Saturday, July 03, 2010

Coming out post

Here is a great coming out post I have picked up from a blog that I follow. Well done Taylor.

An open letter to young gay teens...

I know what it's like. I know how you feel. The sense of loneliness, the frustration, anger, confusion.
It gets better. I say this because I know. I cannot describe the incredible sense of relief and freedom once you have simply accepted your own true feelings. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard "I can't come out... yet" then I'd be a very rich man. I've never heard someone say that they regret coming out. (in the long run) Yes, there may be hurdles and barriers initially. Give people time to adjust. Remember, it's taken you a lifetime just to accept this within yourself, until you were ready to face the world. If the people in your life can't accept you for who you are, then unfortunately you might have to leave them behind. This is your life, not theirs.

If you are feeling depressed, please reach out, in any way you feel comfortable doing so. Call a hotline. Talk to a friend. Start a blog. See a counsellor. Hell, send me an email! Do something... anything.

If you're still sceptical, look at me as an example. Less than six months ago I was a confused, self-concious, sexually frustrated kid who thought I was maybe bisexual. It took me many months of exposure to the niche that is commonly referred to as "homosexuality" before I realized I walked among them. Had I not stumbled onto some of these blogs and stories, who knows where I would be? Perhaps I would have grown deeper into my hole of self-doubt and denial. I am so happy that I didn't. In retrospect, I can think back to many examples of ridiculously obvious clues in my past. If I had shaken the magic 8 ball, the answer to the million dollar sexuality question - "am I gay?" - would have consistently been:

"All signs point to yes"

In my early teenage years, I watched porn, like every other kid we knew. My friends and I started sneaking around after school, to gather round the magical wonder that is "the internet" before any of our parents got home. It was around then that I started to realize I was different. I don't know how, and I don't remember one specific moment, but I knew I was different. When I was alone, I started watching straight porn; but more often than not, I was focusing on the guy. This lead to the obvious meandering into the gay porn world... oh so evil. After I'd done the deed I would feel gross, ashamed, and dirty. "I can't be looking at stuff like that. This is the last time I watch dude porn" - I would repeatedly promise to myself. I broke that promise more times than I can count.

Finally I came to terms with reality. There was a reason I kept coming back to the guys... something that I think I knew all along, but denied myself of this knowledge that was deep down inside of me. I was gay. Saying it out loud to yourself for the first time is huge. (once you actually mean it) For me this was the most important step. Telling others was just a necessary evil to be honest. I just wanted to get it over with. So that's what I did. Three close friends know now, and I've gotten nothing but a positive response from all of them. They were all shockingly accepting, and it's so surreal to hear that from some of the "straightest" people I know. Friends that would often use gay slurs and insults, were now the ones embracing me for who I am. It makes me think, how stupid it was to wait this long, in fear of rejection that never materialized.

I didn't choose this path. I didn't want to be gay. It's not something I aspired to, or would put on my resume as a proud achievement. However, I did choose to simply live my life, without hiding behind one big secret. Whenever the time is right for you, take comfort in knowing that there is an ever-expanding subculture of your community that is ready to embrace you and welcome you with open arms. Hopefully most of the people you love in your current life will tag along, too. In any case, the train is leaving the station, and your destination is unknown. You can finally be yourself.

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we played the hand"
-Randy Pausch

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