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Edward D'Agostino
You Belong Now
TODD, a minister who suffers from epilepsy, is being discriminated against by the denomination he serves. But even though he is clearly filled with questions about accepting others, Todd would rather turn a blind eye towards the injustice he is experiencing and continue to live in denial of that truth. One evening Todd’s wife ANN cuts herself and Todd must take her to the emergency room for stitches and Todd’s life is about to change. On their way to the hospital they spot a youth being beaten up. Stopping to help, Todd meets GAVIN. During this initial meeting Todd learns the reason Gavin is being beaten up is because he is gay. Gavin knows the people of the area in which he lives will not accept this fact, so Gavin has kept his truth hidden. Childhood memories, best friends, a missionary trip, Gavin running away and more all contribute to helping Todd and Gavin realize they are part of a society caught up in the idea that “I am more important than...”, “I am worth more...”, “my opinions matter more...”, than the strange, those who live differently or look differently or believe differently. But as the story comes full circle and Gavin is reunited with his parents, he comes to the realization he must face his secret if he wants to be truly free and in full relationship with all others. As a result of Gavin’s bravery in sharing his ‘dreadful’ truth with his parents Todd finds the strength to confront the realities of his life and the personal loss he has tried to keep hidden. Todd knows he can no longer deny the discrimination he is experiencing if he wants to fully live. As this part of Todd’s journey comes to an end he pauses to remember the young man Gavin, who’s insights brought him out of his own darkness. Then as the final chapter of You Belong Now comes to a close, Todd and Ann begin a new journey that seems less frightening and more hope-filled than any journey they’ve taken; for as Todd says “I wonder if it’s because I finally feel like I belong?”