Never Felt So Good

Until this point in my life, I was never 100% honest with anyone around me. Neither my family nor my close friends really knew the truth about who I was and how I feel about things. To put an end to this vague introduction, I just told a handful of my friends that I’m gay. And I wasn’t surprised to see that all that I heard back from them is positive support, reinforcement, and a general closeness to them.

If you’re reading up until this point, it’s not hard to tell that that last sentence in the previous paragraph made absolutely no sense. Bad grammar and diction is not even the half of it. But I think what’s interesting to point out is that me coming out to my friends doesn’t make sense either. Hear me out. As much as I would love to continue to believe that we live in a society where the LGBT community no longer is persecuted, discriminated against, and generally uncomfortable with their position and role in society, that still remains to be true. What doesn’t make sense is that being a gay guy, I still have to announce to my friends that I’m gay, because I’ve spent the last 17 years of my life hiding from them who I really was. As much as I will probably only experience positive views on my coming out, it still kills me to think that I, and millions of other teens, had to deal with years and years of feeling like they weren’t going to be accepted. There is a reason why Harvey Fierstein once said:

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.

And that’s because no one should ever have to spend such a large part of their life in silence.

In a perfect world, something like telling people that you’re gay wouldn’t be a big deal, and it would be an everyday occurrence. But in the real world, in what we experience every day, it is a big deal. Heck, I’m making an entire blog post dedicated to it. Because to me, it is a big deal. I didn’t nor will I ever get to grow up in this utopian society where it would be something completely normal. I spent all of this time, 17 years to be exact, to finally embrace the meaning of this quote into my life, and finally accomplishing that, I’m happier than I ever was in life.

I still haven’t come out to my parents. Like most people probably know, growing up in a very conservative Catholic family means that being different really isn’t an option. And as sad and horrible that I feel saying this, I really won’t be able to tell them the truth until they will be able to handle it. When? And I know it sounds weird to give it a specific time, but the right time is when I graduate college. In the present, I’m still a young guy, and I’m incredibly dependent on my parents to raise me, put me through college, and be there for when I need them. Loosing them at a time like this really isn’t an option. When I have finally moved into being a self sufficient adult, is when I can tell my family who I really am. Because at that point, they can either support me, or disown me. And I won’t be hurt if they choose the lather. If they choose to leave my side, tears will not be shed, hearts will not be broken. Only the feeling of an absence will haunt not my life, but theirs. Because it’s not my job to accept their definition of how I should lead my life, it’s my duty to find my own. Thanks Harvey.

Thanks for Being the Person that You Are

A couple of days ago, one of the many new internet famous vloggers, also known as “youtubers”, Connor Franta (My personal favorite, but that’s besides the point) posted his coming out video. Even in what seems as a time when society is more accepting of LGBT community than it ever was, Connor shows that even though he leads a life where in some respects he preaches being honest about yourself and accepting of others, many still feel that coming out for who you are is still not as accepted as it should be.

Fighting back tears, Connor talks about how he regrets having to live 22 years of his life in denial of the person that he really is. Being afraid of what others think, and if society will accept you is what most people fear when they consider coming out. And people shouldn’t fear coming out. Being honest about who you is not for other people’s benefit. Being honest about yourself is only for you. At the same time, I have to admit that people should in some aspects fear coming out. Yes, it is 100% for the better, and there is not a single better choice that someone could make. But you will always find people who will judge you and discriminate against you because you want to be who you are. To this day, corporations like Chick-fil-A publicly announce that they don’t support homosexuality. My response to that? I have no response. I will lead my life the way that makes me happy. My choices have nothing to do with other people, and just because other people like to overstep their boundaries and push their opinions on me, doesn’t mean I will do the same.

Which brings me to the main thing that I wanted to say, and that is that I’m gay. Surprisingly, this is also my “coming out” video. I have never told anyone that I was gay. I also never even thought about saying it to other people. I’m not ready to announce it in front of all of my friends. I know that they won’t judge me, and they will all like me exactly as much as they like me now. But for anyone who is in the same situation as me, you know that even though you know nothing bad will happen when you do admit it, you’re still scared to death to actually do it.

I hope some of my friends actually do see this. Maybe it will be easier for me if they just find out. But most of them will never see this. That doesn’t mean that I will continue to stay “in the closet”. I don’t have to announce it on social media and tell everyone, but if someone comes up and asks me “Are you gay?”, I’m not going to say “Phhh, no” anymore. I’m going to look straight into their eyes and say “yeah”. The only thing that could happen after that is that person either accepts me for who I am, or doesn’t. And if they don’t, I’m going to be glad that they aren’t in my life anymore.

People, don’t be afraid of accepting who you are. Unexplainable level of respect to Connor for outright telling everyone on the internet who he truly is. But not all of us are ready to announce it on such a level. Accept who you are first, and then tell those people who are willing to listen. There will always be someone 🙂

Share this post with someone who needs it. The courage comes from seeing other people succeed. Trust me.