Bars in front of the window

Jonah reports that his parents disagree with his relationship with a man and put bars in front of his window.

Taken from the collection Positive Memories, compiled by T. Rivas.

Source: Boys speak out on man/boy love; NAMBLA; fourth (enlarged and expanded) edition; July 1996


There Were Bars on My Bedroom Window

Dear NAMBLA,

I am twelve and my name is Jonah. I have a lover, Mark. He is twenty-five. We have been together for a year and a half.

My mother I thought didn’t mind. But it turned out that she just wasn’t saying anything. Then I found out that my whole family didn’t approve of my relationship with Mark. Mark has called for me but I never got his messages. So I started sneaking out at night to see him. He tells me that sneaking out is not good, but when we touch it makes it worth it for me.

That was the last time I saw him for a while. My mom and dad must have found out that I was sneaking out to see him, because when I got home that day after school there were bars on my bedroom window. When I went to ask my dad why, I heard him on the phone. Then I heard the name, Mark, and I got excited. Then my dad got mad and told Mark that if he called or talked to me again he would call the police on him.

After he hung up the phone I ran out of the house and went over to Mark’s house. My the time I got there Mark was drunk and had his friend Jason over (another young boy). I thought something was going on so I listened by an open window. Mark was crying and telling Jason how much he loved me. I started crying, too. Then I heard him say if we couldn’t be together he was going to kill himself. That’s when I ran in and grabbed him and we sat and cried together.

I love him and it’s not like a father or a brother, but like a lover. And if anything happens to him I would kill myself. I can’t turn to anyone for support. I went to Chicago to a bookstore and found your magazine. I want Mark to know I really do love him. Please respond to the address that is in here – it’s a friend’s.

Signed (Is there anybody out there?)

The prisoner,
Jonah