I always knew I was Gay
- written about 8 years ago
In much the same way that I imagine straight people always knew they were straight, I always knew that I was gay, and I first realized when I was seven years old, honest to god. In the second grade some boys had started a joke where they would ask someone else if he was happy, if the answer was yes then the punch line would follow; ‘oh so you’re gay!’ It was the height of humor before the internet. So I asked my mother what gay was and she replied, after taking a moment to ponder, that it was when two boys liked each other in the way that boys usually liked girls. Years later I would thank her for not including any sort of judgment in that explanation because it allowed me to have the simple thought; ‘oh, then I’m gay.’ When I tell people that story they usually find it surprising that I could have understood that when I was so young. Admittedly I didn’t understand what being gay meant in terms of what it would mean for me as a person. Of course I didn’t understand it in terms of sex since I didn’t even know what that was yet, and I certainly didn’t understand it in terms of love. There were consequences both good and bad to that simple thought that I couldn’t have understood at age seven. But that’s really missing the point of that story. The point is that knowing I preferred boys over girls was a simple thought that even a child could have, and it was only accepting the consequences of a social stigma that made it complicated. When I was fifteen I made a promise to myself. Many people make promises in their teen years that when reexamined years later are chalked up to the folly and confidence of youth, but for me this promise was one of the moments that would divide childhood and adulthood. It was one of the first adult promises I would make, but it was made with the simple faith of a child that could only exist when it seemed the world would always be alright. I didn’t swear it in blood or carve it in stone I simply scorched it on the inside of my skull with my minds eye, whispered it aloud as I lay in bed late one night and made it part of my soul. Never, for as long as I live, no matter the consequences would I lie about being gay.