PARENTS BEWARE: Content may be unsuitable for children under 13.
I'll be touching on some controversial topics in this blog post, so please refrain from creating a flame war in the comments. I'll be honest, this post is a sort of an experiment. I do want to see your opinion, but I don't want you to use any abusive comments. I'm sure that they will be not taken lightly.
I'm Ian, and I'm gay.
If this shocked most of you, then that's good. See, I've met so many people that get to know me and think of me as a normal person or a friend. Then they find out that I'm gay, and many have completely changed their opinion of homosexuality. People, in general, think that all gays will be a certain way and that they will have some personality. They will be flamboyant. They will be horny and are attracted to every guy that walks the earth. That they are perverted freaks of nature. Well, I'm here to tell you that's not quite true. Sometimes all you need to hear is a story. A story from someone you have worked with, from someone you trust. Homophobia isn't just a religious view or an opinion- it is ignorance of the highest form.
First, I'll tell you my story, then fill out a FAQ that I get everytime I come out to someone.
5th Grade - I noticed that I liked a boy's hair. My brain realized that I wasn't supposed to think that - and I never had feelings for a boy again for the entirety of middle school. The public pressure at that time was even worse for anti-homosexuality. Gay was an insult, even in elementary school. Nobody cared, because everyone knew it was supposed to be wrong.
9th Grade - Everything came crashing down in my head all at once. I was riding the bus to a marching band show, and sitting next to my best friend, Laura. I don't know what came up that made me think - but I started realizing that my friends would talk at lunch about stupid things like how they loved women's breasts. At the time, I thought that they were just disgusting pigs who just found dirty things fun to look at. I didn't understand how sexual attraction worked because I was not attracted to anyone since fifth grade. And that person was a boy. I figured that I was just going through the stage where I'd start being really attracted to girls, but it never came.I told her that I didn't know if I would ever be attracted to anyone. I joked that I was either bi or asexual - By now I knew that bisexuals existed but I was revolted by them and asexual meant a sponge that budded off an exact copy. I didn't know that some people were born without attraction and I have since become quite fond of sexual-equality. I left the bus confused and not knowing what was happening to me.
Revelation - 9th Grade - I played the alto saxophone in band, and a junior in my section had just come out to everyone. Troy was also gay, and started dating a boy from Norwin. Seeing them as a couple woke something up inside of me. I realized slowly that I was attracted to Troy. I wasn't going to try to date him or anything - I was a very awkward freshman, but I was so confused that I thought I should do more soul searching. I just started looking around - letting myself look around. Until then my feelings had been repressed by social standards to be straight. I wasn't supposed to be gay. My brain never let the thoughts through to my conscience, but now that I had a real life example of what being gay actually was, I allowed myself to think. I had been brainwashed, and now I was getting a revelation like a dystopian novel's main character.
When do gay men and lesbians first know?
There is no set age at which a person becomes aware that he or she is lesbian or gay. Some LGBT people become aware of their sexual orientation during adolescence. Because of the strong sexual societal pressure to be heterosexual, however, some people do not realize that a heterosexual lifestyle does not meet their needs or feelings until later in life, perhaps even after they have been married for years.
I eventually asked Troy how he figured out he was gay. He said he just figured it out a few years back. He wasn't much help, but I guess it was enough to convince myself that I wasn't just acting out for attention. I at first did think that I was going crazy., but I wasn't, I was just being me. It took until 10th grade to fully develop my real attraction for boys. It takes more than a year to wipe your brain of preconceived hatred and to change your whole ideal system. I don't know what I would have done if I was religious on top of all of it. It took until 11th grade, now, for me to start caring about gay marriage and about society's view of homosexuality, or other sexualities.
That's why I'm writing this post. If just one of you will start caring more - will start fighting for what is right - will stand up for gay marriage when it comes to be your turn to vote for your state's proposal, then I will have done something good for myself. Because love is love.
Until 1973, The American Psychiatric Association had homosexuality on the official listing of psychiatric disorders.
What this all boils down to is ideals and beliefs. Some of you will be inconvincible. You think it is your place to judge and to pick what I do with my life. However, I do want to say this: if you think it is your job to save me from sin: then go save someone else. Save murderers and go save rapists. I am none of these things. I just want to marry who I want, and to not be brainwashed from birth to be against myself. I want sexual equality. I want you to want sexual equality.
Frequently Asked Questions[/b]
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be gay?
A: I never decided I wanted to be gay. I realized I was. I was never straight - and you were never gay.
Q: If you haven't kissed a girl how do you know that you aren't gay?
A: I've never kissed a boy or a girl. I have dated only girls. I know I am gay, just like you know you are straight before you have your first.
Q: Is being gay different from being straight?
A: Fundamentally, no. However, my life is forced to be much different because of society, plus only about 10% of people are gay, so I don't have that big of a playing field.
Q: Isn't gay sex gross?
A: First of all, only 50% of gay men have anal sex, and with proper protection and procedure, it's perfectly safe and clean. And no, gays aren't infested with AIDS.
Q: What's the biggest stereotype of gays that you dislike?
A: That just because I am gay, and you are a guy that I am attracted to you. That's not how it works. I am attracted to attractive guys. I'm no more at risk to become a rapist than a straight man. (Actually, less likely.)
More to come by request
What are you going to do about it?[/b]
So, what are you going to do? Are you going to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Just because you want to be a supporter of gay rights doesn't mean that you want to be gay. You want rights. Fight for them with me, or fight against me - I'll see you when I'm happily married and your life hasn't changed as a result.