I was away at a summer program at Wellesley College and I saw a flyer up for an LGBT meeting and decided to attend under the guise of "questioning".
|Song of the South|
I was just "questioning" after all (right?).
So I wasn't really sure if it was worth it to spend my summer being hazed by my peers after taking it on the chin back at home.
I had expected that usual taunts from home, but instead I was met with silence and stares.
Which meant that either to my benefit or to my detriment almost no one suspected that I might be queer.
This left my peers a little confused, but once I was able to re-arrange my lipsticked balls, I went in and sat down.
There were about ten teens in that first meeting, most of whom lived in New England or New York (each were out in their communities).
Myself and another guy from England were the only two still sitting in our respective closets. Both of us lived in similar conservative communities (although his came with added religious pressure):
As each person in the group shared their story I was at first struck by their incredible bravery in the face of adversity.
In the mist of their mistreatment, each of them had found places in their community where they felt supported. Friends, family members, youth groups, gay rights advocates and community centers that had taken them in and offered support.
So when it came to my turn to share my story, I cried.
There was a fair amount of crying that went down that day, but mostly out of relief and joy. We were both just so happy to feel that we weren't the only ones anymore. That we never really were the only ones.
Next time's topic: The end of summer and one hell of ride back in the South.
Please feel free: to offer any comments, memories, stories on here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org