All my life I've known I was different from other boys. It wasn't till I was in eighth grade that I realized how different I really was. When all my friends talked about girls, I wanted to talk about boys, but I never said anything for fear of what they would say or do. I thought I might be gay, but it didn't make any sense. The girls, all of them, were all over me. After a while I figured out I was gay.
I have had many girlfriends, and a couple of boyfriends. It is very hard to be from a small town and be so different. Every day I wonder what it would be like not to live a lie, but just to be free. What would it be like to be accepted for who I really am?
Being gay has been very hard. I always have to be careful about what I say and who I say it to. If I say something to the wrong person, the whole town would be after me. So I live the lie, even though I hate being something I am not. Why do I have to live in fear? That just does not seem right. Why do we discriminate against people?
Not all of my family knows I am gay, but those who do can't accept it. My family thinks I chose this life. I see what other gay people go through, and I don't ever want to go through any of that.
My dad hates me now that he knows his son is a "fag." We used to be the best of friends, but now he just yells at me for no reason. He has also threatened to kick me out of the house. Since I don't like to be home anymore, I am normally out with friends. If I didn't need to live at home, I wouldn't.
My dad also said that I cannot be gay until I am out of college and have a steady job. Well, I am sorry, Dad, but it's not like I can just put my "gay life" on hold until you say it is okay. I did not choose to be gay, so it is not like I can choose to be straight.
I am dating a guy right now, and I think it could work out between us. I hate being careful when I talk to him. When I go out, I tell my parents I am going out with someone else. My parents just don't understand - I am happy when I am with a guy.
I just wish that no one cared who you are happy with. As long as someone makes you happy, that should be it. Sometimes I'll be watching a movie with a gay person in it, and my dad will say "Fag" or "Queer." Does he even know what he is doing to me? I used to cry every night because he did not accept me for who I am, but now he does not get a tear. His tearing me apart has only made me a stronger person.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.