rather have a dead son than a gay son. That was several months ago but I don't imagine things have changed. After the incident with Jeremy yesterday, he said he would beat me to within an inch of my life if I ever pulled something like that. I have no doubt he would probably beat or maybe even kill me if he ever got the chance."

I quickly explained what had happened with Jeremy yesterday at church. Mr. and Ms. Dalton just laughed when they heard. It was funny, but it had pissed a lot of people off as well.

"I suspect you're probably right," Ms. Dalton said. "I've heard some crazy stuff about those people over the years. They're about as fanatical as you can get. I wouldn't put it past some of them to beat you up or even try and kill you. Mr. Dalton is right; you're staying right here until you graduate next year. We'll figure something out."

I felt a huge sense of relief wash over me, as well as some guilt. I would be imposing on my boyfriend's parents for a year, having them support me and take care of me. I would have to figure out some way to help them out, but I had no idea how. I'd think of something, however.

The next day I was able to sneak into my house while my parents were at work and get all my clothes and other stuff out of my room. It's amazing how much stuff a person can accumulate and not even realize it until they have to pack it up and move it. We had to make two trips to get everything, but I managed. I knew my dad would probably be pissed, but fuck him. As I walked out for the final time, I left my key on the kitchen table. Knowing him, he would have the locks changed, but it didn't matter. I had no intention of ever going back.

Things settled down after a couple of days and I was made to feel right at home. Mr. and Ms. Dalton treated me like one of the family, like another son, or son in law, as the case may be. I got to sleep with Kaden every night and we were able to make love whenever we pleased, which was almost every night. If his parents happened to be gone we would just straight up fuck, but if they were home we were more gentle and kept it quite. There's a big difference between fucking and making love, and I enjoyed both.

The recent incident in Orlando and being kicked out of my own home by my homophobic parents had me thinking. Kaden and I talked about both several times and an idea was starting to form in my mind.

Ever since I had figured out that I was gay I had paid more attention to the various pride events that took place in June all over the world. I looked at some of the pictures and videos that were posted on You Tube and other sites and one thing that seemed common were the various costumes that a lot of gay men liked to dress up in. And I also noticed that a lot of the guys had painted various parts of their bodies in a variety of colors. A few pictures caught my eye, shirtless guys with the rainbow flag painted on their chests and torsos. For some reason I just liked that idea. Of course it didn't hurt that the guys were all very hot and had nice bodies. I'm no stud, but I like to think I have a decent body. Kaden seems to think so, and that's all that matters.

There were no pride parades in this part of the country, that's for sure. The nearest one was probably in Kansas City or maybe St. Louis, but it was too late for that by now anyway.

The fourth of July was, however, less than a week away. The town of Chouteau always has a celebration in the park, with various local organizations setting up booths for food, games, or other activities. They usually have a band playing, usually some area group that no one has ever heard of. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they suck. And, of course, once it gets dark, they shoot off fireworks from the other side of the river. It's always a good time.

I discussed my idea with Kaden and he thought it would be fun. It would be a statement to the entire town that him and I were gay, and also, a big fuck you to my parents and their church. What could be more fun than that? In a way I guess you could say, it would be my declaration of independence from all the homophobic assholes in town and the surrounding area. I was a little worried about what might happen afterward, but I was more excited about doing something.

We didn't have much time to prepare so we got started right away. We found a store in Joplin that sold the kind of body paint we needed for my idea and bought a small bottle of each of the different colors of the flag. The nice looking young man who sold us the paint assured us it wouldn't hurt us, and would wash off with a little scrubbing. He kind of laughed and smiled when we told him what we intended to do with it. Kaden assured me he would be more than happy to wash it off my body, and I knew I would enjoy that almost as much as I would carrying out my little act of rebellion.

Kaden and I talked to his parents later that evening about our plans for tomorrow. While they weren't too thrilled about the idea, they didn't tell us not to either. All they said was to have fun and be careful.

Everyone slept late the next morning and once we woke up, Ms. Dalton set about making a big breakfast for everyone. She made bacon, eggs, and hash browns, as well as biscuits and gravy. By the time we were finished it was almost ten o'clock. Time to go get ready and head for the park. All the local organizations would be getting set up for the festivities which would start around noon and last until after the fireworks later this evening.

It had rained off and on all weekend and the forecast was calling for possible rain later today. It was a little cloudy now and cooler than normal for this time of year. If you want to call ninety degrees cooler, that is. I sure hoped it didn't rain since that would cause my body paint to run and wash off. I didn't want that to happen, at least not right away.

After breakfast Kaden and me went back to our room and I quickly pulled my shirt off and then my jeans, until I was wearing just my boxers. Kaden did the same. We decided we had to play for a few minutes before we started to prepare.

After we each got off, we decided it was time to get to work. Even though it was cloudy outside, I knew we would both get a bad sunburn if we weren't careful, so Kaden rubbed suntan lotion all over my back, chest, stomach, and arms, and I did the same to him. That got a reaction out of both of us as you might expect, but we ignored it, at least for now.

We had a picture of what the gay pride rainbow flag looked like, on the computer screen, so Kaden got out the paint and a small brush and started painting, starting at the top of my chest, above my nipples, right below my neck, to the bottom, just below my belly button. The brush tickled a little, causing me to giggle, but I managed to control myself long enough for him to finish. It wasn't perfect but I thought he did a good job and it looked cool, at least I thought it did.

I then proceeded to do the same thing to Kaden. It took about half an hour to get everything painted like I wanted, but the end result was worth it. After we finished, I put on a pair of shorts, something that my parents would never have allowed me to wear when I was living at home.

I know we probably looked silly, but the whole point of doing this was to announce to the world that we stood in support of all the people killed or injured in Orlando two weeks ago, and also our way of coming out. It was also a big fuck you to my parents and my former church and all the homophobic assholes in this town. That was just a bonus, however.

After we finished painting our bodies we took several pictures of each other so we could post them to our face book pages later.

Finally, the time came to make our statement. Kaden only lives about four blocks from the park, so at a little after noon we started walking that way. The closer we got the more people who saw us. Several commented on our look and asked us what it all meant. When we told them, surprisingly, most didn't seem to care, and a few even told us how brave they thought we were. One old man, probably in his forties, smiled and told us he wished he had been as brave as we were when he was in school, and that we made a cute couple. When we asked him if he was gay like us, he just smiled and said, yes.

Of course we also ran into a few assholes, but then that was to be expected at something like this. Chouteau may be pretty tolerant for the most part, but like anyplace else, it also has it's share of homophobic jerks.

We arrived at the park and started walking around, seeing what all was going on. As usual, there were several booths set up to sell food and drinks, as well as various games. Kaden and me grabbed a burger and a coke to eat while we walked around. A lot of people openly stared at us and I heard a few comments, mostly indifferent, or even positive, but several negative as well.

My former church even had a booth that was selling hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks. I swear I tried, but I just couldn't resist. After all, this was one of the reasons Kaden and I had done this in the first place. When we got within sight of the booth we put our arms around each other's waist and casually strolled toward them. It just so happened that both my parents were there. Dad's mouth dropped open when he noticed us heading his way. He turned and said something to my mom, who then turned and stared at us as well. A few other members of the church were also there and saw us. I would love to hear how dad explains this. After last month's incident with Jeremy coming out as gay and now me coming out very publicly, the entire church was going to have a major meltdown. Dad had talked about Jeremy's parents not being able to show their faces in church again. Well now, him and mom would not be able to show theirs either. It couldn't happen to a nicer group of people.

When we got to within about ten feet, I looked at both of my parents, smiled, and leaned over and kissed Kaden right on the lips. And it wasn't just a little peck, it was a full out kiss in front of god and everyone.

I then looked dad straight in the eye and said, "how you doing dad? You glad to see your gay son?" I made sure to emphasize the word gay so everyone around him could hear.

Dad just stuttered for several seconds before finally managing to say, "what the hell do you think you're doing?"

"What am I doing?" I said, again talking louder than normal. "I'm just enjoying the fourth of July holiday with my boyfriend. You remember Kaden, don't you? You should. You threatened both him and me last month when you kicked me out of your house. Remember now? You said no son of yours would ever be gay. Well, guess what? I am gay, and I'm proud. This is just my way of announcing it to the entire town, and to the world."

"Do you have to make such a scene?" he said, silently. "You're an embarrassment to your mother and me. We'll talk about this later."

"Yes, I have to make such a scene, dad. I have to show everyone how big of a homophobe you are, even when it's your own son. And I have to show the entire town how crazy your church is as well. Like they don't already know. As for me being an embarrassment to you, well you're an embarrassment to me as well. I'm ashamed to be your son. And no, we won't talk about this later. You threw me out of my house, remember. And we wouldn't talk anyway, you would just yell and scream, and then probably hit me, like you tried the day you kicked me out. You would have probably beaten me if I hadn't managed to get away from you."

"You ungrateful little shit," he yelled. "You're going to burn in hell for this, you and your little faggot boyfriend."

"Yeah, maybe, but then, so will you and all these crazy motherfuckers," I said, waving my hands at the other members of the church who were standing around. "Nowhere in the bible does Jesus say anything about homosexuals. But he did say, 'Judge not, that ye be not judged, thou hypocrite.' And he also said something about treating others as you would have them treat you. That's called the Golden Rule if I remember right. And when god laid down the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, he didn't say 'thou shall not fuck someone of the same sex.' At least I can't recall that one. But maybe I read the wrong bible when I was growing up. But he did say, 'thou shall not bear false witness.' Remember that one? That's one of the top ten, yet Reverend Fraser stands up in the pulpit all the time and tells lies about gays and every other group he doesn't approve of. He knows it's false but he says it anyway. And it also says in there somewhere, 'Parents love thy children.' It doesn't say unless they do something you disapprove of. So before you and all these people start talking about what the bible says, maybe you should actually read it first."

"So, if I'm going to hell, I'm sure I'll have a lot of company. Anyway, I guess I'll be seeing you around town, dad. Goodbye mom. If you ever want to talk to me I'm staying at Kaden's house. His parents actually love him and support him, and don't mind that he's gay."

With that, I leaned over and planted another kiss on Kaden's lips, then the two of us turned and walked away, holding hands as we crossed the park.

I thought there was a remote possibility my mother might come around and at least want to see me on occasion. I saw no chance of my dad ever talking to me again, although stranger things have happened. Maybe after they left this church they would find someplace where they didn't preach hatred every week and they might start to think for themselves. I can only hope and pray.

A few of the towns people actually started clapping as we walked away, including I noticed, a few of the students who went to school with me.

The only other openly gay couple in school, Gage and Brenner, came up to us and congratulated us for our unusual way of coming out, and for my standing up to my father. I hadn't noticed them at the time, but they had been nearby and had overheard the entire conversation I had with my parents. They also asked if we wanted to go out and do something with them later this week. I told them we'd call them because we were probably going to go out with Connor and Alex this weekend. I want to go out with them just so we can become friends and talk. Come the start of school there will be at least seven gay boys out, and hopefully this will encourage more to come out. There's Connor and Alex, Gage and Brenner, Kaden and me, and of course Jessie Ross.

Jessie is this cute boy who is so obviously gay that everyone can see it. The only thing that keeps him from getting beat up on a regular basis is that he has a reputation, whether it's true or not, of being a slut and doing favors for the popular jocks, if you follow my meaning. Supposedly if the guys can't get any pussy from their girl, they come to Jessie for relief. Again, that's just a rumor, but there must be at least some truth to it because I see him talking to the athletes all the time and they leave him alone for the most part.

We continued to walk around the park for about two more hours, stopping to talk to people and just generally having fun. I never realized how liberating being out would actually be. No more having to hide who I was. No more being worried or scared about what others thought. I knew I would probably get some shit from a few of my school mates, but by the time school actually started back up at the end of August, all this will have blown over. Something new will come along and maybe Kaden and I coming out will encourage others to come out as well. Chouteau High is not very big, but there have to be a few more gay students attending.

Even though it was cloudy it was still very hot and Kaden and I had been sweating for the last three hours. Even though we had applied suntan lotion to our bodies I knew we were probably already sunburned. That and the paint was starting to run together and looked like shit. We had made our statement and came out to the entire town, and now it was time to go home and clean up and maybe rest until later tonight when we would return for the fireworks.

When we got home, Kaden's parents were gone so we quickly went up to our room, stripped, and had a slow victory fuck. I swear it seemed like fireworks were going off in our room as we made love. About an hour later we climbed into the shower together and washed each other's bodies. Even though it was water based paint, it didn't wash off as easily as I thought it would. We managed to get most of the paint off our bodies, and the rest should wash off in the next few days.

Of course, being in the shower with Kaden made me horny all over again, so I dropped to my knees, and then Kaden returned the favor. We stayed and played until the hot water finally started to run out before shutting it off, stepping out of the shower and drying each other off.

From there we went back to the bedroom, locked the door, and lay down in each other's arms, falling asleep for an hour. After we woke up we got dressed and walked back to the park to enjoy the rest of our own personal independence day.


This story is part of the 2016 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Rainbow Boy". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 14 August to 4 September 2016 is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the competition home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

Rainbow Boy
Please rate Independence Day with the impressions it left you with

Either while reading this story, or afterwards, I found it to be/had/made me (Tick all that apply)

An emotional read
Written with rhythm and pace
Thought provoking
Well laid out (paragraphs etc)
Technically well written
Written with good use of grammar and syntax (this does not mean pedantic use)
Easy to read
It invited me in
I could not put it down
Cheering (made me happy)
I identified with at least one of the characters
It felt like it was about me. I know it wasn't, but it felt like it
The plot was tough to read. (a tough [good] experience, not hard to read)
Not just prose, but almost a 'tone poem'
There could be spelling/grammar/punctuation improvements
Interpreted the picture well

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