I grew up worshiping Michael Jackson. I had pretty much every single and LP that I could get my hands on, wrote and illustrated a book about him when I was 10 yrs old, did impressions of him for silly school functions, and even had the "Jam" single cover painted as a mural on my bedroom wall.
It wasn't "cool" to be a Michael Jackson fan back then. I got teased a lot because whenever people made a joke about how queer he was and all sorts of hurtful shit, I would defend his honor to the best of my ability. It wasn't much, but I did it and took a lot of it personally.
After HIStory came out and he had those accusations for the first time, he went into hiding. And I outgrew my obsession.
A few weeks ago I was sitting at my office when the of the girls got a text from her father. She looked at me and said "oh my god, Michael Jackson is dead."
It was kind of weird to me because I was completely neutral to the whole thing. And then it started, all the "devoted fans" coming out of the woodworks from all angles, and all the haters with their tasteless jokes. As the days passed, I got offended. I mean REALLY offended.
First off, where were all these so-called die-hard fans a week ago? If they were so devoted, why did MJ have to go into hiding? Why did no one stick up for him all those years when there was absolutely positive about him in the media? Why did everyone forsake him?
And secondly, a man just passed away. How can anyone think it is in good taste to make jokes about him when the body is still warm in the coroner's office?!
I was appalled. As all the memories of all the childhood teasing flooded back into the forefront of my consciousness. All those associated memories of less than pleasant times I had growing up, struggling with myself to find comfort in my own skin. I didn't want to see, hear, talk about, or remember Michael Jackson. And most importantly, I didn't want to stand by and bite my tongue as insensitive assholes desecrated his memory. Even if you don't like him, give just a tiny bit of respect for a dead man and STFU if you so feel compelled to open your mouth and share a tasteless joke.
So here it is. Michael Jackson is dead, and I was forced to face a part of me that had been long buried and forgotten. And it wasn't so bad. I had outgrown the sadness, I had somehow in all this twisted demented shit come out stronger and finally found an ounce of peace. Rest in Peace Michael. May you finally be free of your demons.