To all of you young ones who are struggling with being gay, this is for you. Some of what I will write now is still like an open wound when I think about it. But between my pain and yours, I think it is more important if I can help at least one of you.
From a very young age, I had known I was different. By the time I hit thirteen, I was more or less sure that I was gay. But it wasn't such a big issue, as I didn't see any need to say it loud. Besides, at that point, I was being bullied for being a geek, which in some ways is even worse. But something happened, and I was found out to be gay. I'll say it now, much of it was my fault. I was remorseful, but I never lived it down.
The sad part was, the way things went, I was "taught" by my environment that what I did, what I was, was totally unforgivable, disgusting and proof that I was scum. Coupled with being bullied as a geek, I can truly say that I came close to killing myself a few times. I couldn’t talk about it to anyone else, and it was just my own shame at the thought of "giving up" through suicide that saved me. My life in high school had a profound effect on me, and until now, I carry many psychological scars.
So…you might be thinking…how does it get better?
Well, now, I'll tell you this:
My life, no matter how much I complain about it now, is much better.
I am in a job where my skills are appreciated. I've had some major road bumps along the way, but now, I can honestly say that I enjoy where I work.
I am in a band. I am an openly gay bass guitar player in a metal band. I'm not kidding. I make no bones about it, and I really don't care what people think, because I am incredibly proud of my band, of our music and of our uncompromising stand.
I have a large circle of friends and relatives who accept me, some of them being people whom I thought would never have accepted me - including my father. True, some of them get exasperated by my antics and eccentricities, but I love them all for simply being there for me.
Finally, I have been in a relationship with a man whom I dearly love for the past seven years. We moved in with each other last year into our own apartment. We have had our trials, but in the end, I get to sleep right next to a man who still manages to make my heart melt when he looks at me.
Don't give in, and if you have to grit your teeth for the time being, do so. Remember, once you can walk away from all of it, do so. That is your right. That is freedom.
So, to all of those you who are falling into despair:
We love you.
It will get better.