What It’s Like to be Gay (Small Town Perspective)

Do you know when you’re too stubborn you’re admit you’re wrong? Or when you’ve done something wrong and you’re lying to cover it up? Or even when you’re simply keeping a secret and you’re doing your best to hide it? Do you also remember how tiring it can be?

Growing up gay in a small town, your whole life feels like a secret. You find yourself worrying in the middle of normal conversations because you don’t know if someone is going to ask about your love life, or anything related to the sorts. And if that comes up, you have to find a way of dodging the question without bringing attention to yourself – some versions include “I don’t feel like dating anyone”, “Nah, I’m better alone thanks”, or (sarcastically) “I have so many [girlfriends/boyfriends], you don’t even know”.

You know the one good thing that comes out of this? You become an extremely good liar. And you’re able to tell as soon as someone is bullshitting you. But that’s mostly it. I felt so drained all my teenager years, because the weight on my chest was just too heavy to carry around. It meant I never felt like I was close with anyone, because no one knew who I really was.

The first time I kissed a boy I just felt so relieved. It was okay that I was gay, and I wasn’t the only one in this world. It felt like freedom. And when I first told my best friend I was gay – that felt like freedom too! Finally someone [kinda] understood. I broke out in hives because I was so nervous, but that didn’t matter, because I survived.

My point is – it’s not just about the bullying, the discrimination, the hate we can clearly see on our daily lives. It’s about so much more than that. It’s about the fact that, simply because you love someone who is the same gender as you, you have to live your life feeling repressed and scared of what people might say next. It’s exhausting!

I hope for a future where there are no assumptions, and you’re free to be whoever you are from the moment you are born!

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