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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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This article has 70 comments. Post your own now!

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_Wymer replied...
Nov. 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm
They dont have the right to judge you for what you believe in.
 
AshleySDThis 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...
May 18 at 2:54 pm
They do have the right to judge someone. What they don't have is the right to not be judged by their judgement.
 
alonebutstillsurviving 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...
 
Cosbino 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. :)
 
AshleySDThis 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...
May 18 at 2:55 pm
You can talk to me if you need to. I want to help any way I can.
 
PoojaGrg said...
Oct. 12, 2014 at 1:46 am
I'm bisexual myself and when i first came out (which was last year)..I received a lot of hate; both online and in real life but its better now. I wish I could tell my parents and my cousins but they're all pretty much very narrow-minded and wouldnt accept my orientation.
 
Inspirer replied...
Nov. 30, 2014 at 1:58 am
It will be fine. There is absoulutly nothig wrong with it. Stay positive! Stay strong!
 
lourdez said...
Sept. 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm
is kind of mean os people gossiping about others race
 
Zarie2015 said...
Sept. 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm
No matter what people say always keep your head up. Sexuality is no one else's business. You have the right to say nothing when some one is asking you a question
 
lourdez replied...
Sept. 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm
that is right no talking abut others if u dont know the whole story
 
alonebutstillsurviving replied...
Oct. 13, 2014 at 10:45 am
I agree!!!
 
Hopelessly-Romantic said...
Sept. 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm
I have to say that I liked your writing. I hate how if people don't like the fact that you gay, they are rude and hateful. Even though I believe that being gay is wrong I still treat people with respect because no one deserves to be treated so cruely. But now homosexualism is so common that not many people say its wrong... because if you say that being gay is wrong, you are hating them. but the truth is that i love all people which is why it's hard for me to say that them being a homosex... (more »)
 
Dimitri.V said...
Sept. 9, 2014 at 11:41 am
This story is great, you are a strong person
 
The_Book_ThiefThis 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. 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm
I applaud your honesty and courage, and your writing skill.
 
Jackpot-the-GreatThis 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...
Jun. 14, 2014 at 7:46 am
*starts claping*   Bravo. Bravo. This is great.
 
Lexi777This 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...
Jun. 3, 2014 at 7:17 pm
I love this article! 
 
TaylorWintryThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 26, 2014 at 11:26 pm
Way to go! My friend had to deal with the same thing when he came out to the public. A lot of people rejected him, and he didn't let that stop him. Now, he's so proud. I can't even tell you how proud he is. But way to go! I love how you wrote this; it's so heartfelt but also straight to the point.
 
dmax108 said...
May 6, 2014 at 11:09 am
hey poster i want to talk to u  
 
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