Five years ago (I think), on January 5th, I came out for the first time to my best friend at that time. Until now I make January 5th my personal 'pride day'for no other reason than to remind myself to stay true to who I am - and this is not just about being gay, but about being me as a whole.
Well as coming out story goes, I already came out to myself three years before that (8 years ago... wow!). I didn't have a dramatic scene to that story. I didn't wake up one day, looked myself in the miror and though, "Wow, I'm just so gay!" The revelation was kinda smooth to me. It was through the diary I kept during my times with the first girl I've ever loved. Slowly I realized that my feelings for her was much more than a love between friends. Reading Xena fanfics helped me a lot with figuring out my feelings, and one of the fanfics actually dealed a lot with explanations about being gay. I'm so thankful that I found that book at the time, because it gave me a clear view of what I was going into. It said all the things that a confused teenager needs to hear, like, "God loves you just the way He made you", "You don't have to rush into labeling yourself", "Being gay doesn't define who you are, it's just one small part of you"... things like that. One of the characters in the book is Ryan. She is smart, kind, passionate, funny, strong... well, she's as perfect as a heroine could be, with a huge family who love and support each other unconditionally. I kinda take her as my mentor and I adopted her name, with the hope that I could be a woman like her.
I made peace with my God and my sexual orientation very much through the same way. I found another book, this one dealing with being gay and being religious. I was never a church-goer, but I was very religious back then. As much as I wanted to believe that God would love me just the way I am, my religion simply condemns it. The book helped me to see that there is a major difference between believing in God and believing in religion. When Melissa was confused about her sexuality, she went to church and asked her priest about it. She lived in a small town on the bible belt, yet it happened that the one priest answered her with, "There are probably some people in this church that would say that it's wrong for you to love another woman. That it's a sin. But I can't go along with them on that way of thinking. I can't believe that God would have invented a love that could be wrong." In my story, that translated into my religion teacher in high school. No, I didn't ask him right away if it's alright for me to be gay, but he taught me a lot about love. He taught me to think, to interpret the bible more than just the words written. Unlike the religion teacher I had in college, he asked us questions like, "Why do you think Jesus was born as a man and not a woman?" or "Where do you see God in your life?" Instead of teaching us that "God says this, you must do so", he asked, "Why do you think God says this? Why does He say this after He said that?" I went through a long journey of researching about God and gays after that and I've found my peace. I'm not as close to God as I was used to be, but that has nothing to do with my being gay. Truth is that I was closest to God when I was in love (with a woman), cause then I talked to Him more, wishing the best for her, hoping to get close to her, thanking Him for giving me a chance to meet her, etc.
Eight years and I still have no idea of what I should label myself. But now I know better. I don't know if I'm gay or bi or even straight, but I couldn't care less. I won't admire people just because they're gay. I won't support gay people who are jerks. I promise myself to prove that there are much more to me than my orientation.
Ps. To my friends who are in bad times right now, keep on believing that you deserve much more than that. It may not be today or tomorrow, but change will come and it'll set you free :D
You've never been to the moon but don't you wanna go
Under the sea in the volcano
You've never looked into my eyes but don't you wanna know
What the dark and the wild and the different know
There're some things in my life, I'll never understand
But they become the force that makes me who I am
Cause you live and you learn, and you learn to hold on
And time will make it heal, time will make it gone