I just wanted to write and get it off my chest. Im a 17 year old guy, who identifies as gay but I am also closeted. Im having doubts on whether or not to come out to my friends and family during college or during high school. I am also an identical twin.
Im respected at school for my kindness and generosity but im not a 'super-duper' outgoing person. Im very afraid of what the consequences will be if I reveal my sexual orientation out to my school because most people view me as a stereotypical smart, atheletic, friendly guy (i don't have a lisp and i've hidden any traces or signs of being gay from anyone). One of my best friends is a guy who dated a girl who revealed herself to be a lesbian to him and now he displays a very negative disposition towards lesbians. Currently, this has grown to include gay men too. He recently invited me to go to a gay pride festival in a large city close by and yell negative remarks at the "fags". I was secretly offended and i declined, but he still doesn't know I'm gay. I have many 'straight' guy friends who i dont have any 'romantic' feelings for, but im scared about whether or not they would reject me as a man. I pride myself for my gender but i also have an inherent pride for my sexuality that I cannot explain.
As a child, I was raised up in a very conservative Christian household and my parents view homosexuals as disgusting perverts and compare same-sex love to bestiality and often remark that they [homosexuals] are coherent with evil. It really hurts to hear your parents reject an aspect that is a fundamental part of yourself and I feel that when I come out, I will be disowned or my relationship with my parents will end. I love my parents very, very much and I know that Im fortunate to have a loving family. But how can they love me for who I really am if they reject my sexuality? I don't want my relationship with my parents to end. My sexual orientation seems so natural, I can't give it up. I tried to reject my orientation while I was in middle school and I thought it was just a phase. However, I have known I was different since I was 3 or 4 and I had an effeminant side which eventually subsided due to parental values and society pressure. I dont identify at all now with my effeminant side but it sometimes (very rarely) "slips" out. At the age of 14, I realized I had definite attractions to the same-sex and I slowly moved out of denial. I was finding that I was attracted to older, more developed men. Now that im almost out of high school, Im finding myself longing for a same-sex relationship or friendship. I want to come out, but not be hurt. However, this is probably not possible. I want to find a mentor or somebody that could act as a life coach or counselor to be there to support me.
I also have a really different situation here because I am also an identical twin. Im not really sure if my twin brother is gay too but I am suspensful in a way. I was wondering if you have consulted or spoken with over gay people who are also twins.
So glad you wrote to us with your difficult situation. It's courageous of you to be dealing with your sexual nature, especially with the homophobic atmosphere there in the Bible Belt. It's got to be rough to think of your parents rejecting you, or worse, maybe harming you or kicking you out. For those reasons, I advise you NOT to come out to them (or anyone else), unless and until you feel that you will be safe and secure in doing so. Remember that there's no need to hurry in coming out, but it's your decision to make. So make it wisely and at the proper time. You might find the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf helpful. In addition, on http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/comingoutquestions you'll find an article called "Coming Out to Your Parents: Questions to Think About" which may be of help to you. Regardless, keep your safety and security as your first priority. It can help to ask yourself some questions including: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about them finding out? Are you worried that if you told your family or your friends, you'd be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you told your parents, are you concerned that they might kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell them and they did kick you out, it would be important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual nature. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. Again, what is most important is that you are comfortable and safe.
Concerning the religious angle. for your own comfort of mind, know that it IS possible to be both gay and a Christian. You see, pure Christianity is what is known as "red-letter Christianity" and consists of just what Jesus said, with everything else secondary, even considered to be here-say. Truth is, Jesus never said so much as ONE word against, let alone about same-sex relationships. His message was solely one of LOVE - love God and love your neighbor (the two greatest commandments of all). He even drove a mob of Pharasees away from a woman acused of adultery by telling them "he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." Yet how many hypocrites willingly cast "stones" at gays? I recommend that you read some books on the subject like "Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?" and "The Children are Free; Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships". Also, "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism" by Bishop John Shelby Spong is a good rebuttal against those who think it can be taken "literally word for word". Remember that religion is a belief, and not inherent in one's natural makeup. Those who think ill of gays are oh, so wrong, and are guilty of cherry-picking the Bible to justify their own learned hatreds and prejudgices. And anything can be backed up with the right verse, even slavery (Lev. 25: 44-45). Real Christians STUDY the scriptures, as Jesus told us to do, and not just read them. Real Christians believe in loving everyone, and don't go around condemning others.
On the other hand, being gay is a totally natural happenstance, and has been observed in virtually every sexual species in nature that's ever been observed for any length of time. The book "Biological Exuberance" by Bruce Bagemihl PhD proves this. Also note that, being an identical twin, some identical twins are oriented the same, some are not. But they DO have a higher rate of both being gay, if one is gay. I think God loves diversity, which is why He made even identical twins different from one another. But again, I caution you about trying to come out to your brother, for the same reasons mentioned above. Best just keep a watchful eye on his reactions to various situations that may help reveil his sexual nature, before you do anything.
You can be proud of yourself for deciding to be true to your natural self. After all, that is the true test of one's character. "To thine own self be true" as the old bard said. And you have a great deal of characteristics that are highly admirable. You're a fine young man, just as you are. Just make wise decisions about coming out, and only when you feel safe and comfortable, and you'll do just fine. I know that you'll go far in this world, as you have the fine character to do so.
The Trevor Project