Growing Up Gay
I’ve talked about this before on my personal blog with mixed opinions from some of the readers, but I feel the need to talk about it again with the recent events that have been going on lately; namely the Rutgers incident and the Michigan State incident.
Being gay is hard enough as it is and only so many people can understand where you’re coming from. Add the social stress of trying to be “normal” and wondering, “what your family will think” and it can be a terrible burden to bear for anyone.
What many people don’t realize is that all other minorities have a support group. Think about it…if you’re African American, Asian or Hispanic, you have a support group in your family that helps you grow up. Gay kids they have to keep their “minority” a secret. They feel ostracized and scared of being found out. They have to come to terms with themselves and try to learn on their own. That’s a lot of pressure for a child and just goes to show how much we need to support them as best we can!
Now, the first thing is that society places WAY too much emphasis on coming out, people’s sexualities and labels in general. Look at celebrities; some of them fear to come out because of detriment to their careers. There is also the fascination with what they do in their bedroom.
So, a child grows up and all around them they see how gay people are being treated and viewed in the media and they have to deal with all of this alone and only have their thoughts to comfort them.
In my own life, I know that if someone were to meet me, the likelihood is that they would think I was straight. It’s an assumption based on a stereotype that is constantly perpetuated by the media. I don’t feel the need to correct them or come out to them flaunting my sexuality, but what if I wanted people to know I was gay? Why is that wrong? It’s NOT and everyone should be able to be the person they want to be!
I feel that coming out is a hard process for ANYONE and that it is even harder because being gay forces you to deal with it alone for so long that you put an even greater burden on yourself. Plus, by coming out you are trying to be yourself, how can one argue with that? That’s like saying that someone that’s black should pretend to be white so that it doesn’t “burden” his or her friends and family.
I know from experience that I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders before coming out. I shed more tears than anyone will ever know. I agree that in some cases you share that burden with others when you come out to them, but I wouldn’t call it a burden as much as worry, because they care about you.
And as far as having a child, a picket fence with a perfect car and a house is a socially constructed view of how life SHOULD be for EVERYONE. It is not what you have to have. And just because you are not fulfilling that view in the eyes of another doesn’t mean that you are burdening them. Your family should still love you, by being supportive and helping you to cope. Isn’t that what family is for?
You are not doing your family a disservice by coming out, they are doing you one by assuming you are straight your whole life! Think about that. If everyone lets everyone be himself or herself then we wouldn’t need the “coming out” process in the first place! It wouldn’t be assumed you were gay or straight; you could just go about your life.
Sorry for the rant everyone, but I just want everyone to know that if you are out there and feel alone and different for being gay, it’ll be ok.
Justin is a 23 year old senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is working on his bachelors in English and looking for Mr. Right. You can read more about his escapades in dating at his personal blog, "A Gay College Guy in Virginia".
On Wednesday, the NBA released its first collection of LGBTQ Pride teeshirts featuring the logos of all 30 pro basketball teams. The line is a collaboration between the basketball league, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and TeeSpring and was released in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month. This is the first time an [...]June 9, 2016
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