July 1997

I've finally finished my last year of high school, and as I get ready to continue on with my education, I'd thought I'd leave some advice for gay teens going into high school and maybe who are still there. We all know that high school is the years where at times your life may seem so clear, but more often then not it's all so confusing.

When I entered grade nine a few years back, I didn't even think I was gay, bi or anything really. I was just a kid who was scared to death of going to high school. I really admire the people who have the courage to come out during high school, I know its not an easy thing to do. I was one of the bigger kids in high school and never got picked on or anything like that. I would probably say that my life was pretty easy through the first three years. It wasn't until I was in grade 11 that things really started to become a little clearer to me.

I knew that I was different in a sense for the first few years, but I never really thought about being gay. I knew I looked at guys in a different manner than most of my friends, but life for me wasn't easy. I go a Catholic high school with very strict views about the homosexual lifestyle that I was soon to become a part of. I had been taught for most of my high school life that what I was was wrong and that my lifestyle was not allowed by my religion. This caused me to push away from all the things that had been instilled in me by years of Catholic propaganda.

While in grade 11, I began to have feelings about my life and what I was, but still wasn't really comfortable with who I was. I went on with my life hiding my true self and slowly feeling myself get more contained in my little bottle. The pressure at times was so great that it was almost too much to handle. I continued my life like this for quite sometime, it wasn't until my final year of high school that my life really started to make sense to me.

It was last summer that I truly admitted to myself that I was gay. It was one of the hardest things that I've had to face so far, and if I can give people questioning their sexuality some advice: talk to someone. I found a really nice pen pal on a gayteen pen pal page, and it really helped me a lot. It was so good to talk to someone that I connected with and that really understood me for who I was. I spent that summer in mental anguish trying to decide what I was going to do. The worst thing that I had problems with deciding whether or not I should come out. I decided at that time against it for personal reasons, one being I just didn't have enough courage to come out to my family for fear of what they would say and do to me.

There is so much fear surrounding coming out. I was worried my friends wouldn't want to talk to me anymore, and then me becoming some loser with no friends all because they couldn't accept me for who I was. I hear people daily mocking gay people or at least what they perceive them to be, and I'm right there listening in on their conversation, and I think to myself they have no clue what a gay person really is. I'm standing right there in front of them and they would never guess in a million years that I am gay.

If anything I'd like people to understand about why I'm writing this little personal reflection would be to never for a moment think that being gay is wrong in any way and that all of us as an upcoming gay generation are here to educate people about dispel the stereotypes of gay people. One more word of advice is to not let anyone pressure you into coming out. It's not something that you have to do. I am still not out to family, but I have made some progress in coming out to a few select friends that were very supportive to me. When it's your time to come out you'll know it, and then you will be ready to face whatever comes your way.

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