Coming Out

December 27, 2017

Hi, I'm Christopher. My friends call me Chris. When I get nervous I talk a lot, which I'm sure you can tell. But I shouldm't be nervous. I should be brave and strong. I just said that I was brave and strong. I am brave and strong. Alright then. I'm just going to say it. Hell, I'm writing this so there really is no turning back now. I'm here to tell you a story, something that already happened. It's too late to change it. Well, here it is. Finally back to the point. Hi, I'm Chris... And I like boys.
I guess that, in some way, I knew that I was gay. I never wanted to accept it, but I guess I always knew. I grew up in a very, to put it nicely, strict, family. I didn't even know that gay existed until I was in the sixth grade. And after I did learn about "the word that shall not be named" it was made perfectly clear that gay was most definitely not okay. They never wanted a gay son and would never love a gay son. They made sure that I knew that. They made sure that, if I were to turn out to be gay, I would be too afraid to ever admit to others, or in my case even myself, my dirty little secret. Well, they did a great job. And they weren't alone.
I didn't know what gay was until the first day of sixth grade. I was sitting at the lunch table in a new school. I didn't talk to anyone, I didn't know anyone. I just wanted to sit there unnoticed and make it through my first day in a strange, and to be honest, scary environment. I guess I looked, in the words of Holden Caulfield, "flitty"; because the next thing I knew this student, Deshaun, looked directly at me and said, "Why are you just looking around. Are you gay or something? You like what you see?"
I will never forget that moment. I was so confused and I was horrified. Everyone was laughing me and started asking me if I was a "fag". Once I got home I looked up what that meant. I refused to believe that they were right. I wasn't gay. They were just being rude. Mean. Hurtful. I wasn't gay. I could not be gay. And I kept telling myself thank, promising myself that, praying for that, until the eighth grade.
Two years later I was finding it getting increasingly harder to convince myself that I wasn't attracted to boys. I was getting older, and let's call it what it is, hornier. You can't tell yourself that you don't think that the boy down the street is cute, and believe it, when you start to get "excited" whenever you see him. So, I did what any intelligent eighth grader who was deathly afraid of being gay and being hated by everyone who knows him would do. I compromised with myself. I wasn't gay. I was only into guys when I was extremely horny. I didn't actually want to be with a boy. I liked girls. I was just a horny teenage boy being horny. Nothing more, nothing less.
This compromise went on for a year. A year of waiting until my family fell asleep, locking my doors, and "compromising" with myself. And that year, while probably not the best for my mental health, made me happy. I was extremely paranoid. I always thought that at any moment, even though my doors were locked and they were asleep, my parents would burst in and see me in all my shame and sin. But something inside me felt right, not that I would even acknowledge it though. The fantasy I created was built on a very flimsy foundation.
I was able to believe that I didn't want to be with a guy because I never felt anything more that pure horniness. Well that changed my freshman year of high-school. I, after my first semester, switched to my third school of the year and walked into my English class. I was clearly nervous and my teacher told me to go find a group to sit in. I heard someone trying to get my attention and saw a boy waving me over and motioning that I should sit across from him. I remember the first thought that went through my mind:

His name was Aidan, Aidan O'Connor. I looked at him and I immediately felt a certain kind of way. I finally knew, after seeing his smile, that I was gay. And that boy, that beautiful individual, wanted me to sit across from him. Part of me knew that I shouldn't. Part of me felt it was wrong. But I couldn't say no to that smile. Say no to him. So I sat across from him and from that moment onward he was my English buddy and my secret crush.
As the day continued it turned out that Aidan was in more of my classes. He was also in my Physics class, which excited me because it was an AP level class. It meant he was smart. Lastly, he was in my gym class. Gym. That one worried me. I was going to, for at least half a year, get to see him change. Two lockers to the left, that was him. I forced the thought out of my mind. I might be gay, it may have been true all this time, but that didn't change anything. It was still wrong. My parents wouldn't approve of it. I had no clue how my new classmates would react to it. And I sure as hell didn't want to find out how Aidan would react if he caught me looking at him changing in the locker room. Glancing down as he took of his pants or zoning out as he took off his shirt. I couldn't let that happen. It was my dirty little secret. And I was determined to make sure that it stayed that way.
English, for reasons that are probably clear by now, quickly became one of my favorite subjects. It is where I got close to Aidan. But, before long, I got close with someone else... His girlfriend. Delaney and I had become good friends, she was a pretty cool. I really liked her. That was, until I saw her kiss Aidan. She was apparently, very apparently, his girlfriend. It was at that moment that my heart broke. I don't know why, but I still had thought that somehow, one day, Aidan and I would be together.
He had Delaney. He was attracted to females. He didn't want me. He wouldn't want me. He couldn't want me. Every girl on the planet could suddenly disappear and I still wouldn't have had a chance. That one kiss, the first of many that I'd see, destroyed me inside. I was still their friends, but it was never the same. I guess I was a good actor because I was even able to convince myself that I didn't hate her. When deep inside, though unfair, I know that part of me did. Part of me hated her; and the other part was jealous.
As my freshman year came to an end my parents decided that we were moving yet again. One more high school, my fourth, and one more fresh start. I would have usually been upset that I had to move and start over one more time. But after spending an entire semester pining after Aidan and watching Delaney get him I was looking forward to it. At this new school I was determined to make sure that I didn't make myself vulnerable again. It was a new school with the same old secret. But this time I wasn't going to let some pretty boy get to me.
I did a great job too. There was this boy, Harrison, who I had a complete crush on. It was different this time though. He didn't make me feel the way that Aidan made me feel. He was nice to look at, and I wouldn't mind going on a date with him, but I wasn't going to actively pine for him. He wasn't the same. I wasn't the same. I, for the first time in my life, was finally getting close to people. Actually close to them. For the first time since the fourth grade, I had real friends. Her name was Joanna, and she was the best person in my life at the time.
She started to know me too well though. She could tell that there was something that I was keeping from her. I made one mistake. One simple mistake that let her catch me. Harrison, during a Biology lab, spilled something on his t-shirt. Then, right there in the middle of class, he took it off and changed into his gym shirt. I let my gaze linger for too long. A semester of being two lockers down from Aidan and I wasn't caught. But ten seconds during a Biology lab and she knew my secret. She caught me.
A week later she told me that we needed to talk. And in one emotional night, everything was out. I was out.
After that night coming out became easier. I'm out to all my friends. I have a loving boyfriend. And, last summer, I even got closure with Aidan. There is still one thing that I have no idea how to do. One thing that my journey out of the closet didn't prepare me for. I still haven't come out to my parents; and I have no idea when I will. But I'm Chris and I'm gay. Nothing that anyone says will ever change that. Not again.

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