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

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   I could be that quiet girl at the desk in front of you in Chemistry class. Or I could be that really shy guy who never says a word as I work faithfully on the history assignment. I could even be one of your favorite teachers. Only you wouldn't know unless I told you. People like me usually don't wear signs stating whether we're gay, lesbian or bisexual. I happen to be in the third category. This is not an easy thing to say. People are afraid to hear it. People are afraid to admit it. Four years ago, no one would have. Not in this place. Completely unheard of. But a few are daring to poke their heads out of the closet. If you're brave enough, you stand with pride, head held high. Those who choose to remain safe and straight fight battles within themselves instead of fighting society. And I will definitely sympathize with anyone who stays hidden. Anyone who has not faced this can barely comprehend the trauma that is involved with "coming out."

Friends stop calling you. Some teachers judge you and grade your papers and tests based on your sexuality, not how well you studied or researched. Parents threaten to disown their children, throwing them out into the streets to fend for themselves. Religious authorities often say that homosexuality is a disease and are under the impression that it might be contagious. We become persecuted, a statistic.

But after the darkness you can actually find acceptance. Your true friends will love you regardless of who you happen to be attracted to. A lot of teachers, once overcoming the initial shock, have proved to be helpful, understanding, and always willing to listen. A number of religious organizations across the country have even started support groups with advisors who truly care and listen, instead of giving lectures. After a while it becomes easier to find friends and lovers. Perhaps the most wonderful part of the whole experience is finding out that you' re not alone. This is one of the biggest reasons that I wrote this. It is always such a relief to find out that there is someone else out there who knows just what you're going through.

Anyone who feels that you should be punished for who you fall in love with needs a reality check. It seems that the world is quite backwards and it doesn't seem to matter who you hate, but same-sex lovers are a social stigma and should be avoided at all costs. I urge anyone who has the power to help educate the world concerning this issue to do something now. And if I have made only one person feel better, or helped someone to become accepting of others' ways of life, then there is hope for us yet.


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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