One day. I don’t know when. One night, I sat in an empty room (all white, no furniture), on the phone with my best friend. We were close. I won an award for “man’s best friend” at the camp we worked at. They said we had a bromance. We’d been on very many long road trips, documenting all of them. Pizza in Yosemite. We spent almost every summer moment together. Winter ones too. We both dropped out of school. I slept under his bunk. We were a creative team. I slept at his house. My friends 5 hours away wanted to meet him. He wanted to meet Snow Leopard who, once, posted on Instagram a mental-health diagnosis: he was paranoid and bi-polar, with a tiny bit of schizophrenia and a list of other things.
And I sat in this empty room, talking to my friend. I had not seen him in a while. I was coming out to my other friends, testing the ground with progressive theology. He beat me to it. He said that gay people were not only unnatural and sinners, but that they were all mentally ill. Or psychopaths. Or sociopaths. My brain blocks it out. Our phone call continued: “okay” I said, broken, and continued to listen. It was an hour and a half phone call. He invited me to his birthday party for the next two years after, and I didn’t go. We met once more. I think his wife set it up. He now longer follows me on instagram, but follows my friends. My friends think Snow Leopard might be gay.