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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.




Join the Discussion

This article has 88 comments. Post your own now!

H3LLBORN said...
today at 2:02 pm
Whatever comes, just face it. It will be fine for its ur life and its u who is living it.Stand up for what u feel is right for u.
 
therealwithpurposeThis 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...
Aug. 16 at 3:44 am
im not belong from an lgbt group but i am bullied due to my physical appearance and now i felt motivated and i will do my deeds to be a better one like you :)
 
Peanutgirl99This 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...
Apr. 20 at 2:01 pm
This is extremely powerful. Good job
 
gio2656 said...
Apr. 13 at 2:41 pm
this really hit home.
 
BVBChick122298 said...
Apr. 3 at 12:42 pm
This was so good! I feel like people are afraid of the unknown and that's why they bully. Bullying isn't right. We need to end bullying before it ends someone else. We have too many people in this world who are too afraid to be openly gay because of the ignorant people. I fully support people who are gay because they are who they are and it's not my job to change that. My job is to stand by their side and to be their friend.
 
Goteeem said...
Apr. 1 at 2:59 pm
I don't think bullying people is right. Is not okay to bully someone just because you are insecure of yourself
 
Paty said...
Apr. 1 at 9:47 am
I feel bad with this kid!
 
Brendan1530 said...
Mar. 30 at 1:36 pm
congratulations on coming out. that must have taken a lot of courage, especially after how those girls treated you!
 
dylllllllll said...
Mar. 30 at 1:34 pm
good job
 
kalienichoel said...
Feb. 19 at 8:33 am
Your ability to overcome makes me happy.
 
Fiestygirl24 said...
Feb. 19 at 8:17 am
This is a really good story. Courage is a thing a lot of people lack. Keep writing.
 
prettymystic said...
Feb. 11 at 12:20 pm
You're amazing, keep writing
 
CianaBThis 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...
Jan. 27 at 4:53 pm
I wish I everyone had the courage to stand up for themselves. This is well written and I admire you. KEEP WRITING!!!!!
 
RatherNotSay said...
Nov. 21, 2015 at 1:38 pm
Beautiful. If everyone had even an ounce of the courage you have, the world would be a lot brighter. You're amazing, keep writing. Peace.
 
Thefanatasticagirlie101 said...
Nov. 5, 2015 at 8:29 pm
This is a very well-written, thought-provoking piece of writing. I love it, I support you all the way. Be a leader, not a follower, ad be who you want to be, no matter what others say.
 
PasaPrincessa said...
Sept. 21, 2015 at 2:43 pm
you're full of courage, and i love you.
 
NeonInfinity said...
Sept. 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm
Thank you for writing this! This is amazing. I can't wait to see more of your work!
 
Lanimal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 30, 2015 at 10:58 pm
I so admire your confidence and ability to learn how to love yourself. Please continue to write! This article was amazing and I look forward to reading more of your work. :)
 
JoJoJordan16 said...
May 27, 2015 at 4:16 pm
I hate when people do this, this is why I told my friends first.
 
KatyainiThis 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...
May 23, 2015 at 9:54 am
Accepting the way you are is like the hardest thing in life of any teen, You stood up for yourself and that's something very brave and admirable. TFS
 
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