Coming Out Into College

“Let yourself be the person you’ve secretly always wanted to be.” – Troye Sivan

It was a secret. I didn’t understand it. But I knew I had to hide it. So I didn’t say anything.

When I was five years old, I watched two boys kissing on an episode of Desperate Housewives. My dad told me and my younger brothers that was wrong. I somehow knew that what he said wasn’t right. But I didn’t say anything.

When I was eleven, I began seeing my best friend differently. He didn’t know I liked him, but I would flirt with him, wrestle with him, and ultimately try to get his attention. I don’t know if he caught on or not. Part of me wanted to tell him everything I was feeling. But I didn’t say anything.

When I was sixteen, I thought that I needed to “pray the gay away”. I put myself through conversion therapy for six months because I was desperate to like girls, to be straight. I wanted so badly to be normal. But I began learning that this wasn’t what I was meant to do. So May 3rd, 2016, I could no longer suppress my secret. So I said something.

When I was seventeen, one week after I graduated high school, I realized my secret no longer had to be a secret. So I said something again to anyone who would listen and to everyone on social media. “I am gay. I am Christian. And I am proud.”

Now I am nineteen, and I have been out and proud about my sexuality for about a year and a half. College has given me the opportunity to be who I truly am. I no longer feel as stifled as I did when I lived in Nebraska. Instead, I feel that I can be loud. I can be proud. I can be gay. I can be so much more than who I was during the first seventeen years of my life.

For LGBTQ+ people going into college, college can be an exciting, liberating experience. It can be a time of freedom where you can explore who you truly are. It can be a space of growth, self-reflection, and realization. It can be a chance for you to meet other LGBTQ+ people and find a community of people who share your experiences, your pains, and your joys. You can discover your passions and what makes you, you.

College can also be frustrating. Other college students may be homophobic, transphobic, or just overall hateful people. The college atmosphere may be suffocating at times because there are so many other voices that try to drown you out. There may be moments when you feel like no one around you can relate to what you are feeling. You may feel alone, and you may feel that the odds are stacked against you. You may be overwhelmed. You may feel stuck.

But despite what college may be for you, you deserve to be heard. You deserve to be respected. And you deserve to be loved. And through this blog, I hope to be a resource for you in all three of these areas.

Although my experience as an LGBTQ+ college student is only one experience out of the countless others out there, it still has given me the ability to relate to other LGBTQ+ people. I am a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. I am someone who will  share in your experiences and your emotions. I am a person who will help you process your thoughts and your dreams. I am a friend who will love you through it all. In short, I am your gay godparent.

So whether you are publicly out in college as an LGBTQ+ person, or you’re still figuring out your sexuality and/or gender identity, or you’re somewhere in-between or elsewhere, I am here for you. Hopefully my blogs will give you comfort and advice that will help you with your own journey. If you would like me to write about a specific topic or question, feel free to contact me about it.

So my dears, remember your worth. You are cherished. You are enough. You are valid. And you are loved. May your troubles be light, and your joys be abundant.

Until next time!

Love, Your Gay Godparent,

Joe

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