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Daniel

February 2000

I'm 15 and I'm gay. There, I've said it. Now answer me this...Why is it so difficult for me to tell my family and friends?

I've always known that I was gay, as far back as I can remember; not that I wanted to be sexual with men necessarily, I just felt that I could identify with girls than I could with boys. In fourth grade I had my first crush on another boy. My feelings progressed to having "fantasies" about other boys in my class by the time I was in 6th grade. Finally, when I was 12 years old, I labeled myself as being gay. I always knew that I was..I just really took the time to understand what I truly was before that time.

My family lived in a rather large city in Wisconsin until I was in 5th grade, when my father decided that he didn't like the city. We moved to an EXTREMELY small town in rural Wisconsin. I was only 10, but the move was and continues to be one of the most catastrophic events in my life. The town I live in has a population of around 2,000 people, and the High School that I attend has around maybe 400 or 500 hundred kids.

In the city I always had about 15 close friends, all of which were girls. Even in elementary school the boys seemed to be more interested in sports and video games, I on the other hand enjoyed more quiet and social games, such as "House" or playing with dolls. Moving to a new school was NOT a fun experience for me. My new school had a much smaller class, with fewer open-minded people than I had known in the city. In fifth grade that was okay though, my gay mannerisms weren't really noticed by the other children. I made a few select friends (mainly socially inadequate people like myself) and tried to get along as best I could.

Middle School wasn't terribly different from Elementary School; kids were still too preoccupied with sports to take interest into my being different. It wasn't until High School that classmates began to exceedingly notice and bring into the spotlight that I was different than they were, and they were NOT afraid to mention it to me, in slang and hurtful ways. I've been called faggot, queer, homo, and an assortment of other names many, many times in High School. Its just something you never get used to, no matter how frequently that people do it to you.

So people may ask, "Why don't you just come out Daniel?"

Believe me, I've considered it. Who hasn't? It's a very idealistic premise; come out, and all your troubles will go away. People will accept you for who you are. That's just a little too peachy for me to believe. Coming out in High School is tough enough - and then going to an extraordinarily small high school is a big mistake, in my personal opinion.

A few short years ago, the only other known homosexual student (to my knowledge) graduated from my High School. His name was Philip, and he was gay. He decided that he would come out as a sophomore (which I contemplate doing every day). He didn't have many friends, and kids would harass him daily because he was so much more effeminate than the typical male. Big mistake Philip. The rest of Philip's High School career was abuse by other students on a daily basis.

Considering what happened to him, has definitely made me think twice about my own coming out. Should I do it, or shouldn't I? I get questioned flat out EVERYDAY whether or not I'm gay by other students, to which I always say I'm not. I hate lying about it. Really, it's no one else's business, and isn't integral for them to know, but still, I would feel more comfortable if they knew, maybe even if they didn't feel comfortable around me.

I don't know why people have such a huge problem with homosexuality. If it's the way I feel, than I should be free to live my life anyway choose. Its not me who has the problem though; its other, small minded people who can't understand what an everyday struggle that us gays go through just to try and fit in as one of the crowd.

I'll come out one of these days...maybe soon, but for now, I'm in the closet.

Daniel

dashingdaniel@hotmail.com


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