Coming Out At Thirteen

the story, by Corey James

Ever since I was a young boy in school I've always been a few steps ahead of everyone else. I was always yearning to know more information about anything and trying to learn new words to impress anyone and everyone. Not only was I trying to seem smart and educated, I always had to be in the spotlight. I love attention. I still do. But this however, is my story about announcing to everyone at the age of 13 (family, friends, and everyone else) that I am gay.

Without having a computer and the Internet, maybe to this day I'd still be in the closet. My sister was popular in school, she was one of them girls walking in the halls with her nose up high and spitting down other people's throats. I however, was nothing close to that image. I was the fag of the class. My father no longer lived with my sister, mother or I. My parents had separated when I was two or three.

Ever since fourth grade most of my classmates teased me. I was known as the gay kid in our grade. Even if they were not in my class or any of my classes, they still knew who I was when they walked past me in the halls. I knew I was nothing like other boys. The other boys went to play sports like football or soccer with the other boys. I went to play house or Barbies with the girls. It was like that up until fifth grade when my parents bought me a computer.

At that time, I was just turning eleven years old. I got the computer as I surprise before my birthday. Along with the computer came a disk for America Online, which my family immediately bought a membership to. It wasn't until a few weeks later that I came across a gay chatroom on AOL. At that time, I still remember that I had only a few more minutes to stay online (having only one phoneline) so I quickly bookmarked the chatroom in my favorite places to look at another time... soon.

With the Internet and talking to other boys (mainly a few years older then me), I learned that most gay men were stereotyped to act flamey or effeminate. I began to learn a lot more about being gay. I learned it wasn't as horrible, disgusting, dirty, unproper, and bad like everyone else said it was.

I was almost twelve years old when I started having online boyfriends. They were all a few years older than me, at the time I would lie saying I was as old as them, and then we would exchanging e-mails back and forth and trying to meet each other online at the same time so we could chat.

In school, the teasing was beginning to get worse, the shouts of being a homosexual were getting louder and louder and the names were getting worse. Violence was slowly beginning to enter the scene, as I would get tripped in the halls or have my books knocked out of my hand. The students and I were all growing up and they were learning more words to use against me. At that time, all I did was deny that I was gay to those who tormented me. I wouldn't even tell them to shut up, I was too scared of what they might do. I would just roll my eyes, shake my head no, and try to ignore them. I was always scared of having to get into a fight and being beaten up. I hated violence. I could never imagine getting into that type of situation.

Later in those days, I would get home, sign online and read my latest e-mails from my gay friends. It was such a relief to be in the safety of my home, online with my friends who were *like* me, and being with my family who loved and cared for me.

Being called a fag, or homo, or queer, or even fudge packer began to stop bothering me. It had stopped bothering me after hearing it a few hundred times. I began realizing how immature they all were and why they just didn't shut up and move on with their life's. It never began bothering me until one day my sister called me a faggot. She was my sister, she was supposed to be there for me, and here she was thrashing words against me like a cold sharp knife stabbing my heart.

It was a few days after Christmas. I was now thirteen. Earlier in the Summer I had found a gay chatline to call and had began calling gay guys in my area of location. I was the youngest to call that number, but not the only minor. Most of the other boys at that time were around two years or so older, but they didn't interest me one bit. I had always wanted to talk to the older more experienced guys to learn what was in store for me as I grew up. I was mature at my young age, maybe even too mature, but the other boys near my age that I would talk to seemed too immature for me to even converse with.

So here it was, a few days after Christmas, when my sister and I were in the kitchen. The phone rang and my sister answered it. I still remember the face she made while listening to the person ask for me and as she rudely said hold on and handed me over the phone.

As I began to talk to the person I released it was my older male friend, who happened to be a glamorous drag queen. Throughout the whole phone call my sister continued to say things like 'who the hell are you talking to', 'what are you a fag like that is (meaning the guy on the phone)', and telling me to hurry up because she had more important phone calls to make.

I was beginning to get angry as she continued shooting her words at me, until finally she got up from her seat and hung the phone up! As I called her a bitch she started calling me a fag asking who the person on the phone was and why I was talking to 'it'. Words continued to be exchanged until I finally screamed and admitted to the first person in real life, that I was gay. Thinking back to what I said, it sounded somewhat like, "Ok, I'm gay. I'm a fairy. I'm a fag. Is that what you want to hear? It's true! I don't like girls, I like boys. Do you have a problem with that bitch? I'm queer, Q-U-E-E-R, queer!"

My sister walked out the backdoor to our house after grabbing her coat and stomping her feet. I would not speak to her or she would not speak to me until almost a year later. In my opinion, the main reason why it took so long to speak with each other was because she was a full time college student. She lived on campus and even though it was only an hour away, she never came home. I always felt it was because I was there. And as I look back, that was most likely true.

After the whole incident happened with me running out of the closet in a pink dress, gold belt, and wearing a sparkling purple wig, (I'm trying to add humor to this, I really mean when I came out to my sister after she hung up the phone on me) I went and spoke with my mother and told her that I was gay. My mother, much to my delight, was only supportive. She joked on how she had always figured I was, ever since I was a very young boy. After all, my favorite pair of bottoms as a baby had leopard print all over them! I always wanted to wear them, every day!

With my mother's support and love, I began to announce to everyone that I was gay. I was only thirteen and the adults that found out would only say I was too young to know for sure. I would argue with them saying they just don't know how it feels. To this day when heterosexuals or even homosexuals ask me how I know I am gay, it's just this feeling inside of me that is waving a fairy wand and has glitter on my pillow in the morning for me to wear later that day. It's not because I woke up one morning and said to myself, 'instead of having girlfriends, I should have boyfriends!' Its something inside of me. It just, well, me.

Present time: I'm currently 15 years old, turning 16 in April. I've been completely out of the closet since the last couple of weeks when I was 13. I reside in a small ugly city named Rochester, New York. I'm now a gay youth activist fighting for homosexual rights and trying to be there for any gay or lesbian teenagers that need help. I also own a successful homepage that receives around 250-300 visitors a day which includes photos of me, my online journal (which I mostly update nightly), and more information on my life including what happened after I came out, experiences with my first boyfriends, how the school handled me coming out, what's happening with my sister and I now, and much more! The homepage address is http://coreyjames.8m.com (so make sure to check it out)! I would also love to hear everyone's comments on my story, so e-mail me at coreyjames@beautifulboy.com.

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