1. I believe that being gay is at least partially predetermined by genetics, so I’ve been gay for about 16 years now. As for realizing when one is gay, that is more complicated. I have been absolutely sure that I am gay for at least a year. Before that, I had suspicions…and I slowly became aware of what it all meant. Living in a world in which homosexuality was never mentioned, except to poke fun at “gays,” I never really thought about my sexuality. I assumed that I liked girls, because that’s how it’s supposed to be. Over the years, I had a couple of experiences with other boys, but never did I even consider that I might be gay. The topic was so taboo for children to think about…now that I think about it, I have no idea what the heck I thought I was doing with those boys…anyway. It really came down to a simple fact: Guys turned me on, and girls did not. It’s hard to explain, but it’s really quite simple…There were girls I liked, sure…but I liked them for who they were, and I rarely thought about them sexually. Sometimes I forced myself to, but that proved pointless. I discovered that I had an attraction for guys, and as I thought more and more about that, I realized the truth: I’m gay!
2. I am pretty much openly gay, so yay! And yes, I know others that are “in the closet.” Before I decided to come out, there were many reasons to keep my sexual identity a secret. My deepest fear was how my parents would take the news. I knew that they would not kick me out or anything, but I was scared. I also feared being antagonized by my siblings. Somewhat less-so, but still a big issue, was how my peers would react. I was most worried about my closest friends…would they be mad at me? Would they be mad that I kept it a secret? Those were all issues that I thought about constantly, which is partly what drove me to come out. Other people that I know are scared to come out because they honestly believe that they will be rejected by family and thrown out of the house. This happens – and it happened to one of my friends. Being a teen is hard. Being gay is even more difficult. Being rejected by family and friends is such a terrible fear, especially during such a difficult time when a gay teen needs the most support.
3. I am treated differently, for better or for worse. There is a wide spectrum of people, and each type treats me differently. Some people simply accepted it, and nothing else changed. Others were excited about me coming out, and not only accepted me, but were openly proud of me. On the other end, some people accepted that I was gay, but told me they thought it was wrong. Others informed me that I was not gay, because that is not natural or possible…I was simply fooling myself. Man, you gotta love people who seem to know more about you than you do! Anyway, there were others – some people were disgusted with the news. Regardless of whether or not they believed that I was gay, they attacked me for it. Still today, I still hear people in the halls yelling to the person in front of me “Watch out behind you!” or some other stupid statement. Others call me a fag, a queer, or other words in the halls. This is calmed somewhat this year, but it still happens. Overall, though, being out is not bad. The burden of living a lie is not there, which is such a relief, I cannot even explain it. Coming out was like starting life anew, honestly. It was fun, too.
4. No! I would never date a girl! Icky!
5. I think banning gay marriage is ridiculous. America was founded on the belief that everybody is equal. How, then, can we allow some to marry who they want, and ban others from doing the same? YOU CAN’T HELP WHO YOU LOVE, and government should NOT be involved with the intimate relationships of its citizens.
6. Yes, I know dozens of people that are gay. A number of those go to Hartford, though I’ll admit that there are VERY FEW gay people in this school that I know of. Respectable statistics place the percent of the population that is gay at somewhere between 4 and 10 percent. That means there are between 70 and 170 gays and lesbians attending Hartford. Obviously 170 people are not out at our school, but I believe that is largely due to homophobia. Almost nobody would want to come out, exposing themselves to ridicule, which is particularly bad in rural, religious, narrow-minded schools such as Hartford. Furthermore, most of those that are probably gay are likely not even aware of it. I did not put it all together until relatively recently. Most people have no reason to even think about being gay, so it’s not surprising that more people are not out. (The average age for coming out is during college)