I hear this question almost on a weekly basis “when did you know you were gay?” This is a good question… The answer is simple, I have always known I was gay.
I have always been a little different (when my family reads this I think they will laugh at me understating this fact). My aunt would always asked me “What is the color of the sky in your world?” I had an active imagination and loved playing on my own. I never really fit in with the neighborhood kids. I was teased in elementary school. My sixth grade year I was home schooled… My seventh grade year I had grown into my oversized ears and wasn’t so awkward. People stopped making me the butt of the jokes. I played every sport I could, and yet still just didn’t fit in. My difference was fundamental. It was in my very being. I am not afraid to be who I am now, but it wasn’t always so easy. I was terrified of what others would do if they found out my secret. When people “friends” would get to close I would shut them out. No one could know…. This paralyzing fear lasted until I was twenty-two and living on my own.
Trent grew up in a small town in Utah. His secret was maybe not so secret. His nickname growing up was “Tinkerbell” yep you read it correctly. Yet his fear paralyzed him as well. Trent is a very free person, he loves the moment, he loves who he is and hides from no one. So him having to disguise such a large part of himself was very destructive. He fell into a huge depression. Trying to conform to what he was “supposed” to be. As he came out to the world his happiness grew. Now he is the happiest person I have ever known. He will ,sometimes, just randomly start to cry because he can’t contain his happy emotions any longer.
I know there are families out there with sons or daughters that they think might be gay. I have a few words of advise to them;
First is, they either are or they are not. Nothing you are going to do is going to change that.
Second, Let them be themselves. I know parents want only happieness for their children. How can one be happy if they are not allowed to be who they are? How is it healthy to tell them that they are wrong because of who they are and not for something they have done. That damage is longlasting and devistatingly hard to overcome.
Third, accept them for who they are. As a parent you are tasked with a few fundimental responsibilities. One of which is to love and nurture your children. Love them without condition. Teach them values, hard work, and to never be ashamed of who they are.
Fourth, do not fear or grieve. Don’t feel that they have lost out on a good life. I promise you this is not the case. We are steaming ahead into an age where being gay doesn’t disqualify you from anything. We will be able to get married, have children, chase the carreers we choose. I know this is hard to understand. You will never know exactaly what they are going through, but if you trust, love, communicate, and believe everything will be ok.