Starting High School a Fresh Manby Eric Wilcox
Hello there Lesbigay youth. My name is Eric, and I'm gay. I'm a freshman at Case High School in Racine, Wisconsin. My story is not the happiest story in the world, nor is it depressing at all. I would like to hopefully encourage Lesbigay teens to be more proud of themselves and overall hold a position of pride rather than one of humility.
I know what an incredibly heterosexual world high school is. People say high school is the beginning of the best years in your life, but when I first entered this world I was a little apprehensive. Someone once estimated that one out of 10 people is gay, but I couldn't have even started to believe such a figure. This was a very hard position to rise above, but somehow I've managed to do it. I also think that I have had an effect in my school on the 'coming out' of teens about their sexuality, and this makes me feel very good. But let me tell you a little bit about how and why I came out.
I simply couldn't stand it anymore. I needed someone to talk to about gay matters, and no one seemed to be able to relate. Not only did I seem like the only one, but everyone seemed to know that I was gay even though I had told no one. Homophobes have this radar, you see, that seeks us out -- or so they think. This made me even more depressed. So in an attempt to gain support, I told a few of my closest and most understanding friends that I was gay. They were just that -- understanding. This was a huge step for me, and it really boosted my confidence.
With just these few people to talk to, I almost instantaneously became more sure of myself. I proudly walked around school instead of trying to fade into the crowd. Slowly, I came out to more and more people. If someone asked me if I was gay, (which happened quite often, in the beginning) I said "yes." (Even though after I told them that, people began NOT to believe me -- go figure) And that brings us to where I am now. Almost all of my close friends know that I'm gay, and everyone else has their own suspicions, and I like it that way. I proudly wear the rainbow on my backpack, not caring what people think.
As soon as all of this pressure was off me, I could act myself. I could have my "faggy" mannerisms and phrases. But here's where it really gets cool. Here I am, little Eric, just being a happy gay male. Now, though, I see more and more people begin to "come out." One by one, people begin to let the pressure off their shoulders and be themselves as well. And this is where I am now, watching person after person discover themselves in this world of self-discovery. I like to think that I caused some of these people to accept themselves, or gave them a little confidence.
Don't get me wrong, my school is still very heterosexual, I still get teased/harassed, not everyone is open about their sexuality, but I have seen a little bit of relaxation towards homosexuals, and that makes my whole life a little easier.