From the Closet: Reaching Out
Dear LGBT Youth of Bay High,
This is a letter to the more hidden closeted community of LGBT kids at our school from another closeted person. I write this article not to discourage, but to call for you to reach out to members of our community at the school. At the end of this article, there will be an anonymous email to me that you can message me with. If you need someone to talk to about anything I´m there and if you´re comfortable with it you can email me your stories to anonymously be put in one of these articles. But right now I´m going to let you all know what my story is.
This year has probably been the best year for me as a closeted trans man. Ever since I first realized that I was trans during my sophomore year here at Bay, I´ve been keeping my identity a secret from everyone except the few friends I have here who are also trans and/or LGBT in some way. For those of you who are reading this article who are not a part of the LGBT community, understand that our school is very accepting and GLSEN stickers on almost every door here. But school was not the issue for me when it came to deciding to remain in the closet. No. My decision came from someplace much more personal: my family.
My parents, while I know they love me, are very unaccepting of the LGBT community. They are constantly saying things (unknowingly) in front of me that are downright cruel about the LGBT community. Such things include comparing homosexuality to terrible things such as incest or beastiality, calling trans people he/she/its, and referring to the LGBT community as ¨sick¨ or ¨diseased¨. At one point, I said, ¨Love is love,¨ to my mom and had her scream right in my face about how homosexuality is the same as beastiality and incest and how everyone in the LGBT community is going to hell. Needless to say, hearing these kinds of things did not do much good for giving me confidence about coming out to anyone.
I was so terrified about coming out to anyone other than the LGBT friends I already had that when I finally began coming out to more people, such as family members and close straight acquaintances, I was deathly nervous every single time. I still get that same feeling every time I come out but it’s been getting slightly better over time. I was so fearful that they wouldn’t accept me or that they would tell everyone, including my parents, that I was trans, leading to me being thrown out of my house. When I finally ended up telling my brother I am trans, I broke down into tears and asked him if he hated me now.
Of course, everyone I´ve come out to so far has been accepting. I recently came out to a teacher at the school and that teacher has been working together with me on trying to help me with my family situation as well as genuinely supporting me. I´ve come out to most of my cousins and have told a couple of close acquaintances who I trust with my secret recently. After I came out to him, my brother told me that I shouldn’t have to carry the weight of this secret all alone and that got me thinking. How many more kids at our school could be carrying a weight on their shoulders for years just as I had been? How many of them don’t have anyone they feel like they can talk to about who they are? That is why I wrote this article.
I want to give the people a voice who feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to, at this school or just in general. I want to put an article in the school newspaper that others like me can relate to. That they can read to give themselves hope about the future and that things can get better. If you are also a closeted member of the LGBT community who feels like there is no one to talk to about this stuff in your life or just want to talk about your experiences, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because you are not alone. And I understand exactly how you are feeling right now. Trust me.
Your Closeted Trans Brother
From the Closet: Reaching Out