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Growing up gay in a religious family

John Smith, News reporter

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Ever since I was a little kid, I knew there was something different about me; all I knew was that I liked to play with dolls and do makeovers.

My family always told me to go outside and play sports and that I was not allowed to play with the girls.
I was told I needed to be a man, that I couldn’t stand or talk a certain way.

When I got to middle school, I was very confused because all of my friends were starting to have crushes on girls and were starting to date.
I knew I didn’t want to date a girl; I knew that I liked boys.

It took me a while to realize that I was gay, but when I did, I was devastated. I was scared that I was going to be punished by God and shunned by my family.
I thought something was wrong with me, so every single night I would pray that God would make me straight again. I would wake up in the morning and nothing would change; I was still gay.

Each day I would become angrier and more depressed. I turned to self harm, got into physical altercations with my dad, and ran away from home.

When my freshman year came around, I got into my first relationship and came out as gay to my friends. I could not have asked for a better experience; they all told me they loved me and that it wouldn’t change anything.

Later that year, I came out to my dad who is by far the most “traditional” and “old fashioned” in my family; it was by no means the best experience or the worst. When I came out to him, he kept asking “How do you know?” and “What do you mean you are gay?” Then he walked out of the room shaking his head.

Most of my dad’s family still doesn’t know because he feels like it is his fault and that he would be judged. The ones that do know don’t talk to me and exclude me from family events.

When I came out to my mom, her side of the family, and my sister, I got the opposite reaction. I was bombarded with love and acceptance; they were proud to have a family member that was gay.

By no means did I have the best experience with coming out, but I didn’t have the worst either. Some advice to those of you going through a similar experience: come out when you are ready and when you feel comfortable.

1 Comment

One Response to “Growing up gay in a religious family”

  1. Kaitlyn Prado on February 3rd, 2017 12:13 pm

    You are such an inspirational , Love ya !!

    [Reply]

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Growing up gay in a religious family