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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 77 comments. Post your own now!

Ronny 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. 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-Con 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.
 
AshleySD replied...
May 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm
I think that you criticized this article perfectly, for you gave constructive criticism and remained positive.
 
dani said...
Nov. 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm
i think its good that this guy came out and people gave him respect 
 
HoseSkaterThis 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. 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_Wymer replied...
Nov. 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm
They dont have the right to judge you for what you believe in.
 
AshleySD replied...
May 18, 2015 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.
 
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...
 
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, 2015 at 1:00 pm
Like some people say..... you have to stand out to be normal. The bullies are the ones that are weird. :)
 
AshleySD replied...
May 18, 2015 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
 
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. replied...
Oct. 13, 2014 at 10:45 am
I agree!!!
 
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