What it was like growing up 'gay' in a 'straight' world:
Well, until I became aware that I was gay, everything seemed to be normal to me.
I always thought that I was different from a very young age.
I liked things other boys my age didn't have any interest in at all.
That was fine by me....until I was about 12 years old and saw that
some people didn't like the fact that I was different.
Once I saw that I could be rejected by most people I began to try to fit in
and be like the other boys. Funny thing was that my best friend
from age five to post high school was going through the same thing,
totally unbeknownst to either of us!
I learned early that to be 'a man' in our culture required certain attitudes
and behaviors. So I pretended for a while that I wasn't any different
and tried to fit in wherever I could.
I had girlfriends from about grade 8 up to second year university.
A couple of the girls I really liked and imagined being with them forever.
My best friend 'came out' about three years before I did. I was horrified when he told me!
I know why now....because subconsciously it would force me to face my truth
I think he, his name was John, helped me more than he could have
imagined. I saw that he still was the same guy
that I always knew and liked. Nothing really changed about him.
As we are all aware, today it is so much easier for young people
to feel better about themselves when they discover
that they are 'different' from the majority.
I am so happy that this has come about in my lifetime!
These kids won't have the barriers that so many generations
had before them.
They can grow up, for the most part, with a better acceptance
of themselves. In fact they can be proud that they
are different and can have a rewarding life
like everyone else.
I would be lying if I said it wasn't hard growing up gay when I did. It was.
I was terrified when I came out to family and friends,
the worse feeling is the fear of rejection.
I was lucky, I didn't get that.
The barriers are disappearing and almost time to throw away those 'wire-cutters'.