I am gay. It's all I have right now. It's all I know.
All my so-called friends are all gay bashers, and despise them. Needless to say, I don't talk to any of them anymore. So I am stuck in my own personal hell of being in the closet. I have to constantly lie, and act like I am attracted to women in front of people and also join in on gay bashing all the time.
At first, I hated the fact that I was gay. But I then realized that it's not bad. I started to feel special. I was different, and I liked it.
I used to make myself feel better by thinking that I am part of a huge international organization, an Organization of Homosexuals. You see what we do is spread homosexuality all over the world. That's why I was placed in a small town, in an old-fashioned family. We are going to spread and spread... all over the world...
This may sound ridiculous now, but it was a way to explain why I was feeling this way in my life.
I still remember my youth very clearly. I was in Grade 3 and I had the biggest crush on a girl in my class. The next year I forgot about her and for some reason I started to like my friends and the boys in my class, but I thought "Oh who cares, it doesn't mean anything." The next year I lost the crush and feelings for girls and had crushes on boys. I still remember the days when I thought that I was the one who was normal, and everyone else (for some strange reason) liked girls.
That changed in Grade 6, and I heard the word "FAG" in class. I said out loud "What's a Fag?" Everyone turned around and started to giggle and laugh, then a boy said "You know when two mental screw-ups like each other! AHHAAHHAHA." I didn't understand what he said, but then I had realised that those mental screwups he was talking about were homosexuals. The next day I realized that I was a homosexual... therefore I was a screwup.
I turned around and went back home and told my mother I felt ill. When she left for work all I did was cry.. and cry, and cry. I thought I was a pervert, or a sick person for having these feelings. It was the worst feeling I ever felt. It hurt so bad, that at age 11 I thought of suicide. I never really got as far as planning it out, but it was on my mind. I used to look up at God and say "Why? Why are you doing this to me?". My family was very religious and I had grown up with Catholic values.
At home, I remember once when my cousin was telling us a story at the dinner table (this was the place to talk about what you did today, what's going on in your life, etc.). She was telling us about what happend at her work today. She said "Ok, like I am sitting at the cash register, and this fag in like sleazy clothes and with another guy -- Oh, they were holding hands too -- come to pay for some stuff they bought. So, like, I give them their change, and like totally run to like the closest bathroom, to wash my hands, cause you know how 'those' people are, spreading AIDS and shit." (Pardon the Valley girl 80's accent but it was the 80's.)
The worst part about school was when we were learing about sex. I remember "Henry" put his hand up and said "Sir, how are fags born?" I immediatley felt like crying, but I had to hold it in. But to my surprise my teacher actually replied, "Henry, don't worry about those people. They will all go to hell for disobeying God, and they will be punished for what they are doing." I couldn't believe even the adults in the small elementary school were actually reinforcing hate towards homosexuals. You could imagine how bad I felt about thinking I am also going to hell, too.
Although elementary school was bad, nothing prepared me for how bad high school would be. In high school, all everyone ever did was make fun of "fags." That was the insult to use, "You're such a fag," "You stupid fag." Everyone said it, except the girls. I noticed that most of the girls never used it, but I didn't know why.
Also, when the teachers heard it, I guess they were obligated to say "No, that's bad, don't say that." But I could tell which teachers meant it, and which didn't. The teachers who meant it would have a long talk with the student, the teachers who didn't mean it, would say "No, no, don't say that.... blah blah" and that's it, very coldly said.
This gave me hope, knowing that at least some teachers were not homophobic, and would not encourage homophobia. But then, I noticed that all my friends seemed to do is bash homosexuals. I just got sick of it. I couldn't go along with it any longer. I don't even talk to them anymore, in fact I don't even go out anymore.
That's why I hated myself. I hated being gay, and wanted to turn back to being normal somehow. I used to force myself to think about girls, but it didn't do anything. I remember being at a friend's house one day, and he got a tape out of his brother's room and put it in his VCR.
It was a pornographic film of two women. All my friends were laughing and, well, enjoying it. I just kept thinking "Hmm, you know this is such a degradation to society and women, how could anyone do this?" But, then, I realized that I wasn't remotely turned on by the women. I was turned on by my friends enjoying it so much. I realized then that I was gay. No turning back, I am what I am.
That's how far I've gotten in my life. I have reached the summer of '96, and I have marked it as the summer I come out. I am going to tell my closest family members who I know will not react too bad when I tell them. I look behind me and I see a page full of hurting emotions, but I look forward and see an empty page. I can choose what goes on it. I am in control of my life.
I am Gay. It's all I have. But it's a whole lot to have.