My Coming Out Post

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend I had made at the summer program I’m currently attending.

“What will you tell them?” I asked her. I was referring to her friends at home – I was curious about how she would describe me.

“I need to preface it by telling them you’re gay. No guy self-deprecates as much as you do, or says the things that you do,” she said.

-

One of my best friends told me that I shouldn’t write a coming out post. If people are reading what I write and responding well, why tell them? I agree with her, in a sense.

But there are a myriad of people who stereotype gays. There are those who are curious about gays. They talk about gays. They throw around slurs and rumors and categorize people because they are gay. It’s funny, because gays receive so much attention, but so few rights.

People say that bad things need to happen for change to occur. A hugely negative event must serve as the catalyst or the catastrophe for things to get better. Matthew Shepard’s death stirred controversy over hate crimes, the shooting at Columbine created a new system of handling school shootings, and the assassination of Martin Luther King produced an uproar in the Civil Rights Movement.

And perhaps bad things will happen to me. Perhaps people from my high school – the ones who are unaccepting and full of hatred, ignorance, and bigotry – will find this post and I will be harmed. Perhaps I will be discriminated against in the future when I search for a job or for some sort of prestigious position. My mom always tells me she would rather have a dead son than a gay son – perhaps she will hurt me even more if she were to stumble upon this post, or this blog.

However, I don’t want people to think that I’m Thomas, the gay teen. I’m Thomas, the writer, the reader, the tennis player, the blogger, the gay teen. And if I need to blog about my thoughts, feelings, and experiences to prove that gays shouldn’t be persecuted for being basically the same as everyone else, then I’ll do it.

I’m planning to write a post about the Laramie Project, an inspiring film I saw last week. It is related to the death of Matthew Shepard.

Over the course of this month, I’ve met some of the most amazing people. They are accepting, they are mature, and they are talented. But the girl that I was talking to yesterday, in the conversation I prefaced this post with, assumed that my sexuality was more salient than any other feature I possessed.

I want that to change. I want the world to know that who I’m attracted to, or who anyone else is attracted to, does not change their character, their ability to raise children, or anything other than, well, who they’re attracted to. It’s a simple concept, really.

I hope I’m not going to be that bad thing. It may be selfish, but I hope I won’t have to suffer or face struggles in order to overcome a stigma society has placed upon others like me. I’m not ready to martyr myself, yet, but I can start by sharing what I’ve encountered to eliminate some of the ignorance entrenched in society and popular culture.

I don’t desire for this to be a big deal. In an ideal world, gays wouldn’t need to come out, and gay marriage wouldn’t be such a big issue. But in order for that to happen, serious steps need to be taken. Blacks didn’t stop being discriminated against overnight, and even today, there are those who are racist.

Nevertheless, I’m taking that first step. It will be, what I foresee, the first of many.

Thoughts?

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40 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society

40 responses to “My Coming Out Post

  1. My best friend came out as bisexual in my school of less than 120 people. I’m not going to lie to you Thomas, it’s hard. It’s going to be terrible at times and people will direct horrible, terrifying amounts of hate at you. My friend ended up transferring from our small, very religious community because of the sheer hatred but now that she goes to a bigger school, she’s happy. She’s accepted who she is.

    There are going to be tough times. But it gets better, I promise. After all, you didn’t choose to be gay any more than I chose to be ‘smart’. It’s part of who we are and though some people are scared by differences like that, it’s not like we can change. You just have to accept that it’s only one part of your personality, like you said in your post.

    I truly wish you the best of luck.

    • I’m glad your friend was able to get away from your small, religious community. Thankfully my area isn’t too conservative, but is definitely more unaccepting than accepting for the most part. I think I’ll truly be able to be happy in college and after college when I move on from where I was born.

      Thank you for your support, Carrie, and I will keep your words in mind as I face whatever comes my way!

  2. sammy

    Thomas-

    I admire your courage and the strength of your personality. I have so much respect for you. I say rock on. It may sound cliche but “be the change you wish to see in the world.” and never stop fighting for what is right because “those things worth having are the things worth working for.” I also think there is more to you than the fact that you are gay. You are truly a unique and special individual and incredilby fun to be around. That is how I will describe you when I go back home. You will always have a friend in me!

    • Thanks Sam! I’m happy that we’ve connected here as good friends and that you find me personable enough to be around. Even when gov school ends we will keep in touch. (:

  3. Come to Canada! We’re accepting of everyone :) On a more serious note, I have a friend whose parents held a similar viewpoint and she was pretty distraught at their reaction to her coming out. Eventually they accepted her sexuality and they’re really supportive of her now! Hopefully your mom will one day be okay with it.

    • Perhaps… at this point I think I may just cut ties when I’m older, sort of like eliminating the toxic relationship entirely, you know? My mom is very close-minded when it comes to gays and pretty much anyone who does not abide by her strict set of ideals. Thank you for reading and commenting, though!

  4. I think you’re very brave to write this post. I’m bi myself, and I say so on my blog and GR, but no one from my school and home even know that I have a blog.
    Also, it sounds a bit funny, but when I think about you, or read your posts, I totally forget you’re gay. Not because I’m forcing myself to (like my mom is about my bisexuality), but because it isn’t relevant. It’s like any other post any other person writes. You don’t think “Ohhh, this is a heterosexual writing about penguins!” You just think about penguins and that’s all. I think being gay, or lesbian, or bi, or transgender is just a fact, a tiny part of who you are, like that you love reading and writing.
    You wrote: “It’s funny, because gays receive so much attention, but so little rights.” And that’s so true. I think I never said I’m working on my papers and the subject is DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and how it sucks! ;D
    And I’m sorry about your mom, and what she said. At least mine didn’t freak out, just asked me again and again whether I’m sure *eyeroll*
    Truth be told, I haven’t even told my dad yet because I’m afraid HE’LL freak out.

    • Yes, exactly! Writing exemplifies my point, because when you read someone’s writing, you can’t automatically assume that they’re gay, black, or human (okay, except that last one).

      I’d be interested in reading your paper when you’re finished with it! I think it sucks too, honestly. And that’s good that your mom didn’t react too badly, I suppose it’s understandable that she was shocked – society does make the assumption that one’s children would be straight.

      We can combat our fear of our parents together! Thank you for reading and commenting, like I’ve said to others I’m glad that I’ve heard another voice that is facing what I’m facing.

  5. I think if you handle this with the dignity and thoughtfulness I usually see in your posts, you’ll be just fine, Thomas.

  6. Chatter Master

    You writing that you are gay doesn’t change anything I “know” about you. It has no impact on what I “think” about you. Sadly, you and I know this will not be the case for every one in your life, present and future. I’m sorry that this even has to be an issue. I’m always impressed with your thoughtful, and insightful posts. I suspect you may be one of the people in this world who helps fuel positive change. On many fronts.

    • Thank you, Chatter Master – even if other people aren’t as accepting as you are, it makes a difference to me that you recognize what is right and wrong. One of my goals is to create positive change, so I hope your suspicion comes to fruition!

      • Chatter Master

        I hope it does as well. I like what Ellen Degeneres did when they were voting for legalized marriage for everyone. She went door to door. People were honest and told her they were opposed to it, and she very plainly asked how her loving somebody affects their lives. Most were kind of stopped short in their tracks on how to answer it. Good for you Thomas, positive and kindness and acceptance is only good.

        • She is such a strong lady! I do think that asking people those types of questions and getting them to think about gay marriage and gays in general logically will make them realize that intolerance and failing to accept them is a tragic misstep.

  7. You really are brave to do something like this Thomas. Although I only know you via your blog, I think you are a lovely person,thoughtful and considerate, and I support you with what you did. There are some people in life who will oppose your choice. Hopefully, I wish you won’t meet those people and only acquaintance those who are very welcoming towards you.
    You’re strong, Thomas. You will be more so than ‘just fine’. I believe in you!
    *hugs*

    • Thank you for your support Rosie! I agree that it would be nice if I never had to associate with those people, but I already have, so I think it would be even better if I could change their mindsets positively. That may not happen for everyone but I think it is a good goal to strive for. Thanks again for your belief in me and for the internet hug!

  8. Cathal

    It may not mean much, but you have the support of your readers on here. If you do have a hard time, and I hope you don’t, I’m confident that you have the presence of mind to get through it- and you have the benefit of knowing you have the moral highground. If someone depends for a sense of self on keeping a person or group of people down then there’s something wrong with them. I’m sure people at your school will support you too. Fighting!

    • Cathal, the support of my readers means more than I can efficiently express. (:

      I will remember my presence of mind and my possession of the moral high ground if anything goes wrong. There are already some people at my school who support me – I hope others will follow their lead! Thank you for reading and commenting, as always.

  9. JokerFace

    I support you all the way, bro. :)

  10. Elaine

    Hi, Thomas! Thought I should finally get around to actually commenting on the brilliant work that is this blog, and what better time to do it?

    I hate that we live in an age where people have to be applauded for simply expressing who they are, instead of it just being natural and commonplace as it should be. Yet, unfortunately, we do, though it doesn’t make your courage any less outstanding. You are incredibly, incredibly brave for this, and it’s something I’ve admired and will continue to admire as long as I’m lucky enough to know you. But more than that, I admire the factors that first drew me towards these posts – your intelligence, your kindness, your thoughtfulness, and more. They are truly what makes you /you/. You are more than your sexuality, and god, I pray that through you people will come to realize this.

    If anyone from our school dares to do any of the “bad things” you ruminated might happen to you as a result, know that you do have allies here. There is a support system, and you do not have to stand alone against prejudice and bigotry – we won’t let you, to be quite honest, ha :) And hopefully, this first step is just one of many in the direction of bigger and better things for you and the future of gay – or as I like to call them, human – rights.

    • Elaine! It makes me happy to hear from you again after quite some time apart – I am honored that you would take the time to read and comment on my blog.

      You’ve pretty much summed up everything I could say in your usual eloquent fashion, so, thank you for that, and thank you for your kind words (even if I may not deserve all of them). You know I’ve always been inspired by your beautiful writing and your intelligence in general, and I’m glad that we’ve grown closer over our writing and our fanboying/fangirling over The Mortal Instruments/The Hunger Games/etc.!

      Once again, thank you for your support – it means a lot to me that I have someone like you on my side. I hope we have classes together next year, and even if we don’t, we will keep in touch. (:

  11. Thomas, you are who you are to me you’re a beautiful human being, no one can change that, no one has the right to. I’d like to say that it doesn’t matter what people say, but that’s not totally true because their words affect you … but that’s if you let them.
    You’re the one that has to live with yourself every single day, every single minute and second and once you are comfortable with who you are and what you stand for, the principles you believe in, then even the most hurtful things people say and do cannot tarnish your spirit. You have to believe it and I hope that you do.
    Your mother’s tyranny hasn’t completely broken you, in fact I know that you’re stronger than she thinks. How can I be so confident? The things you’ve written has shown me that in you own way you’ve fought back and stood up.
    I believe in you and all of your followers here do too, so if there ever comes a time that you feel that you’re completely alone, know that were here though not literally and that many of us haven’t ever met you, we’re there with you.

    I’m confident that you’ll be the victor in this, if I may say, battle that you’ll be facing. You’re an inspiration, Thomas, shine on.

    • Ah, Devina, I cannot adequately articulate how much I appreciate your compassion and your support! You’re completely right that it’s up to me to get through this endeavor and that as long as I am comfortable with myself, I should be strong enough to get through it. Only another year, and I will be off to college – where I will be freer than I ever had been before. I will always keep in mind how much positivity and wisdom I’ve gained from the people who respond to my posts, especially you, Devina. Thank you, so, so much.

  12. Thomas, I admire your courage in writing this post. I know it could not have been easy to do, but I hope that you’ll find it liberating as well.

    It’s so strange, but it took one of my two best friends (who wasn’t a best friend yet at the time) almost two years to tell me he was gay, and in all that time I was just sort of…waiting for him to do so. It makes me so terribly sad that in this day and age it is still so difficult for human beings to live and let live, and that there needs to be any sort of trauma associated with a simple declaration of who you are. Love to you, always.

    • Wendy, I have found it liberating. The wealth of support and kindness people like you have shown me is more than I had hoped for.

      I feel like that may have been how a few of my close friends felt when I came out to them. It is difficult, and the process of trusting someone with something that isn’t a big deal – but at the same time, a huge deal – can be a tenuous path to tread upon. Thank you once again for all of your support, and I look forward to reading your next book review!

  13. Andreas

    Hey, it was so great of you to write a ‘coming-out’ post. I salute you. I know that it’s hard, but you finally confessed. It was a very brave move. You know, I think I should have my sexuality in ‘undeclared’, cuz, honestly, I don’t know if I’m attracted to either male or female. I, honestly, found males super attractive, cute, hot, you name it, while I don’t feel the same for females, which is a bit weird. Maybe, it’s my longing of having an older bro, but IDK, I guess I just have to figure it out by myself and I’m sure that if I turned out to be gay, it’ll take years, probably, for my parents to fully support me, cuz u know, they’re close-minded and we lived by the East tradition. :)

    • I understand. Sexuality, while important, is not the most pressing matter in one’s life – it’s good that you’re not forcing yourself to find males or females attractive at this point. I think longing for a sibling of the same gender is distinctly different from longing for someone of the same gender sexually, however, I see your point there. I hope that your parents are supportive of you if you decided to come out to them as gay, as I know how hard it is when they are not. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  14. Andreas

    Hey, just want to, uh, let you know that there’s a good movie called “eCupid”. It’s a gay rom-com and it tells us the real meaning of love, I suppose. I truly hoped that you’ll like it as much as I do. :)

    • Thanks for sharing it with me. I added it to my to-watch list on rotten tomatoes, I’ll let you know my opinion of it once I get around to watching it!

      • Andreas

        And, you should definitely check out the entire Eating Out film franchise. It’s a series of American LGBT-themed comedy films and there are 5 of them. :)

        • Okay, thanks, I will! Probably after college apps are done, and after second semester of senior year… (aka, the busiest time for high school seniors in the USA). (:

          • Andreas

            Well, good luck and try to enjoy it as much as possible. Don’t stress, you can do everything and don’t forget to read a book! Haha. :)

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  16. Hey man!….i know i’m reading this post really late.But i just found your blog yesterday. And as a testimony to just how awesome a writer you are: i read all your posts in a day! Anyways…i know how you feel. Even though i’m not gay ,i have a Ph.D. in the subject of feeling out of place.I am without dout one of the weirdest,dorkiest ,most eccentric people in the world. So i can understand the emotional rollercoaster you must be going through..on all fronts. People think that the worst thing about being different is the persecution. Its not…hate is something you can fight. Its the indiferrance and the isolation that hurts. So muster up all your courage,my lionhearted colleague of the Blog dynasty….cause how much ever hate assaults you, there is twice that much love and acceptance waiting for you. I also fervently hope,your Mom comes to accept you completely…cause I’d hate for you to lose her. So take care dude, and have fun!

    • I see what you mean, even though the persecution hurts, there are other aspects to being different that deal damage as well. You’re right that we should maintain a positive outlook no matter what, because there are people out there who are loving, as well as people out there who need love. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for taking the time to read and comment on a myriad of my posts!

  17. So this is a little late to comment on this post, but I would like to say that I came out to a lot of my friends last week. The great majority of them were great about it. I am lucky to live in a place with lots of acceptance towards pretty much everyone, and it is actually a great place to be if you are gay. (By the way, I have been off discovering myself and I have decided that I am mostly gay, not bi.) Guys come to school in rainbow capes sometimes, which I guess is pretty cool. I want to tell my parents in two days (I’m dying the suspense) and I honestly don’t have any idea how they would react. Wish me luck!
    Anyways, this is a great post and congratulations on coming out!!!!
    -Lia

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