Around 1:15 PM, I trudge from AP Biology to AP Calculus. Three AP classes down, one more to go, I think.
I hear someone call my name and turn. It’s a junior, a friend of mine who I had a class with two years ago but had not spoken to for quite some time. I wait for her to catch up, and when she does, we continue walking to our classes together.
“What do you think of AP Bio?” she asked.
“It’s not as bad as I thought it would be,” I reply, “everyone is so quiet though, and there are a lot of juniors. What do you think of the class?”
She repositions her dark brown hair with her hand, and says, “It’s alright. Do you mind if I ask you a question though? Like, I don’t mean it in an offensive way, but…”
As she leaves her sentence halfway done and hanging in the air, I already know what she’s going to ask. I can tell by the way her eyes don’t meet mine, the way she tries to conceal her curiosity, and the way she can’t bring herself to ask the question outright.
I briefly contemplate how awkward I could make the situation by refusing to answer. Maybe I wouldn’t have, two years ago. Or maybe one year ago. But I’ve changed now, and such silly things don’t bother me anymore.
“Go ahead,” I say.
After taking a deep breath, she says, “Are you gay?”
“Yes,” I say, without hesitation. I feel proud for some reason, like the fact that I’m unafraid to announce my attraction to men should earn me praise.
“What? Really? Well, that’s cool,” she says, and I can’t figure out if she’s glad that her suspicious have been confirmed, or if she’s genuinely shocked.
“But don’t go around telling just anyone,” I say, and I feel a twinge of guilt, like I’m not being completely honest – but I know that if a random stranger were to stumble upon my mom and confide in her, I could be in danger. My friend complies immediately.
We walk for a few more seconds down the crowded hallway before we part ways. We’re ensconced by a moving mass of bodies, a crowd of adolescents trying to find themselves in this crazy place called high school. And as I head down another path to my calculus class, I hope that everyone – straight, gay, black, or white – will feel as free as I do, their senior year.
And that is my insignificant yet somewhat meaningful anecdote I will share from my first day of school. I feel like in high school, there’s this weird haze that surrounds people when they ask others if they’re gay. I know, I know – why would anyone ask about something so trivial and unimportant anyway? I would assume it’s out of curiosity, or perhaps to find a potential date. Either way, as long as there’s no intent to harm or to shame, it’s perfectly harmless.
The reason its perfectly harmless is so simple – there’s nothing wrong with being gay. One of the most cliche and trite sayings in the world comes to save the day. It’s not like you’re asking the person if he or she killed someone, or if he or she is a sex addict, or if he or she secretly stashed weed in your locker to get back at you for stealing his or her prom date. People should stop assuming that being gay is something that someone would be embarrassed about, or that there’s something shameful about it. It is what it is.
Some people may lie to you. And that’s alright. Some people may not be secure with their sexuality yet, or they may have trouble at home and telling you could put them at risk, or they could just not want to tell you. Once again, it’s not a big deal – sexuality is such a small part of a person and does not affect anything other than who they’re attracted to. Heck, I used to lie, because I was scared of being beat up (not by my peers, though.)
Finally, boys and girls, if someone asks you if you’re gay, don’t let it bother you! All they want to know is if you are attracted to individuals of your own gender. If you’re a boy, don’t assume that they think you’re feminine, if you’re a girl, don’t assume they think you’re butch. It’s one of the most infuriating insecurities when people have to rapidly deny that they’re gay. If you’re straight, cool. If you’re gay, cool. Simple as that.
Thoughts? Now I must work on annihilating my AP homework. Was anyone else’s first day today? If not, how did your first days or weeks go? I still can’t bring myself to say I’m a senior… until next time!
13 responses to “Are You Gay?”
i clicked on your entry because of the title, and because i was asked the same question today. When i was in high school i was insecure about myself, had a self-hate thing going on. durning my high school years i was picked on by all the jocks which didnt help anything. i would get home from school and and lock myself in my room and cry. looking back, i cringe at how weak I was, because that’s not who i am anymore (don’t know where i was going with this lol).
btw I applaud you for coming out to some of the people you know, i didn’t until i was 20.
changing the subject; good luck in all your courses 🙂
That is horrible! I am so sorry you had to go through the bullying and the self-hate, but I am glad that you are able to look back on it now and know that you’re stronger.
Thanks! I mean, I’m not some gay hero at my school or anything but it’s nice to be more open about my sexuality.
I will study hard! Thanks for dropping by. (:
I love reading your posts, Thomas. That is all 🙂
That is enough, thank you Ruth!
“SImple as that.” You are simply correct. Great post Thomas.
Yes, I am glad you agree. Thank you for reading and commenting, as always.
I am really happy for you mister. I’m glad you don’t feel ashamed for being gay but most important in who you are! I know first hand how it feels when somebody asked me my first time if I was gay. I felt my blood racing, my hands sweating, and finding it hard to breath. Because it was something I wanted no one to know. But now that I’m older and it’s my senior year as well I can be who I want because I simply just don’t care anymore! I’m glad I have the best friends I do because they helped me become the proud Gay person I am today. Sorry for going on and on sir. But I know how you feel so free and how you feel that you can live your life anyway you want because you love and respect yourself for who you and how far you have came. Good luck in school and Yaya, for our class of 2013!
Yes, I do remember the blood racing and the nervousness when someone first asked me if I was gay… it’s an embarrassing memory, but not a particularly painful one. Don’t ever apologize for your thoughts, I appreciate you for sharing them!
Anyway, thanks again for reading and commenting and I hope you have a fabulous senior year as well. (:
Well, hello there, senior! 🙂 there’s nothing wrong with being gay. I so loved that sentence! Yeah, people around us just gotta accept who we are. I mean, we are all the same, right? We have the same features and everything, the only difference is our sexuality. I’m just saying that it’s probably hard for people to accept our sexuality, but then, it’d prevent all of us from misunderstanding. I may have the fear of saying to my friends that I’m gay, but they’re the ones I could trust, albeit I’m still nowhere ready to tell my parents. It’s just all so confusing. Btw, good luck in your senior year! Have fun, don’t let stress overwhelm you, live your life, go to prom and read a book! 🙂
I’m glad you loved the sentence. (: I understand, there are some acquaintances who I’m not quite comfortable with sharing my sexuality yet, and I am definitely far in telling my parents (if I ever decide to do so). Thanks for wishing me luck, I plan to read a lot and relax a little more one first semester is over!
Ooooh! I’ve heard Death of a Salesman is really great (but very dark/depressing I think?) Will be very interested to hear what you think about it, I’m sure it will be a great book to analyse!
P.S. Lol, love how I just bypass the main point of this post and zone in straight on the books, how typical of me. :L But really, I have nothing else to add. You sum up these situations and sterotypes around being gay so perfectly, and I really have nothing else to add. I salute you and your strength to stand up in a world that at times can be so judgmental and close-minded.
P.P.S. Ohh also could you help an English girl out? Senior – is that your last year in school? 😛
Aw, thanks Becky! I understand, when it comes down to it being gay and the stereotypes surrounding being gay are not that difficult to disassemble. It is what it is. (:
Yes, senior means last year in high school! Freshman is first, sophomore second, and junior third. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Ohhh right haha, thanks! How exciting! I hope it all goes well for you. xD