Just Above the Surface | Teen Ink

Just Above the Surface

November 2, 2012
By Dedegirl PLATINUM, Williamsburg, Virginia
Dedegirl PLATINUM, Williamsburg, Virginia
21 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"plain & simple, black & white"

Your teenage years are composed of some of the most informative and self fulfilling experiences you will ever have in your lifetime. You get to know yourself, and discover things in life you never thought you would even come close to understanding. You’re faced with choices, easy ones and hard ones. You are put in situations that baffle you, and you’re filled with screaming questions. You ask yourself who you are, and you expect to know the answer. You expect others to be waiting for you to have planned out what you want to do for every second of the rest of your life, because after all; all they do is ask “What do you want to do when you get older? And where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?” These questions seem simple enough right? However, how can you know if you haven’t understood yourself first? How can you explain what you want if you don’t know who you are? Who you are is what decides what you want, and what you want decides what your future is made up of. It is a puzzle; you need every piece figured out before you’re left with the big picture. My life truly began at 15 years old when I asked myself… “Who am I?”

That’s not an easy question to answer, even when you’re asking yourself. The hardest thing for me was excepting that I was different. Sure, every kid ‘claims’ they’re different, but I found myself stuck in a category that would affect my life forever. It separates me from the majority of kids I know and it keeps me in a shell. It’s not something I chose, it’s something I feel. I was born with more than the natural attraction to the same sex, in other words I am homosexual. I think I knew deep down inside a lot longer then I allowed myself to realize. It’s a tender topic and many choose not to try to understand it. It puts you in a situation where you’re judged more than the average person. The problem for me was not accepting it myself but having to tell those around me that I was indeed gay. It might seem strange but the first people I wanted to tell were my friends. They were the people I was closest to in my opinion. I wanted my peers to know who I really was. I felt if I told my friends first, then telling my family would be easier. After hearing all my closest friends tell me that it’s was okay, I felt a certain sigh of relief. I felt like superwoman like I could do anything after hearing that they didn’t mind. They said ‘You’re still my best friend, the girl I have always been friends with.” Those words exhilarated me and filled me with so much liberation that I for a second I was ready to tell my family. That momentary courage…was after all just that, momentary.

Yet again I found myself stuck. I couldn’t figure out whether it would be best to keep it between just my peers and I or if I should let my family in on what I had just so recently accepted myself. If I kept it between my peers and I, then I would always wonder what would happen if I did tell my family. I would be stuck deciphering all the different possible outcomes for each person in my family’s reaction. If I did tell them, I would have to face the consequences if they did not accept me as well as my peers had. I would have to deal with the fact that maybe one or more of my family members would not accept my homosexuality. The situation was different from my friends, because after all most friends do come and go but family is forever. You can’t really separate blood from blood. This concept terrified me. My dad whose name is Les was raised in a super religious family. He was a church every Sunday kind of guy. My dad was the type of man who prayed before every meal. I had no way of knowing how he would react. In all honesty I barely even knew my dad. I was raised by my step dad, Don, since the age of 3. I knew Don inside and out. Don and I were always sort of conjoined at the hip and shared a common thought here and there. I knew how he would react. I knew he would be okay with it. I decided he would be the first person I would tell in my family. But how do you tell somebody something that will change how they view you forever when they watched you go from a wobbly legged toddler to a confused teenager. I finally just put aside my fear and let it all out. Once I told him he proceeded to tell me that my mother before her passing had gave him word that I would be homosexual. How she knew still blows my mind to this day. I guess when a mother knows, she knows. After the comfort from Don I chose to tell my brother, Joel next. Joel took a whole other look at it and just laughed. He said “Lesbians are some of the happiest people I know.”And just like that, nothing more was said about it. My brother has always been that way, quick and straight to the point then it’s over with. Last was Les, my father. I waited for almost an entire year to tell my father. I sent him a text saying I wanted to go out for lunch and that I had something important I needed to tell him. We met at tropical smoothie, ordered and sat down. We talked for a couple minutes, my mouth began to become dry and my leg continued to shake while I tapped my foot up and down. The nerves inside me swelled, blowing my head up like a balloon and stuffing my stomach with butterflies. I couldn’t grasp what was so nerve-racking about telling him. I think it’s because my father and I barely ever spoke during visits and when we did it was never about something personal. We made eye contact for what seemed like ten minutes, I open my mouth and in an awkward manner out came the two most terrifying words of my life, “I’m gay.” I sat there without breaking eye contact for lord knows how long waiting for him to say something. His eyebrow twitched and in second a semi-reassuring smile arose on his face. He stuttered a bit but eventually said “okay…..it’s okay sweet girl.” And with that he reached out to grab my hand. I never knew his hand in mine would be so soothing. Suddenly all the butterflies, shaking and nerves disappeared and I felt good.

From the pressure of my own thoughts, and the things I wondered I made the hardest choice I never wanted to make. I decided to expose myself completely and entirely to my friends and family. I set aside the fear of the unknown and told those I love who I am. It wasn’t until that day that I told my father, that I really knew who I was. I let what had always been underneath; inside of me finally rise to the surface. Once again, I asked myself… “Who am I?” but this time, I had an answer.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.