how it feels, a year later

Just over a week ago, I wrote a post on the “one year anniversary” of me accepting/realising that I was gay. On that day I rewatched the movie that changed my life, Alex Strangelove. On the eleventh of November in 2018, on a Sunday night, I watched that movie and was absolutely hysterical by the end. I will admit, rewatching it a year later, the film no longer had the same impact on me, but I think that’s just because know I’ve known for so long now and since “being gay” I have binged on all types of media depicting gay relationships, the movie being the first. I will also admit that (spoilers incoming) in the end, when Alex grabs Elliott’s wrist and pulls him in to a kiss, that’s got to be one of the best gay kiss scenes I have ever watched.

Now, less on then and more on now. When I wrote the other post, I don’t think I really felt the difference, but this afternoon, whilst doing some art and listening to music, I got lost in my thoughts and this came to mind upon looking at the time on my phone, of which the wallpaper showed the date of the one year anniversary (so I didn’t forget, because, yes I am kind of stupid). I thought about how t didn’t seem like a big deal but then I thought deeper, “Just over a year ago, I thought I was going to fall in love and marry a woman,” and then I looked at my hands, “I thought I wanted to hungrily grasp the body of, not a man, but a woman with these hands.” (Geez, John, getting a bit graphic there, perhaps?). I was completely dumbfounded, my life was massively changed by the simple acceptance of my sexuality and of course, I’ve known and stated this before, but for a while that spark of excitement and happiness had been absent. I think of how I tried to look at women and think, I like that, and how now I naturally check out guys who peak my interest. Thinking harder about this, I remember feeling that I was never going to be normal because for some reason I didn’t enjoy checking out people of the other gender (or any gender for that matter at that point in time) like those around me. I remember being so annoyed that I didn’t seem to be crushing on anyone like the rest of the people in my school, that I was a total outsider. I remember I boy two years above me in my boarding house who was openly gay, when I was thirteen and thinking, wait? and then ignoring that question and joining the other boys in saying homophobic slurs and stereotypes behind his back, though secretly wondering about talking to him. I remember being repulsed by the thought of boys wearing makeup or jewelry and now I feel so much better with these things on me (I’m not crazy with makeup, but I do like a bit of eyeliner). Everything is different and for the better, I am a better person, and finally understand myself and what I am and I look forward to the date that marks my “one year being openly gay” and when I get my first boyfriend, not girlfriend which I thought it would be for so many years.

I hope that anyone in or out of the closet or just straight can read this and feel happy. Knowing myself and then being myself for the first time in 15 years was incredible and unfortunately I had to live those first 15 years as a watered-down version of myself but now I am really me. Thanks for reading 🙂

Love, John.

don’t be afraid – my story… so far

Chances are that this is the first time that you are reading one of my blog posts. Even though this may be the case, I will not be shamelessly plugging my previous posts, I don’t care if you read them, do what you want to do.

For a long time I questioned my sexuality, mainly based on the fact that I didn’t seem to be as infatuated with girls as all of the other boys. Of course I lied and joined conversations about the girls in my school that “I found fit”, who I liked, you know, the normal stuff. Just under a year ago, I was still just like that. Thinking about that even now seems so bizarre and almost unbelievable. I can’t believe how much my life could have possibly changed in a single year. And just for the record: this is from a kid who moved across the globe for most of his childhood, so yes, I know change. When I found out, no. When I accepted who I was, I was filled with a mangled concoction of feelings, I was happy, still confused, dazed, mildy upset but most of all excited. I had just opened one of the greatest chapters of my life and now I could explore it. I buried myself in research on the LGBTQ+ community, hungry to discover what I was a part of. Even with all of this newfound knowledge and excitement though, I was afraid to tell those closest to me about my true self. I couldn’t tell my loving supportive family for 5 months. I came out through Instagram to everyone, perhaps mistakedly as it led to my aunt accidently outing me to my parents before I had the chance to tell them myself.

Now that I was out, I was hit with another rush of excitement, my life would be so different and for the better. I didn’t have to supress myself for the fear of people calling me gay, because who cares, it’s true. It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing from there and strangely enough I found trouble right where I least expected it: home. In all of the holidays that have passed since coming out, I don’t think I haven’t had a serious argument with my parents. I don’t blame them, in fact I don’t think it has anything to do with them having any problem with having a gay son, and more my frustration that they couldn’t see what I was going through. Coming out wasn’t what I expected. Deep down in my mind I had stupidly thought that coming out would inspire others in the closet to do the same. It wasn’t the case, and by the time the summer vacations arrived I felt more alone than ever before. There was no one I could talk to about what I was going through and about how I felt. Obviously, I had my friends but they don’t understand. As heterosexuals they grew up with role models and people just like them that they could ask anything and be given an answer. As of today, I still have no true friends, or for that matter know anyone in the LGBTQ+ community other than two kids at my school. There are no adults that I can just simply ask questions about what I feel. This feeling of complete isolation and the fact that I’m finally growing and have a enormous amount of hormones flowing violently through my body has led to serious mood swings that I think of as my highs and lows. In my highs I would be energetic, figgity, dancing, chatting and overall just having a great time. In my lows, I’ve reached the depths of sorrow that I previously ignored and didn’t even believe the existence of. I hated myself and took all my anger out on whoever was closest and easiest.

I don’t blame this on myself being gay, more on the society that once was and still has its deep roots in today’s life, keeping hate and fear for non-heterosexuals alive.

If you are still reading this, I am grateful because now I do get to tell you that it does get better, even if only by a little bit in the beginning. Having come back to my school for a fifth year (the longest I’ve ever been in one school) and my second last before I leave for university, I wanted to do something that meant something. If you are a US reader, then this may not seem so impressive, but here in the UK, it is not terribly common to have school LGBTQ+ clubs. That’s why I’ve decided to create my school’s first LGBTQ+ club with the two other “out” people in my year, and honestly planning it and just the thought has sent me spiralling out of this sad, cold depression and it feels like one of my highs without and end!

Please, if you are a young LGBTQ+ member we don’t have to be afraid. I am really sorry for those whom it is dangerous to be out for, but those of us in more accepting environments shouldn’t be afraid. Coming out isn’t a big deal and certainly isn’t something to fear.

Clearly, I am only 16 years old, so I don’t suggest taking my complete word for it, but I really hope that this can help people , and empower those like myself. You aren’t alone, you may just have to look a little harder for your friends than those around you.

Lots of Love, John.