Hello, my name is Chris and I’m gay. The phrase that was once so hard for me to say now comes without hesitation. Coming out is different for everyone, but one thing is for sure–it lifted a huge weight from my shoulders. If I were to regret one thing in my life, it would be that I waited too long. First, accepting myself was the biggest challenge aside from telling the first person in my life.
I knew that I was gay at age 14. School dances were especially exciting for me because rubbing up on my friends and other guys would give me a special feeling that nothing else could. I had a friend that would get a ride home once in a while and we would give each other favors in the back seat of my mom’s car. Cute boys walking down the hallway between classes would make my imagination run wild. Meanwhile, I was best friends with one of the hottest girls in school and never had any desires for her. Yep, I’m gay.
Throughout high school and college I would spend my days secretly suppressing my desires to be with another guy. I had many “straight” playmates that would eventually move on from our superficial relationship to a heterosexual one. Each time this happened, it would leave me hurting more.
One day about a year ago I left a message online for a complete stranger (my way of reaching out). What are the chances he’ll actually answer, right? To this day he is one of the most important people in my life. He gave me the courage that I needed to face my biggest fear: rejection.
It was a huge day for me; I was ready to tell everyone. I told my sister, dad and mom all in the same day. I said to my mom, “Do you love me no matter what”? Her reply was, “Yes, son, I will love you no matter what.” So I told her I was gay and she gave me a big hug as I stood there and cried. The next words were, “Son, I already knew.” For those of you reading this who struggle–I encourage you to find strength and courage. The people that truly love you will accept you for who you are; though they may not always understand, they will continue to love you. Remember, be true to yourself.
I’m From Juneau, AK. “I want to tell you something, but I’m afraid it could hurt our friendship, and I don’t want it to. It’s hard to talk about, and I’ve been avoiding telling you, but I want to.”
“Okay. It’s no big deal. Just slow down!” Apparently, my nervousness had caused me to tense up and clamp down, including clamping my foot down on the gas pedal. “Well,” I thought afterward, “that went a lot better than I feared.”
I’m From Lewiston, ID. “If anyone can be hard to talk to it is the big redneck dad with the huge truck and a gun case that rivals that of a small army. I know that it didn’t end perfectly but I also know that by being able to tell him, that I was able to move on with my life.”
I’m From Arlington Heights, IL. “The biggest thing for me in high school was to take my boyfriend to a school dance, which was unheard of in my conservative school. We are known as the gay school cause of my best friend and me, but who cares. I really wanted to do it, and even during the dance, people would move away from us in disgust. [...] The best advice I can give other teens is to be yourself, and remember that life does get better. It may take some time, but it does get better and when it does, all the waiting will be worth it.”