I live in a very religious, closemindedhousehold. One day I asked my parents what they would do if I was gay, they said they would disown me and try to beat it out of me. The rest of my family agrees. I havent fully come out yet. I know in the end I will lose them, probably, but I need to know what to do now and how to deal with them in the future.
I am someone who understands how you feel. I can see that you are fearful of how your parents/family will react if you "come-out" to them. This kind of inner conflict can make us wonder whether or not we can ever find happiness and how we can fit into the world. This kind of conflict can also cause us to feel quite lonely, isolated and sad. Although you might not believe me at this moment, John, I am here to tell you that you are indeed a beautiful person, that you can indeed get through this, that you can find a community of friends who support you and that life is very much worth living.
As you may know, there are parents/family/friends in this world who accept us "no matter what" and sadly, there are those who do not. There are those who use religion as a means of perscuting those of us who are gay. Unfortunately, there are families out there (although less and less with each passing year) that may disown us for being who we are. It is important to remember that being attracted to someone and loving someone, whether they be of the same or different sex, is the most normal thing in the world and a wonderful gift. There are those who view gay people as "sick," "confused" or "immoral." However, I am convinced that being gay is entirely normal and natural, and the person who accepts herself/himself in this way is the one who finds happiness.
People are free to have their own religious beliefs. I respect all religious beliefs as long as people do not use these to abuse, oppress or harm other people & groups. All I can tell you is something from my own life experience. I have spent many years as a gay person working in homes taking care of terminally ill people (cancer & AIDS). I have spent many hours feeding, bathing, dressing and caring for the basic needs of hundreds of people of all religions/cultures as they spend their last days on earth. I have spent much of my life comforting these people in their agony of illness. I personally do not think I will be sent to hell for being gay after caring for the terminally ill for so many years.
I do think that this is something that you should not be handling on your own. Can you speak with a trusted, mature, sympathetic adult who understands these matters? Do you know of a counselor, teacher, principal, etc... in your school with whom you can speak? Remember: people who truly love you for who you are will never reject you. I ask you to reach out to someone this week... can you do this for me? Do not isolate yourself an please reach out to a trusted adult for help.
John: there are many people out there (me included) who understand what you are going through, who care about you and want you to have a happy life. Remember also, John, that there are good and bad people of every sexual orientation. I encourage you, therefore, to become friends with people who love and accept you for who you are. I know that you feel quite lonely now, but there are people out there who will be your friends and support you. Beware of people who would try to use or abuse you in any way. Eventually you will find a special person to love who respects you and will help you become a better person. People are attracted to you by the positive energy that you radiate. Radiate that goodness and I am quite sure a wonderful person will appear down the road somewhere. This is what I did and my boyfriend is definitely the best thing that ever happened in my life (we are together 5 years now!).
You might wonder “when will things get better?" and "what kind of community awaits me?" While things "getting better" is different for everyone, my life did indeed get better once I left high school. I was able to openly have a boyfriend in college and no one ever gave me a hard time for this. What I discovered over time, John, is that we are ALL worthy of love, that we should be able to choose the one we love without fear and that life is VERY MUCH worth living. Accept and love who you are, find a community of family & friends who truly love and support you and things will get better and brighter (I guarantee it). It was difficult for me when I first came out but now I have many gay & straight friends. I love my life....
As a help, you can always check out Trevorspace at www.trevorspace.org, the Trevor Project's safe, on-line social networking site for LBGTQ young people ages 13-24, their friends and allies. It's a great supportive community where you can connect with others.
Trust me when I say, John: you are a beautiful person who can find happiness and whose life is worth living! The day will come when you will no longer feel as you do now but you will be happy.