So today is National Coming Out Day. And that’s a great thing to celebrate. All over the world, LGBT people are fighting for the right to simply exist so anytime someone is able to be themself, openly and honestly, that’s a party-worthy thing. But not everyone can do that, for a variety of reasons. So what options does an gay or bi boy have if he can’t even tell his best friend he’s not straight?
Coming out can be scary; telling your friends and family that you’re of the non-straight persuasion can lead to awkward moments (which, really, isn’t too bad when you think about it) or angry encounters (which is). If you’re trapped inside a close-minded home or community, it can lead to outright abuse, ‘cause that’s the super-religious way.
If these, or any other multitude of reasons, are keeping you quiet and in the closet, I’m sorry. Nobody deserves to hide who they are. Nobody should be forced to keep their sexuality a secret. Nobody should be ignored or denied because of who they love. But not everyone is free to be themselves and announce to the whole damn world that they’re a member of the LGBT community. And that’s not fair.
You might’ve heard some people talk about how important it is to come out (which, yes, it is, but not if that would put you in any kind of danger and that includes homelessness) and how you can’t be yourself if you hide and a dew even talk trash about anyone who dares to remain closeted. Ignore that nonsense. Seriously. Anyone who talks down to you for not being all out and proud can piss off.
Some of us understand that there are many homophobes in the world and, sadly, there are more than a few with gay and bisexual sons who they hurt for no other reason than liking boys. We get that and we will never tell you to out yourself until you are ready. We also understand that you might be confused or in denial and we’d rather help you come to terms with who you are instead of trying to make you say something you’re not ready to.
WE’RE HERE FOR YOU. AND WANT YOU TO KNOW SOMETHING.
It will get better. Now, that may not happen until you’re able to get away from the people who hurt you (or you believe would if they knew) but it will happen. There will come a day when you’ll be free to be the real you and you’ll look back on the bad shit you’re going through and realize that you’re a goddamn warrior for what you went through. You know you can face anything life throws at you. You’ll be able to take all the bad and use it to build yourself up and become the most amazing you you could possibly imagine.
No matter what bigoted messages you are forced to hear, remember: it’s okay to be gay and bi and every other non-straight person there is. You have every right to be happy; you might just have to wait a bit before you can fully embrace everything you are.
THINGS NOT TRUE ABOUT BOYS WHO LIKE BOYS
It doesn’t matter if the person who makes butterflies in your belly has a penis or a vag; it has no bearing on your manliness. In fact, nothing does because manliness doesn’t come in levels. Manliness isn’t a thing. Forget that shit. You’re as much a man as Arnold Schwarzenegger or Chris Pratt. Yes, even if you love to bottom, you’re on the same level as the biggest ladies’ man. You hear that, ignore it.
The Gays will not destroy the world, we will not run out of new people and hurricanes are not your fault. Blame natural weather patterns for that one. Ignore these piles of stinking awfulness, too. Those who spew this crap are not worth the pain taking it to heart will cause.
Be strong. You got this.
Even if you’re not at every Pride Parade or celebrating National Coming Out Day in grand fashion, you can still love yourself and embrace who you are. Do that. Please. When you’re alone, when the people who would turn away from you if they knew, tell yourself you’re an amazing boy who has a lot of love to give and deserves the same in return. Because it’s true. And if you don’t see that now, I hope one day you do because when you’re able to say out loud the secret you keep for so long, it’s an exhilarating, freeing moment like no other. And I hope when you get there, you’re celebrated for the treasure you are. Never feel shame for reaching out or for your sexuality. They're both completely natural.
If you’d like to share your story, even anonymously, hit me up. Whether it’s about the day you came out or how you’re forced to keep a lid on your truth, I’d love to give you a safe place to tell others what it’s like to be an LGBT youth. Your stories are what drive us forward and force those who want to oppress out of positions of power.
If you need someone to talk to, there are organizations in the United States (Teen Line & GLBT National Help Center) and Canada (LGBT Youth Line & BroTalk) and the United Kingdom (Support Line & LGBT Foundation) that will listen. There are more throughout the world; just hit up Google to find one in your country. You can also email me or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.