I'm in my final year of high school and I decided to come out as a lesbian -- a foolish move as I live in a small town not exactly brimming with tolerant people. In the beginning, I could cope, but it just isn't getting better. I have to park two streets away so people don't write shit on my car, someone's hacked my user account and deleted important coursework, I'm either told I'm dressing like a dyke or trying to be a girl depending on what I choose to wear on any given day. The atmosphere is horrible. I have some supportive friends, thank God, but it's all just becoming a bit too much.
Tired And Losing It
Here's what you need to do, TALI: Look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself that is the nadir, the bottom, the worst it's ever going to get. Once you get out of your hometown and get your ass off to college -- to a big state school or private secular university -- you won't be the only out queer anymore. Hell, you'll be surrounded by out fags and dykes and bisexuals. I can't promise you that you'll never encounter a bigot again, but you will never again feel as vulnerable or persecuted or alone as you do right now.
The shits conspiring to make you miserable, TALI, are unlikely to have lives anywhere near as interesting as the one on which you're about to embark. Right now, they're making you feel like an outcast, and the malice stings. But what exactly are they casting you out of? Your high school? Their cliques? That shit town? You haven't been cast out, TALI; you've been liberated. Freed. Sprung.
I'm a 16-year-old gay boy. A while back, I forgot to clear the history off the computer after looking at pornography. I got yelled at until I cried that night, and again the next morning, and every day for two weeks. I wasn't allowed to use the computer for a year, and I was forced to attend church nightly. I've been forced into the closet by my parents. My mom tears up every time I say that I don't have a girlfriend. My dad sends me links to antigay articles that describe homosexuality as unnatural and an abomination. Once I made the mistake of sending an article back to him countering his points about homosexuality and he stormed into my room and broke both my cell phone and MP3 player in half.
Will I ever be able to come out? Or will I have to lie to my parents and wait for them to die?
Christian Parents Angrily Chastise
Your parents -- your vicious, clueless parents -- are abusing their authority and their power, CPAC, which can make it tempting to fantasize about their deaths. Hell, I'm tempted to come over and kill them myself. But your only option right now, I'm sorry to say, is to lie to them. Tell your parents what they want to hear: "It was just a phase, Mom and Dad, I was just curious, I'm totally straight, blah blah blah." In two short years, you'll be an adult, and you'll be able to come out to your mom and dad -- and, even better, you'll be able to tell them to suck it. Demand an apology for the emotional and spiritual violence they inflicted on you, and if one isn't forthcoming, refuse to have anything to do with them until they apologize.
Four months ago, my mom walked in on me messing around with my boyfriend in our garage. I'm also a boy, age 15, and I hadn't gotten around to coming out to my parents yet. I felt bad that my mom had to find out by seeing what she saw. I stayed in my room crying until my father came home. They called me down to the kitchen and told me they loved me and that they were very, very sorry if they had ever done or said anything that made me feel like I couldn't be open with them about who I am.
My boyfriend is 17. He came out to his parents at Christmas, and our parents met for the first time last night. We don't have a question. We just wanted to thank you and thank all the other gay people who came out back when it was much tougher to do so. Our parents wouldn't have reacted the way they did if it weren't for all you guys that already came out.
We're Out Now
Thanks for the sweet note, WON. It's too bad that all teenagers, gay and straight, don't have parents as loving and supportive as yours.