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Coming Out of the Closet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     It's 2 a.m., and I amexhausted. "Why am I gay?" I whisper. "I need help! I want to die,I hate my evil, disgusting self." It's the beginning of the most terrifyingday of my life.

I woke up that morning with no motivation to go anywhereor do anything. My stomach hurt so much I could have cried, but it was justnormal pain, brought on by my realization that I had to go through another day ofhell at school. The schoolwork itself was a piece of cake, but being surroundedby egotistical snobs and increasingly berated was just about driving me crazy.That fateful October day I decided I had to tell someone, even though I wasscared to death to do so. I didn't know if I could deal with rejection at thispoint. But I knew who I could tell. The million-dollar question was, would Iactually be able to say the word? I had thought about it for a year, but thatword still didn't sound any better. It seemed like such a dirty word. And that Ihad to associate it with myself was enough to kill me. I picked up the phone.

"Hello? Hello?" the voice at the other end shouted.

"I'm here," I whispered, half crying, half shaking. "Ineed to talk to you."

"Okay," my friend said, "I'llbe right over." I sat, listening to the phone buzz before I hung up. I felta sharp pain in my stomach and was shaking uncontrollably. Those ten minutes feltlike forever.

When she knocked I jumped off my couch and opened the door."Come in," I said.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"I don't think so," I replied. I handed her a letter I hadwritten. As she read it, I started to cry. It was real now. I had finallyadmitted I was gay, even though I still wasn't ready to say the words out loud. Iwondered what she was thinking as she read, "It is really hard to tell youthis, but I think I'm gay. Actually I know I am, and all I want to do isdie." My friend stopped reading and looked at me with sympathy. It was asecret I had been hiding for so long; letting out everything was a little tooreal to deal with. It was a huge weight lifted off of my chest, though.

That night I went to my friend's house and she gave me a book. I stayedup all night reading it, amazed that there was actually a book about gay people.Some of the stories were depressing, but they also gave me hope. I finallyrealized there were other people going through what I am.

What has gottenme through is the fact that I've grown as a person by dealing with thischallenge. My friend gave me indispensable advice that night when she said,"Sometimes at first a movie seems really bad, but if you turn it off, you'llnever know if it gets any better. You have to sit back, eat popcorn and just letthe movie roll." This is what got me through the last two years. I haverealized that being gay isn't the biggest issue I am going to have to face tosucceed in life. It was just one test in a world of many challenges.



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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