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Getting To Know the Real Me
There have always been the rumors, but you know how high school kids work; whenever there is mindless gossip they will talk about it. Why the gossip was about me is what confused me. I was a no body at my high school. The only people who cared who I was were my friends and they weren’t the gossiping type. I mean I guess I understand why people thought it but I couldn’t understand why me. Even my friends started to question it.
By the time I went into my sophomore year I had almost given up hope. That’s when I met a girl. She was cute and would hopefully be able to help. Picture day of that year we started to get close even though the first thing she asked me was the question everyone usually asks. We talked while waiting to get our pictures taken; then we exchanged numbers and talked all day and most of the night. We got really close in a really short time. Soon enough we were telling each other everything. I talked about my dad; she would talk about her pregnant sister. We shared everything. We became like brother and sister; sharing our hopes, our fears, and even some of our deepest secrets. I knew I would have to keep one to myself. I was too scared to share it with anyone, even this girl who knew almost everything about me. No one would understand it. I thought my family would disown me because of the blatant homophobia in my house and my friends would leave me, and I was still hoping I could change it.
That same year I joined a club in my school. This club played music during lunch and at basketball games. It was at my first basketball game that my hopes when down the drain. At half time we started getting the music ready for the cheerleaders and with the cheerleaders walked out the girl. She was a cheerleader. I had been banking on this girl to help me figure things out and she turns out to be a cheerleader. I couldn’t even understand why she was my friend. I wasn’t an athlete or anything else that would fall even remotely close to that clique and I wasn’t the bad boy type that most girls seem to be into. All hopes of getting past these feelings disappeared.
Senior year rolled around. I had decided that summer to make it my year. It was my last year in high school and I wanted it to be the best year of my life. I wanted to go out for the drama club, join the school paper, and even stay with the club that played the music. I even picked a variety of classes for my senior year: psychology, video, economics, and participation in government. I wanted to leave high school as a well rounded individual. Combined with all the other classes I had taken during high school, I had taken one class in every department except technology and music. I was too clumsy to use my hands around dangerous machines and I couldn’t sing or play an instrument. Then I moved. My parents up and rooted us from our lives. I fought with my parents until they decided to let me live with my aunt and uncle on the weekdays and I could come home on the weekends.
After the close call of moving I decided it was time to take that leap of faith. I was going to tell this girl that I had no feelings for that I liked her. I knew she had liked me after we first met and I hoped maybe those feelings would come back if I told her I liked her. I felt like complete slime for doing it. I was lowering myself to the level of all the guys I swore I would never be like. Truth be told I was afraid: afraid of hurting her, afraid of losing her as a friend, and afraid of things getting awkward between us. I was more afraid of admitting the real issue. I wasn’t ready. I had to try to stop it. She could be the key. I didn’t want to think about how wrong it was to think that way but I was in a dark place. I just kept making excuses. Looking back now I know it was wrong. Even then I guess I knew it was wrong. I know I shouldn’t have done it but I was scared. Even now I’m using that as an excuse.
The day came that I was going to do it. It was the beginning of October; we had been in school over about a month. I had talked about liking her with a friend and she said if I really felt that way I should go for it. I didn’t but I wanted to. I really wanted to. She was an amazing girl: cute, funny, maybe not the smartest but she had her insightful moments. We were on our way home from school one day and we were talking. “So when are you going to tell me who you like?”
“Why don’t you try to guess,” I suggested.
“Is it Gabby?” I shook my head. “Jessica?” Another shake of the head. “Well is it me?” I gave her a look and a weak smile.
“Yeah,” I said. “I didn’t want to tell you like this.” She started yelling at the car in front of us. She cursed and yelled at it because it was driving too slow for her. After that we both went quiet for the rest of the ride. Luckily it was a short one from the school to my aunt’s house. As I got out of the car, just before I closed the door, I said, “I’m sorry for making the ride awkward.” I walked up to my aunt’s door, unlocked it, and walked in.
I made myself a sandwich and paced the house 'What did I just do?' I asked myself. I was an idiot. I possibly ruined the best friendship I had ever had because I was an idiot and I was afraid to accept who I really was. Then I got a text. "Sorry I got quiet in the car. You just put me on the spot." It was her. Were things going to be okay between us? "No, it’s my fault. I didn’t mean to put you on the spot like that." I text back. That was the end of the discussion. We didn’t talk about it again.
By this time I was hopeless. I decided it was time for me to finally address the real problem. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I had done a little research. All of it came back negative. It was stressing me. I could either choose to admit it to myself and everyone else or I could hide it forever and possibly go insane. I picked the first choice. So one night when I was texting a different friend, she asked me what I was thinking about and I built up the nerve to tell her. "I think I might be gay.”
"What? Are you sure?"
"I’ve been having these thoughts for a while and I just think it’s time I think of it as a possibility," I sent back. Then she brought up the sore subject of my other friend. I didn’t want to admit it but I knew I would have to. But not that night. I told her I thought I liked her but her turning me down made me think about things and helped me realize that I was gay. It sounded like the right thing to say but I knew it was a lie. It sounded like I was blaming her for it. I guess in a way I did. I blamed her for me having to finally confront these feelings.