I am not gay. I can’t say exactly how long I’ve known that I’m not gay, just that I do know now. There are still women in the world that I find attractive and I definitely have a fondness for the gay people in my life, but I have to come to terms with the fact that not only am I straight, I am in a committed marriage and am part of a nuclear family.
I am very privileged to be surrounded by the GLBT community. My Grade 9 English teacher was gay and started a GLBT group at my high school. My best friend was part of the GLBT community while she was in university and introduced me to some great people. It is a privilege to watch people grow and become who they are meant to be. Soon, I will get to attend the wedding of this friend and his long-time partner, and what a celebration it will be.
I am so pleased that my daughter will get to grow up with these men and women in her life, showing her that she can be whoever she is – gay or straight, pink and frilly or jeans and hoodies, or both. I am so scared of the day that she meets people who tell her it’s not okay.
I read Jamie Hubley’s blog a bit yesterday. He was in so much pain. I saw a bit of myself in him, feeling alone, assuming that your friends are not really your friends and don’t actually like you. But I was not a gay teenager, and I was not a self-harmer. I reached a point of crisis, but I backed away slowly.
Ian’s writes in his piece that the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign should have everyone speaking out together, not just the GLBT community, so this is my voice. High school is hell, this is true for most people. If you can get through it and get to college or university, or find a job or something, you will find your people. They are out there, and they are having a hard time too. As alone as you feel, there is someone out there feeling the same way.
The online community is a gift, because we can find each other here before we find each other in the real world. You can reach people going through the same thing you’re going through and people who went through it and survived, people who were left behind by the people like Jamie who decided it wasn’t worth the wait. The people you meet online will stand behind you when you’re all alone in the hallways or the cafeteria or the classroom.
Your people are out there and they are looking for you too.