Ever since I was in first grade, I was teased by my classmates for my girlish behavior. Back then, I didn’t even know I was gay; and being called gay was quite offending. I used to get teased, bullied and even took a few hits for my “inappropriate” behavior.
As I grew up, I started to realize that I wasn’t attracted to girls, but to guys. This was somewhere around third grade. At around the same time, I had seniors come and ask me if I was gay – naturally I said no, but they didn’t believe me. So, as a child I ended up being completely unsocial and without friends – just because I wasn’t “normal.”
I made my first friend (who was a girl, because guys were still pretty hostile towards me) in fifth grade. I told her everything – that was the first time I’d actually admitted out loud to being homosexual. Eventually, word got around about this – a few days later everybody knew I was gay. I still didn’t admit to it when asked – I was scared.
I remember that my games teacher didn’t like me for my “abnormal” behavior. He told me that I walked/talked “like a girl” and that I should “fix myself.” When I refused to listen to me, he ended up hating me and not letting me play football or basketball, or do anything the other guys would do.
When I was in seventh grade, I started listening to Lady Gaga. Her activism inspired me, and I decided that the next time somebody asked me about my orientation, I’d tell them the truth.
When I came out publicly, it really wasn’t a shock. My grade somehow learned to accept me; however, the bullying never stopped- at around this time the seniors and the juniors started calling me names and some of the seniors even went physical on me. People used to steal my copies/stationery/pencil-bags, all because I was gay.
A year later I came out to my mom. Of course, she didn’t support it: she gave me a long lecture about how it’s unnatural and wrong. Somewhere along the line I managed to convince her that it was a personal choice and society didn’t get a say in it.
I’m in ninth grade now. The bullying never stopped; people got tired but I still get the occasional snide remark from a senior. The games teacher still doesn’t let me play and manages to insult me every time I see him. I’ve learned to ignore this – I have a bunch of wonderful, accepting friends who don’t really care what my sexual orientation is (there are guys too!).
I guess I just got lucky – if this were some other school I would have had to face way worse than what I faced here. Some people still choose to tell me that homosexuality is an “abomination” and that I’ll go to hell for being gay – I wouldn’t say that it doesn’t hurt, but I just choose to ignore it.
Homophobia ruined my childhood – as I child I wasn’t strong enough to bear the insults and the punches all the other kids threw at me. I used to come home and cry everyday – and the worst part was that I couldn’t tell anybody else. If only society was a bit more tolerant, and parents taught their children that It was okay to be different (because, of course, children don’t come out of their mothers thinking that homosexuality is detestable) I could have had a nice childhood.