I get up every morning as me, Seth. I take a shower, and, with a stone, I wash away me. I put on designer clothes, designer cologne. I gel my hair, skip breakfast and drive to school. At school, I am popular, a jock, weight lifter, straight. At school my name is Jacob. I tell people one thing when I mean another. When I go home I go to my room, do my homework, take of my designer clothes. put on gym shorts. and lay in bed for hours before I fall asleep. . . Sometimes I cry and yell at god for punishing me for something I don’t even remember. By making me gay, he has sentenced me to a life in hell. Because of him, I can’t love anyone, or even be me. I can’t be held, I can’t do the holding. I want people to like me because I am a good person, but if I was to tell people that I’m gay I know that I would lose 90 percent of all my friends in the world. I feel real pain every time I get up from bed. I can’t relax cause I’m always hiding. I want to lay down and not have to worry about anything, to be me, to be Seth. I just want the pain to go away. Do you think it is better to live a life of pain than to live no life at all? I just want to relax and be free.
Dear Seth (It’s fine to be Seth with us!),
The pain you describe is a very common experience for probably most young, gay people when they first come to acknowledge their sexual orientation. But it is important for you to know, Seth, that it is also something that most gay people get past, as they go on to create fulfilling, productive lives that include love, joy and the knowledge that they are just fine the way they are. There is nothing wrong with you, Seth. What is wrong is a society which is made up of a large (though continually decreasing) number of people who do not understand—and are therefore threatened by—people with an alternative sexuality. I will bet you, however, that there are a lot fewer of these people in your life than you think. Once you are able to accept yourself (and I would also bet good money that eventually you will), you will find that the people who truly love and care about you—the ones you will want to have around you--will accept you for who you are.
In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to get yourself to a counselor, Seth. Just tell your parents that you’re going through some difficult personal issues that you’d like to speak with a counselor about. Until that happens, please call our helpline and talk with someone who will understand what you’re going through. Being gay does not condemn you to a life of pain or a life without love, Seth—give us a call at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR, and let us help you start letting go of the pain.