The closet, from my point of veiw | Teen Ink

The closet, from my point of veiw

June 1, 2022
By Adela-anderson SILVER, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Adela-anderson SILVER, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
7 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't let anyone make you disappear

March 19, 2020. The pandemic was coming; it was already here. A world sweeping virus scared politicians and citizens alike. We stayed inside. Scared of the world. “We will take off of school for two weeks, by then this pandemic will pass.” said the principal. Those two weeks turned into two months, to four months, six, eight, and eventually, two years later we are still impacted significantly by this pandemic. And while I wasn't the only one finding flaws in everything, seeing everything that needed to be fixed. Others were hating the shiplap in their hallway, that their basement needed a revamp, or they needed more room decor. Mine was mental. I started to question my sexuality, and suddenly the straight mentality of society started to crack, crumble, and fall to my feet. I was no longer the “perfect” child in anyone's eyes because I might not marry a man. This road is much rougher than any other I have ever been on, or even ever seen. Yet here I am, taking us down the road I wished never to repeat.

At a young age I knew that I liked boys, just like my peers did and I was content with that. Until this girl named Sophia walked into my life in 7th grade. We quickly became friends and I couldn't help but look, with short hair, not a care in the world how cool she was perceived by others, from the way she looked to the way she acted, she is so unapologetically herself. If anyone saw her do something, not ladylike or far from the social standards she didn't really care. She just existed, and if others judged her, that's their own fault and their problem. I think I liked her; she was the drum that kept my heart beating. Like the moon she was my star, and like ying she was my yang. “She's so pretty” I whispered to myself. Wishing I could be the one for her. Then I snapped out of my dream-like state almost as fast as I fell into it. “But that's impossible I’m not gay!” I thought to myself… My shiplap-like brain wasn’t as pristine or straight anymore, instead this was barely recognizable, it was twisted, turned, and distorted. Then shortly after, the pandemic hit. I felt like my life had been ripped away from me, after the first few months I had little hope of going back.

I fell into a deep depression; all my friends one by one were leaving me. Sophia was, Grey was, even my best friend Wyatt of almost 5 years was leaving. I look back now and start realizing that my friends weren't leaving me, I was isolating myself, I didn't want anyone to know about anything I was going through or fear that they might not want to see that side of me. That they would be disgusted by it or never want to see me again because it would be too emotional. So, they didn't know. I was only eating a wild concoction of marshmallows, crushed gram crackers, and butter, microwaving it for about 20 seconds then devouring it. I had so many things changing that I couldn't risk any more change. I sat in the basement listening to the same song repetitively. Not brushing my hair or teeth for days or weeks on end. Wearing the same outfit for days, and sometimes not showering for days; and if I had to show anyone what my 7th-grade life consisted of, that was it. Every day consisted of waking up, microwaving my concoction, bringing it downstairs with me, and eating it on my makeshift foldable table mattress bed whilst still listening to the same song on loop. This sexuality was beating me up in a ring I didn't know existed, a ring I had never been in, and a ring only found in nightmares. I was terrified. I was grieving the loss of my friends, they were all leaving when I needed them most. I had nothing to look forward to, just had to keep moving on. It's like I was living my life on airplane mode. I was emotionally shutting down and I didn’t even know it. This road kept going in circles, like a roundabout that never ended.

During this time of grief I kept taking all of the “am i gay’ quizzes to ever exist on this planet and I always got a “Not sure it could go either way” or a “ yes.” I just wanted to get out of this mess. I wanted a quiz to determine my sexuality for me, and whatever I got I told myself I would just slap that label on and go on with life, and move on. After countless results of “bisexual” or “don't know” I realized that I couldn't just have a computer quiz that someone made for craps and giggles determine a huge factor in my life. I just wanted to rip off the band-aid so I wouldn't have to deal with the pain anymore. The wound so fresh, yet still barely noticeable at the time, as I just kept hovering on airplane mode, barely hanging on; slipping. It was too much for me to handle. So I pushed it down, convinced myself that it was just a phase I was going through and that was that. I repeatedly muttered to myself “you’re straight you’re straight,” “you like guys. you like guys.” “This is just a phase,” “don't be silly you’re not gay.” The words hurt to say, as I knew deep down that they weren’t true…But I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to know that I was gay. Somedays I just wished that everything would stop; that I could pause time, that I could take a break to straighten things out. But, as you know, time stops for no one. In fact, it slowed down, like a kid waiting for the bell to ring, the time felt like an eternity. And every grueling day I would wake up and hope it had gone away. That maybe I would go away.

So enter my 8th-grade year. My sexuality came back for round two… We were in a boxing ring and no one was giving up. I was giving it my all, but I was getting beaten by the pandemic and the closet simultaneously, it was 2:1. I couldn’t ignore this now, so I faced it head-on. I entered the ring knowing the risk, not knowing what that future would hold. The unknown was too terrifying to face the first time, I was scared. But this time I had something my 7th-grade self didn’t. And unlike an inspirational movie or book saying “confidence,” or “experience,” all I had was my dog. This dopey slobbery mess of a yellow lab puppy, with the most amazing and expressive face. Energetic, lively, funny, and amazing, this dog had it all. Everything I did during this time was for him, and only for him. From running faster, staying alive, and finishing homework assignments, to getting up and eating every morning. It was all for him. And with that dog, I got better, I lived for him. I lived so he would still have his mom, his best friend, and his only form of stability. Seeing him so smiley and happy everyday just to see me wake up again, that was my motivation. He knew when I was sad, so he would run over and distract me from my own sorrow. He would sit in the basement with me for up to twelve hours, disregarding his own bodily needs. He sat quietly yet his presence was loud and simultaneously comforting, and did not go unnoticed. I went down this road for him, and for him only, he is my only. I am getting a high school degree so I can get a job, so I can move out and give him a life with me in an apartment. I want him to have the best life I could ever provide a dog. And without him, sadly I hate to say it but I quite honestly don't think I would still be here. It's crazy to think a dog could save your life. But he did, he saved many and continues to silently save every day.

End of 8th grade and beginning of 9th, I slowly step by step got more comfortable with my sexuality. I started going to pride events and proudly wearing my flags to show to the world that I made it, I made it out! I can finally rest. Knowing what I have gone through makes me stronger, and knowing just how strong I was to get through that. I am proud of myself and how far I’ve come since then, this road took me places I never thought I would find. Some places scary and nightmare-like, others are wonderful colorful places where knives and razors never hit skin, that is my favorite place I don't think I will ever be fully out of the closet, its always going to be a secret to someone whether that be my boss, dad, coworker, or cousin. Not everyone will know, which can be frustrating but if I want to keep my job and/or family relationships, I must accept that no matter how hard I try, I will never be fully out. And that I’m going to be coming out of the closet until the day I die. And even at that, there will be some people who didn’t know, that found out after I died. It’s hard to live a happy life in this community, as everyone around you are so different, from “We will love you no matter what” and “love is love” to “you are evil and selfish to be gay” and “you don't need to tell everyone and make it your personality” and some keep telling me that it's all about sex and that a teen shouldn’t be talking about sex, when it's not even the point of sexuality. Some of these comments are backhandedly homophobic and most of them my own mother has said to me, yet still calling herself an ally. Told you are evil, then told that you are wonderful and perfect the way you are from the same people, or from different sides. It's hard switching back and forth because it seems like the world cannot decide. I felt torn between two sides. I used to think I was a horrible person for liking men and women, some stated that I was selfish whilst others said I was totally valid. Now I see that it was never my choice to be this way and that if others don't like me for it, that's their own problem. I learned that being bisexual is nothing bad, and that I should also not be ashamed to show my true self.

The author's comments:

I hope this spreads awareness about the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community. Happy Pride Everyone!!! And I hope people start to understand and sympathize with this trauma that got inflicted upon me at a very young age. I think it's important to point out that I was only 12 when I was in 7th grade, and that this was very difficult for young 12yr old me.   

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