As a gay teen, I find myself very "tuned in" to the happenings of the world around me and how its views are changing toward the concept of homosexuality. In earlier times, people were incredibly biased toward the gay community -- homophobic ... but as years began to pass, tolerance started to become something more evident in our youth. Homophobia, in my opinion, is starting to go away.
To a lot of gay teens, being gay seems like the worst thing in the world; but fortunately enough, most of their worries are being proved wrong as the teenagers of today grow into the adults of tomorrow. The '90s have proved -- and will still prove -- to be an era where teens have opened their minds. The most stereotypical label of our era is that we're all causing trouble, and that we're all just "wrong" -- but most people do not realize the positivity among all teens today.
I personally predict that our world is going to become MUCH more accepting toward the gay community. The harassment of the past is going to start to fade away as people begin to realize -- often at earlier ages -- that being gay is not wrong; being gay is something that does not make someone less of a person. Instead, they will realize that being gay is just a part of who we are.
A lot of people, after hearing my prediction, would immediately become skeptical. A few years ago, I would have felt the same way. However, I'm growing up in an environment where every year, being gay is becoming more and more acceptable by the general populace.
I'll take my own high school for example. Seniors aren't very open at all about the concept ... but the junior class is significantly better. A lot of the junior students are willing to recognize people for who they are. Sophomores are good, as well -- echoing the juniors in a sense. Yet the thing that makes me feel the most positive about having a good future as a gay teen is the freshmen. They are absolutely great.
I can spend one moment talking with my junior friends, and it's rather evident that some of them are not open to the concept; they're homophobic. Then I can go talk to almost any freshman in my school, and I am amazed at how un-homophobic they really are. Each group of kids is recognizing things at a younger age -- and fortunately, that means that these kids are realizing that being gay is not wrong.
There are ninth-graders in my school who are the most open people in the world. They don't care if anyone knows they're gay because they've grown up in an era where they have come to an understanding at a young age that homosexuality is not a sin. Then there are seniors and juniors (myself included, though that may change in the near future) who grew up thinking that everything about themselves was wrong; they still choose to hide their homosexuality with constant thoughts of retribution.
As a teenager, I realize that my generation is going to be this country's future; the outcome of our world is going to be in our hands. It pleases me to know then, that each younger generation of children -- each grade lower in school -- has a more open attitude toward its gay peers.
My message to all of you gay teens out there like me who have such a fear of exposing yourselves is this: Don't worry. Take a chance to look around you and see how your school handles the concept. Listen to people. Tune in on conversations. Sure, you'll hear some people who are still closed-minded -- people who cannot recognize people for who they are, but rather who they choose to have sex with. But if you compare the younger children to the older children, I think you'll realize as I have that we're all going to be living our adult years ... in a better world.