I was born and raised in a town of maybe 30,000 people, in eastern Michigan. I’ve gone to school in this town, all my friends and family are in this town or surrounding areas, I’ve also held five jobs in this town and I’m still only eighteen.
In my town I don’t think there has ever been an issue with discrimination, whether it be black or white and straight or gay. All through school I have had a lot of friends and the closest thing to discrimination I have ever experienced was a small number of my peers asking if I was gay.
Pretty much everyone in my town is okay with homosexuals, or they just keep they’re mouths shut. All my friends are very supportive of me being gay, even my manly macho straight friends. Almost everyone knows about me being gay. All my friends, some of my co-workers, most of my family (including my dad who is extremely supportive). But the one person who I cannot bring myself to come out to is my mother.
Coming from a town where there hasn’t been an issue with gay people, who would have thought that my mom would dislike gays so much. For almost all of my childhood I knew being gay was considered “wrong”. And the only reason I thought it was wrong was because my mom made me feel bad about anything she thought that I did was gay. The brand of clothes I wore, the television shows I watched, the friends I had, the things I did in my spare time. And because of this my mom is not a person I can talk to, look at, spend quality time with, laugh with, cry with, I can hardly share my love with her.
I don’t want other teenagers to feel like dirt around the person they should be most open with, the person they should love the most, the person who should be their best friend. That’s what a mother should be.
I have always believed in God for my entire life. I also believe that religion should never be used to discriminate against anyone. I know not everyone is perfect and I know that we can accept anyone who is gay. I know that some of my co-workers believe in God. I also told a couple of them about me being a gay man. They still love me for who I am and accept me for what I am. I also have heard in the news about lesbians and gay men getting beaten up over their sexual orenitation. I just think it is wrong and nobody should allow it to happen.
I am now 18 years old and proud to say, I’m gay.
It hasn’t always been this way. Actually, it just recently became this way. I was always a quiet kid. I always knew there was something about me, but was sure what it was. As I got older I knew I was attracted to men. I denied it as much as I could. I always heard family members talking about gay people and how wrong they were. I would always hear how gays were all morally wrong and going to hell for sin. And how they gave/spread diseases because they only wanted sex. Hearing this on a daily basis I was always thinking to myself that this is me my family is talking about. This is me my family hates.
In school I wasn’t very social because I felt awkward and scared about being myself. I still denied that I was gay and thought that it was wrong and that I could change myself. I hated everything about me and kept pushing myself away from everyone. I had no close friends and no one in my family to talk to. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and why it was happening to me. I felt like crap and was sick of crying day after day. Suicide and running away were the only two things to cross my mind for years. I thought if I killed myself that things would be better for me and my family. They wouldn’t have to deal with having “one of those gays” related to them and I wouldn’t be miserable. I thought if I ran away that things would get better. I didn’t know what to do, I was scared.
I had been feeling this way since 6th grade and I never told anyone until the summer of senior year. I finally stared feeling better about myself and starting to accept who I was because of a well know singer, Lady Gaga. Obviously Lady Gaga is an amazing artist, but she is also an amazing person. Listening to her tell everyone that they are beautiful the way they are made me love myself. She made me realize that it is okay to be different. That I can be gay and nothing is wrong with that. That I can still be the weirdo I am, and it’s okay.
I then opened up to a friend who I thought I could talk to about anything. Turned out that she once liked me and she said she would rather not know about me and pretend like I had never said anything to her when I told her I was gay. This made me feel even worse about myself. I cried even more and thought that no one would like me and that I was going to be alone like this forever. I thought of how there was no one for me and how I would be better off dead.
Once again, I would listen to Lady Gaga and cry every chance I got. I would watch videos of Lady Gaga and see things she had said and she made me feel human again. Then my friend who I told I was gay, texted me a little afterwards and wanted to talk. She didn’t know what to do or say. She didn’t understand the whole thing of me being gay because I don’t come off as “gay.” I was still hurt by her reaction and it did come between our friendship, but it made me feel better about myself telling someone.
It felt so good to be able to say this is who I am and I’m okay with it. I ended up telling a few more friends and then a few more after that. Some were surprised, but didn’t mind. I told my family and they don’t agree with it. But this isn’t their choice, it isn’t even my choice and if they don’t want to accept me for who I am, then I don’t want them in my life.
Family and parents should be an important part of your life so if at first they don’t agree with you being gay when you tell them, give them some time. They might come around and realize that you were always you and that they should love you no matter what.
Now I realize that nothing is wrong with being different. That it is okay to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It doesn’t make you a bad person and it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It means you are you. And you are beautiful. Be yourself and be proud. Don’t let anyone tell you different and make you feel less about yourself because you are not. I now am happy with myself. I love who I am. I want to help people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community who are having trouble accepting themselves and I want everyone to know that they are beautiful. Everyone is different and everyone has something they can offer. Be who you are and love it, love every minute of being different because life is too short not to.
I have always been monogamous to either a female partner or male partner. I am married and my partner is female. I have chosen to be monogamous, but that doesn’t change what I know of myself – that I am bisexual. I have been surrounded by conservative and non-tolerant, well-meaning ‘Christians’ all my life.
I am now on the other side of 50 and have a daughter who I hope will not be deeply disappointed that her dad is bisexual. Many who I have revealed my orientation to chose to bury their heads in the sand or believe that I was ‘confused’ because I was sexually abused as a child. I commend the brave act of those who have stood up for themselves in recent years.
I am constantly exposed to negative words that are the opposite of love and acceptance. I am active in music and the spoken word in church, but careful not to be forward regarding what I’ve guarded in my heart most my life. My wife knows, and a few in my family and they’re not convinced, so I leave it as it is. It doesn’t bother me that I’m bisexual, but it does bother me that I did not have the courage to be open and honest about my orientation. I also regret that I never allowed love to grow with my male partners of the past and chose rather to hurt them by leaving.
It’s ironic that I’m not believed, but I’m not ready to shout it on the rooftops either. I do give a damn. I love my wife and daughter and I’m not going to leave them, but monogamy in a heterosexual relationship doesn’t change my bisexuality.
When I was twelve, I realized I was bisexual and I couldn’t live with it. The more time I kept the secret, the more time it held me back. So I told my mom and she said it was okay and perfectly natural to be anything you want. I told my friends and apparently my best friend, who was a boy, was gay anyway. Everything has worked out. I hope anyone who’s like me has their say in a story as well as I did.
My 16 year-old daughter, Sarah, has always beat to her own drum. My husband and I have encouraged that from day one. “Always be true to yourself,” “Don’t let other people dictate who you are.” When she came to us a few years ago and told us that she was questioning her sexuality, we told her as long as she was happy, we didn’t care.
My husband was raised Catholic, and is still convinced that this is a phase. However, he continues to encourage her and drives her every week to her Rainbow Alliance youth group and he voted to approve marriage equality in our state last election. And it passed. Now my daughter is currently passing around a petition at school so that she can start a gay/lesbian/transgender group in her high school!
I’m a 21-year old lesbian. I am currently enrolled in a 4-year university in the state of Texas. In May of 2014 I will be graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice. I have been on the university’s Dean List and won a distinguished scholarship. You may think “Wow this girl seems to be doing so well.” You are right, I am. But life hasn’t always been so easy. I’ll tell you my story and I hope it’ll give someone some hope that it gets better.
As far back as I can remember I have liked girls. I grew up with two older sisters and a younger sister. I knew something was different about me when we would all watch TV or movies and they would have crushes on the main actors and I always had an attraction to the actresses. I lived in a small conservative town in Indiana, so there were no gay or lesbians that I knew of, but then again I was so young. I kept my feelings and thoughts to myself because no one in my entire family was gay or lesbian. I was a huge tomboy since the day I was born. My sisters would pick on me and call me names and ask me “Why don’t you just become a boy since you dress like one?”. That hurt deep down but I never let it show. I built a wall around my heart to protect me from people saying mean things. I got tough skin to protect me as well.
My family moved to north Texas when I was 8 years old. Bigger state, bigger city, and so much more diversity. I still kept who I was a secret because I did not want to be different and I heard anti-gay slurs my whole life. As I started to get older people started to question me because I never talked about boys like my friends did.
Once I was in high school I had my first girlfriend I met online. It wasn’t serious but it was my first taste in discovering who I was. Then I fell for a girl on my basketball team junior year. We dated my senior year and that was the first time I had ever really liked someone. It was a secret because neither one of us was out. We dated a few months and ended it. I started to come out to some friends that were really close to me. To my surprise they accept me and some of my friends started coming out as well. I started to become more comfortable with being a lesbian and just being me.
Freshman year in college I had a long talk with my best friend and I decided to come out to everyone, including my family. I posted a very long coming out note on Facebook so everyone would see it. My sisters said they knew all along and were not surprised but said they loved me and would always love me no matter who I dated or loved. My Dad told me he didn’t care if I was straight or gay, it did not matter to him. My extended family was shocked by the news but they said they’d love me anyway, it just would take some time to get use to it. My Mom on the other hand was surprised and sad. We fought about it for about a year before she really started to come around. She never turned her back on me and she still loved me, it just took her time to understand, since we came from a conservative family. I lost some friends who do not agree with it, but I learned those who are real friends and really care will never judge you for who you are.
I have had some mean things said about me and been hated on. However, I decided at an early age I would not let anyone’s words hurt me. I am who I am. I can not change the way I feel about females. I have had my heart broken by girls and I have come close to love. I am in the process of having a successful career and life. I have all those things a straight woman has, I just love females. I am no different than a straight woman. I am proud that I made the decision to come out. I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever have. I am confident in who I am. I help others that are having a hard time coming out, come out.
I will leave you with this. Be who you are. You may lose people that mean everything to you, but you will find people that will love you for who you are. Everyone deserves to be who they are, be happy, and be loved by the ones they want to. Never give up hope that things will get better, because they will.
For a long time I have not been able to accept myself or my own sexual orientation. I started to like girls when I was 7 years old, I didnt realize it then at the time. My first girlfriend was in the 6th grade. When others found out about me they judged and treated me terribly. We broke up becuase of this. From then on I would keep my thoughts and feelings about the same sex to myself.
In the 8th grade I fell in love with my best friend. We dated but she didnt want anyone to know because she knew her family wouldn’t be accepting. We unfortunatley didn’t last. I dated another friend of mine and she came out. At times I have identified myself as bisexual. Then at other times I’m not sure anymore.
My family on my Mom’s side isn’t accepting. My Mom is bisexual, though and she understands. Today I am accepting of myself. I know I can’t please everyone and I can’t choose the way I feel. I tried to believe I didn’t like girls but I know I do. Things get better. I have learned to accept myself and love myself. This is why I Give A Damn.
I’m Taylor. I’m straight. I’ve never had any doubt that people should be created equally no matter who they love, what they look like, or what their beliefs are.
I’ve always gone by a certain motto, that if it’s in someones life, and they aren’t hurting you, there is no reason to discriminate, and no reason to basically hate them just because it isn’t your belief. I’ve never understood how a parent could be so cruel, and throw their own child out because of who they are. Don’t you tell your child “be yourself”, or “no matter what you do in life, we’ll love you”?
I have had no experience with this, and I never hope to. But I’d like to say to those kids, and people out their that feel like your families don’t care, or have shunned you, that it gets better. Family isn’t only blood deep, its about people you care about. I care about you, we’ve never met, but if we ever did, I care. I give a damn about you, and your equality, and I always will.
I am a bisexual woman. I have been in a relationship with one of the most wonderful women I have ever met, for a couple of years now. Up until my early twenties I had only been with men, which felt very natural to me, and never even really thought of being with a woman. At a certain point, I did think about it, and it didn’t feel unnatural to me. I have never struggled with my sexuality or my feelings toward either sex, it just is what it is, and I have found that I have loved people based on who they are as a person, not their gender.
I also come from a very conservative Christian home. My family has been part of our church for two generations so, needless to say, my family is a part of the fabric of the community there. I was never taught to hate anyone, but I was definitely under the impression that gay was not “okay” for me. My parents have met gay friends of mine and it was never an issue, but I was aware that they voted Yes on Prop 8, so I knew where they stood. I am thankful that they managed to successfully raise two open-minded children, despite their attitudes and the attitudes of the church.
Ironically enough, my parents are convinced that my sibling and I have been indoctrinated by modern culture, while they are the ones who tune in to a well known conservative news channel for a couple of hours every evening.
Recently, my parents “outed” me. I can’t blame them for being shocked and upset – I expected it. In fact, I expected it to be a lot worse than it was, but it was bad enough. They were filled with disapproval of my bad moral choice, read me bible verses condemning homosexuality, and while they reiterated that they love me, even now, four months later, I’m pretty sure they are still in deep denial.
My mom still likes to mention, “When you marry a nice man one day.” I am taking it day by day, but it is a very intense process, as I don’t wish to ruin my relationship with my parents, but it will have to change. To think that they would rather me live a lie and turn my back on the greatest love of my life so far, just so that it looks good to the rest of my family and our church friends, is devastating.
I know in my heart that God loves us all equally. Unfortunately, throughout history, the bible has been used inappropriately by cultures and a lot of churches to rationalize and mask their own hateful agendas. I am thankful that I have not turned by back on my faith, because it is one of the things in my life that is helping me to deal with my life at the moment, having just “come out” to my parents and some friends.
I have prayed for years for clarity and guidance regarding my sexuality and my faith and the position I am in with my family and church community, being a bisexual woman. What happened? I was finally put in a situation by my parents where I had the chance to stop lying about my relationship, and I took that opportunity.
Since coming out, I have met several wonderful Christians who have a deep, deep faith, and who truly strive to live by Jesus’ example that Love is the greatest thing of all, and I have found a church that is all-inclusive and is still rooted in the teachings of Jesus. I would encourage people to not give up on their faith, for the bible reads, “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”
There are all-inclusive faith communities out there if you look for them! My hope is that one day my parents, family and friends can celebrate me for who I am fully, otherwise, they’re going to miss out on a wonderful part of their lives.
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For most of us, our families provide the one place where we can be ourselves and know that we will be loved and accepted, no matter what. Our families are our support system, our source of strength, our home.