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

December 22, 2007
“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 98 comments. Post your own now!

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
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_Thief 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.
Lexi777 said...
Jun. 3, 2014 at 7:17 pm
I love this article! 
TaylorWintry 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  
dmax108 said...
May 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm
can we talk
dmax108 said...
May 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm
dude ur alot better than me i punch people who make fun of me being  bisexual  and recently i just completely shut down 
Princess999 said...
Apr. 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm
You go bro! Show all of them the cannot trample all over you!
Jules12321 said...
Mar. 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm
your writing is great
thecutter said...
Dec. 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm
I can really say that I have observed the same terrible things go on in my school. I was even on your end of it. Making me appreciate this more.  
dmax108 replied...
May 6, 2014 at 11:11 am
its good to know others understand  
fdksal;dfjakldjs said...
Nov. 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm
this was a good piece of writing
billy_bob_2k13 said...
Nov. 19, 2013 at 10:50 am
I have felt the same way before... All of those rude comments, of hatred and what they think... I have something to say being Gay is not easy... I tell you its not, all of those comments and everything... Its just not right... I love this story :)
KSkittles said...
Nov. 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm
I just wanted to say that I loved your article and I liked how confident you are about who you are. I am also gay and I came out two years ago when I was a freshman. It was difficult but I had my friends and family help me through it. I finally stood up for my self and showed them that I am gay and proud. I stil get the occasional name calling but it eventually died down, and I am greatful for who I am and I thank them for calling me names and putting me through what they did. If ... (more »)
Yuka said...
Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:51 am
I understand you had a hard time at school and ignorance hurts  you a lot. I like your positive attitude toward sexual orientation. Because it helps students to learn about sex minorities and get rid of the prejudice. I really respects your brave action!:)
maddimercy said...
Aug. 26, 2013 at 9:19 am
I have a bold respect for gay people. They prove that there is some good hearted and humble people in this world. They are living proof that it's okay to be different, Because you're different doesnt means thats all you are. There is so much more to people.  
Hazelbabe18 said...
Jun. 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm
i really like this GOOD JOB!!!:)
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