in my final year of high school and I decided to come out
as a lesbian—a very foolish move as I live in a small town
that’s not exactly brimming with tolerant people. But I know
there are other closeted people at my school and I figured
if none of us ever take the first step, it won’t ever get
any better around here. But the response from my peers was
worse than I expected. It’s nothing too terrible, no physical
violence, and in the beginning I could cope. But it’s been
a while now and I guess I need some advice. It just isn’t
getting better and I’m getting tired of it. 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. I’m avoiding
classes that I don’t have friends in because even if nothing
is said (though it often is), the atmosphere is horrible.
And none of this is that big a deal compared to what others
have to go through, I know, but I’m sort of at the end of
Reporting it to staff is useless because they just tell me
there isn’t any proof and do fuck all. I’ve got some teachers
looking out for me, but they can’t really do anything, either.
I have some supportive friends, thank God, but it’s all just
becoming a bit too much, and I need some advice on how to
cope through the last few months until I can get out of this
And Losing It
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 high school
and out of your shithole 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, of course, or that all
the fags and dykes you meet over the course of your life will
be good people. But you will never again feel as vulnerable
or persecuted or alone as you do right now.
And while you’re talking to yourself in the mornings, TALI,
tell yourself this, too: “Fuck my school, fuck my classmates,
and fuck this town.” 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. Your classmates
are making you miserable now because they know, deep down
in their little black hearts, that their lives are going to
be duller than day-old douche water compared to yours. Their
lives aren’t going to be dull because they’re straight, TALI,
but because the value they place on conformity—that’s the
reason they feel they have a right to abuse you now—is a prison
they’ve constructed around themselves.
Right now they’re making you feel like an outcast, TALI, and
the malice stings. But what exactly are they casting you out
of? Your high school? Their asshole cliques? That shit town?
You haven’t been cast out, TALI; you’ve been liberated. Freed.
I’m a 16-year-old gay boy. I grew up in an evangelical
Christian home. Being the intelligent chap I am, I forgot
to clear the history off the computer after looking at pornography
one day last October. 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. The electronics embargo has ended,
so I can watch porn again at least, but I’ve been forced into
the closet by my parents. They both ask me every night whether
or not I have a girlfriend, whether or not there are any cute
girls in my grade, stuff like that. 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.
What the hell should I do about my parents? Will I ever be
able to come out? Or will I have to lie to my parents and
wait for them to die?
Parents Angrily Chastise
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 asshole parents what their
asshole ears want to asshole hear: “It was just a phase, Mom
and Dad, I was just curious, I’m totally straight, Jesus is
the only dude I’ll ever get on my knees for, blah blah blah.”
Get yourself a fag hag, delete gay Web-browsing histories,
create and refrain from deleting straight Web-browsing histories,
and bide your freakin’ time.
In two short years you’ll be an adult, CPAC, 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, CPAC,
and if one isn’t forthcoming, refuse to see your parents or
have anything to do with them until they apologize. They’re
currently using all the leverage they have as parents
to make sure you’re miserable—aka closeted—for the rest of
your life. Once you’re an adult, CPAC, you’ll have to use
the only leverage you have—your presence in their lives—to
make them into the loving, respectful, supportive parents
you deserve, deserved all along, and that it’s not too late
for them to become.
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.
for the sweet note, WON. It’s too bad that all teenagers,
gay and straight, don’t have parents as loving and supportive
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