Jump to content

My Coming Out Story


Guest Rustic Monk

Recommended Posts

Guest Rustic Monk

Hey,

I wrote my coming out story for my about me page. I thought it would give my online persona a little more depth. And, perhaps, make some feel like they're less alone. This story is on my website and in the Drawn From Life section of AwesomeDude.com.

Thanks for the shout-out Mailcrew.

--Gabe

Link to comment

The link is now fixed. I gotta say, Gabe, that is a rough story. But I'm glad you survived and are a stronger person now.

I was a gay kid in junior high in the late 1960s, but back then, I never heard of a gay kid ackowledging his identity. The first time I saw the word "gay" was on the cover of a Time magazine story on the Stonewall riots. It still took me another ten years to get the courage to come out, in my early 20s, but I think everybody has to do it when they're ready, and not before.

Still, I'm a little shocked that, even by the late 1990s, you still had as many problems as you did. You'd think somebody would have the fucking guts to say, "hey, I don't care that you're gay, you're still my friend, and hell with everybody who thinks differently." I like to think that things are getting better nowadays, but adolescence is always rough for everybody -- and worse for gay kids, out or not.

I think it wasn't until my senior year in high school that I realized there were gay kids in my classes -- particularly in drama, high school band, and chorus -- but it was one of those things we didn't talk about, maybe out of politeness, or partially out of avoidance. But these kids were 100% accepted in these "creative" circles because I think we instinctively realized that the arts were populated by people who were different.

Anyway, I'm glad you found a way to turn this experience into something positive. I think the best way to get past things like this is to not dwell on the bad stuff, and hang on to the good things in life -- your friends, the things you accomplish, the people you love.

Link to comment
Guest Rustic Monk

Hey Mailcrew,

That's odd, the link should work. But that's probably something wrong with the code in the forums than what I wrote. I just wrote down the address to the about me page. If anyone else has a problem, copy this link: Http://www.lonelyocean.co.uk/aboutme.htm and paste it into your browser. Sorry if it doesn't work like a regular link.

Thanks for recommending my story,

--Gabe

Link to comment
I think it wasn't until my senior year in high school that I realized there were gay kids in my classes -- particularly in drama, high school band, and chorus -- but it was one of those things we didn't talk about, maybe out of politeness, or partially out of avoidance. But these kids were 100% accepted in these "creative" circles because I think we instinctively realized that the arts were populated by people who were different.

No disrespect intended, Pecman, but to me, what you're saying is not acceptance, it's tolerance at the very lowest rung. I'm older than Gabe but when I was in HS, I was out and while I didn't wear a neon sign over my head, I apparently didn't need to...or something, I dunno. And most of my friends were queers, too. We DID talk about it, among ourselves and others who asked (or hassled, but my school situation was NOT like Gabe's). But, like you, I didn't realize there were other queers all around me until high school, though I had vague suspicions in junior high...

High school made it all clear and, yes, most queers (though not all) seemed to be in the Arts. The most direct and helpful conversations I ever had about being non-str8 were held in company with other speech and drama kids. Those conversations, hell, that support system, such as it was and including teachers and coaches, contributed to my owning whatever sanity I possess. Home was just total suckage and not worth discussing, no tolerance there on any level DESPITE (or perhaps because of) the fact that my parents appeared to have created NO str8 kids. I left home at 17, not by choice but likely for the best, and I did go to college...partly on, you guessed it, Performing Arts money.

Of course, in college, you pick queers off trees, but this wasn't news to me by that time. Even the str8s regularly play gay in college, so it's pretty much sexual open season, at least in my memory. Of course, being young and cute helps, but I also find that, even as an adult, a nice attitude (smiles, lotsa eye contact, keeping loose) can get you a lot more nookie than a nasty one...or a closet. Just a thought, directed out generally. Not judging.

Your statement about Performing Arts people being 'different' pushed a button, I guess. In HS, I really did resent the general idea outside of creative circles that all creative types, esp Perf Arts, were queers. It was a stereotype, we had a lot of artsy str8s, too, albeit ones who learned to be truly gay-friendly early on...not just minimally tolerant. And a lot of queers are NOT in the Arts...and those had to be a little more discreet because, as you imply, it wasn't polite to talk about one's sexuality or romances. Unless one is heterosexual, of course.

Additional problems are faced in and out of school if the queer kid is ALSO: not white, not white enough, not protestant, lower income, has poor grades, poor 'attitude', open about his/her queerness, flamboyant or 'obvious' in some personal way that's NOT a choice btw, moves or changes schools frequently...etc etc etc. And a lot of the above is related and most is out of the control of the kid himself.

So, the 'different' thing is more than just talent, it's also a circling of the wagons made necessary by the unaccepting 'acceptance' of the general population at many high schools. Safety in numbers...but only relative safety. Everyone loves a quiet queer, yeah, I know...but sometimes that's just less of an option. And sometimes the gag rule makes you choke.

Rant over.

TR :icon13:

Link to comment

Gabe -- Thanks for writing that. It was a tough read, but honesty isn't always wrapped in fluffy cotton.

What I notice is that you have volunteered for years now, for various needs.

Share the good,

let go of bad stuff,

lean on each other,

when times get too rough.

Link to comment
Additional problems are faced in and out of school if the queer kid is ALSO: not white, not white enough, TR :icon13:

I would just like to add that it is possible to be too white. At school I was constantly bashed, attacked and called names, including queer, all because I could not get any tan at all. I also observed with a sense of irony, that these "white" people spend a lot of time and effort trying to get a nice dark tan, whilst simultaneously deriding people who are naturally "black".

I still can't get a tan, even an artificial one. The creams and lotions turn my skin yellow.

If I go out in the noon-day sun, it take about twelve minutes for me to look like I have red-skin.

The only way I can have dark skin is to fall in love with someone who has it naturally.

I felt very despondent during my teens because I was so fair-skinned, until I read that many cultures regarded my skin colour as an object of desire. I tested this theory at around the age of 20 and found that quite a few young tanned Greek Gods amongst others did indeed have a penchant for my skin colour.

So I finally learned to accept that skin colour is not something that we should use to judge ourselves or others.

:icon1:

Link to comment
I would just like to add that it is possible to be too white. At school I was constantly bashed, attacked and called names, including queer, all because I could not get any tan at all.

Then you would love Weird Al Yankovic's new hit from his latest CD, "White & Nerdy." Absolutely hilarious. Every time I listen to it, I decipher a new line and fall down laughing! I'm far from a rap fan, but man, this thing is dynamite.

Your statement about Performing Arts people being 'different' pushed a button, I guess. In HS, I really did resent the general idea outside of creative circles that all creative types, esp Perf Arts, were queers.

No, no -- you're taking my comments 'way out of context. As a teenager, I looked at it this way: "wow, the people who seem to be the most outgoing, talented, and artistic seem to be guys who are... well, if not gay, at least maybe a little bit effeminate. Maybe they're gay, too." It made me enormously relieved, since encountering other people like this didn't happen until I hit the 10th or 11th grade. But this was the late-1960s/early-1970s, and everybody avoided bringing up the subject directly.

Most of these guys were very popular, and I never saw them get pushed around at my high school at all. On the other hand, I never saw them in phys ed class on the basketball court or in the shower, so god knows what happened there. If they got shoved around as much as I did, I feel bad for them. (In my case, nobody suspected I was gay, but I had a smart mouth and I was one of the shortest kids in class, so I was a natural to get bullied. It never got too serious, but I did get harrassed a few dozen times, and the memories are painful.)

My other point was, I knew I was different, and when I realized there were pockets of society that not only tolerated gay people, it embraced them, it gave me hope that I wasn't alone. It took me awhile to kick the closet door down, but I was glad (and relieved) when I finally did it.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...