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Silent No More This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


“Is he gay?”
"I think so.”
“Yeah, I'm pretty sure.”
“Ask him.”
“Hey, are you–”

The last period bell cut off the cacophony of fresh gossip. My ears burned with embarrassment, and I walked away as quickly as possible, feeling clunky and awkward. There had always been rumors about my sexual orientation, but the painfully straightforward questions made me cringe. I tried to shrug off the girls' malice as ignorance, but I became preoccupied with thought. My blood rose with anger as I heard their laughter in the background. Inhibitions blinded, I rashly shouted, “Some people are so rude!”

“You f-----t!”

“Wow! I haven't heard that before. You have to be the wittiest people I've encountered.”

This would have been a perfect response if I had said it aloud. In reality, as a shy, easily embarrassed freshman, I had yet to stand up for myself, let alone defend my sexual orientation. I wanted to tell someone what had happened, but I was too embarrassed by the situation. I had experienced gay jokes and “playful” comments before, but the hateful word those girls had used felt like a knife in my chest. A myriad of insecurity, second-guessing, and self-denial ­silenced me.

After weeks of agonizing and hiding the secret, I promised myself that I would never be silenced again. Gradually, I came out to my closest friends, then my sister, and finally my parents. With their support, I grew more comfortable, and I saw changes in my disposition. My face no longer reddened at the mention of homosexuality, and instead of slouching away from intrusive questions, I proudly proclaimed, “Yes, I am gay.”

It is difficult for me to pinpoint the moment of my epiphany, but as I gained confidence, I was finally able to face the ignorance and homophobia in my school. I spoke up with authority, and people began to listen and respect me. They recognized that I was not weak because of my sexual orientation and that I would not degrade myself with silence.

I became a leader in my school, and during sophomore year, I joined the Gay-Straight Alliance. My participation has helped me accept myself and forgive those girls and the others who have hurt me with their ignorance.

Hate is unproductive. I've learned that I cannot hold grudges or become bitter toward people who try to hurt me; their hate comes from misinformation and ignorance. My experiences have helped me to better understand homophobic people and to see the good in many of them.

My trials have been a blessing in disguise. Though I was knocked down, I built myself back up with clear goals and responsibilities. I now have two objectives: to provide a safe community for gay students, and to educate those who harass us.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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VidsVids14 said...
today at 10:46 pm
So proud of you, it must've taken courage to do this!
 
AdeleandLoriforever said...
Mar. 3 at 11:03 am
This is so amazing! I love this story so much!! You should be a writer I would so buy your book :D :D :D Also I don't know if I could stand u for myself like that well done
 
taiyourshoes said...
Feb. 27 at 11:55 am
great for you i'm straight but it must have taken a lot of courage
 
bandgeek23 said...
Feb. 17 at 1:47 pm
I liked your story and I'm glad you stood up for who you are. Not everyone can write a story about a certain time in their life and gained confidence from it.
 
JoJo_Jordan said...
Feb. 16 at 5:02 pm
This is awesome, I'm glad you stood up for yourself.
 
Sonic said...
Feb. 11 at 4:10 pm
I have a motoe. "Just because im... "Straght", dose not mean you have to be straght too". I think alot of the problems that people have with other peoples, "sexuallity?" is set in stone. Its like in the south they fly the confederate flag over the american flag. People who hate other people just because of their, "sexuallity?" are not going to go away completley because some people are set in stone. I think I wrote this right? I'm not shur so sorry if I wrote something wrong that afends people.
 
emburaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 6 at 10:12 am
Nobody shouldn't judge you or anyone just because their gay. I'm glad you came out. I'm straight, but you have a right to love who you want! I hope your life is a lot easier now, :) Thanks for writing that, it made me think.
 
swiftie_emzThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 31, 2014 at 4:04 am
I am glad you stood up for yourself, and it feels nice to read you do not hold grudges and find hate unproductive'. :)
 
beemariee said...
Dec. 29, 2014 at 11:37 pm
This is so awesome. i am one to support gay rights and this is the perfect example of bullying. congrats to you for standing up to yourself. they do say, "Not all heros wear capes"
 
RonnyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm
Great atricle!!!! you have great writing abilities!
 
Nated315This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm
this contains a perfect balance of a lesson/message to change the world, and personal insight to a world problem!!!!
 
Mo-ConThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm
This story is a great example of bullying situatons and what a victim shoud do. Although I felt it was a little one sided. Not everyone can just do what your charecter did and maybe you could have metioned that a little.
 
dani said...
Nov. 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm
i think its good that this guy came out and people gave him respect 
 
HoseSkater said...
Nov. 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm
I have not been in your particular situation, but I have been in one similar. Last year it took me almost all school year to tell anyone whast was going on. I was bullied for 8 years and last year it was the worst year yet. It has to get worse before it gets better right. But, going back to the situation, my vice prinicpal had been in my situation when he was my age. I know I should have told someone sooner, becasue now I don't get picked on at all. All you have to do to stop the situation i... (more »)
 
Bree0 said...
Oct. 27, 2014 at 1:44 pm
I kind of went through the same thing and I always thought that there was something wrong with me. Theres not there is nothing wrong with me. I just prefer the same gender. I thought no one wounld understand but after a while people started being alot more nice about my prefrences.
 
Sev_WymerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm
They dont have the right to judge you for what you believe in.
 
alonebutstillsurvivingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 13, 2014 at 10:44 am
It is about time we stand up for EVERYONE, not just those who are "Normal". Be proud of who you are! I am tortured on a daily basis because I am unsure about my sexuality, but I just try to keep my head up and stay positive.
 
Asuna replied...
Oct. 20, 2014 at 10:11 pm
this comment...is perfect...
 
CosbinoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Oct. 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm
I completely agree. I'm straight, but I've been harrassed due to my metrosexuality. This world, this society, needs to grow up and realize that what we need at this moment is equality. I'm so thankful that the generation I am growing up with is ready to make a move. 
 
Shaylia K. replied...
Jan. 6 at 1:00 pm
Like some people say..... you have to stand out to be normal. The bullies are the ones that are weird. :)
 
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