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My Gay Experience

by Evy E 2 months ago in Identity
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the process of me hiding my sexuality, coming to terms with it, coming out, and how i am now. And reflecting on my story

My Gay Experience
Photo by Harry Quan on Unsplash

So, I'm just telling you from now, my story isn't one of parents kicking me out, being cut off from my family, or anything like the super dramatic storylines that you see in in tv and movies. We hear a lot of coming out stories like that. But not everyone has that kind of story.

I was born in June of 1997 (June is also pride month. Coincidence? I think not) the same year that Eugene Nickerson challenged the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy at the pentagon. I like to say the 21st century was a time of " Pink is for girls and Blue is for boys". It was the peak of " I'd like a happy meal with a girl or boy toy". I was born a male and still identify as a male, but I always liked the stuff the girls had. The Disney Princess toys, flowers, hearts, The Powerpuff Girls, and all that stuff were things I liked. I liked Power Rangers, but you know I always wanted to be the pink one. I didn't like sports (still don't like them). I always would as my mom for a girl toy, and she told me " If you want a girl toy, just go up and ask the nice lady at the counter" and I did. So many times.

Now during the time people would have considered " not normal " based on societal standards. At family events when i would bring my favorite Ariel doll in her pink dress and show her off to my cousins and aunts; I'd hear my uncles an tell my dad " Don't Worry about it. It's just a phase. HE'LL GROW OUT OF IT ". SPOILER ALERT I didn't. No matter how much my family tried, I was still me. That sweet little boy who loves the Little Mermaid and loved to draw all the princesses. But my parents tried to tell me to keep that stuff at home. Similar to a dirty little secret. No one at school could now. It wasn't until I was in kindergarten, and it was my turn for show and tell. I asked my Parents if I could bring in my Disney POP Dreamer Ariel doll (yes, I remember the very specific doll) that I thought was so cool. But my mom told me no in fear of bullying. But as the rebellious Gemini sun child that I am, I brought it to school without my mom knowing. When I showed it to my classmates, I thought I brought the coolest thing that I own. Some of my female classmates thought it was cool. But mostly it was them holding in laughter. After that day it was all different. No one played with me at recess or paired up with me for projects. I became an outcast.

I became " Evan. The boy who liked girl stuff ". It was totally fine that Amber was a tom boy and good at sports but when it came to me being better at music and art (seen at the time as girls are good at it activities) it was a problem. That phrase became my own scarlet letter in a way. Through out the rest of my time in elementary school I was labeled and bullied. I was called a freak by this one person. They ended up punching me in the face, causing my nose to bleed and getting busted lip. and when questioned about it, the mom covered his butt and said it was due to a '' Family Dad cheated on Mom" situation. I excelled in things that were considered " Girly ". I got my painting of a tree with flowers into my school district's art show in the third grade and got into my all-county chorus in fifth grade. But all I heard from my classmates were " of course the freak won ". Like nothing I ever did was good enough to be seen as normal. But yet again this was during the early 2000's. Better known as the " Pink is for Girls and Blue is for Boys" years (Yes, I just made that up).

In the mid 2000's there was a bunch of commercials for GLSEN. Most famously the Hillary Duff one where she calls out 2 girls for using the term gay instead of weird or something they disliked. Using the term gay in school as an insult was normal to me, in middle school that's what was used all the time. It was never about sexuality. Legit I heard it at least 3-8 times a day. I had an English class with this one kid who legit said " Romeo and Juliet? That play is gay. I could have read something better". While the teacher yelled at him, I just ignored it. Apparently being cultured makes you gay according to that idiot.

8th grade health class was when I truly discovered what gay as sexuality is. Our assignment was to create a keynote on a STD (no pictures thank God). I was assigned HIV/Aids. Me learning about this stuff made me question myself. I had to learn what the term " Homosexual " was in order to understand. and I looked up the definition of what the word meant. To love the same sex as you are. I brought me back to a time where i was asked by mom " Do you want to BE Wonder Woman or DATE Wonder Woman? ". It made me think of all the times I had a crush on someone. Heck, I had a crush on Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid (don't lie, I know y'all had a crush on at least 1 cartoon character that caused your sexual awakening). And I thought " Maybe i am gay". This time i didn't tell anybody. I stayed that same boy.

Let's move forward to my freshman and sophomore year in a private high school. I had these 2 bullies (I really want to use another word, but they really did bully me) in ALL MY CLASSES. They basically bullied me for anything you can think of my love for theatre, Disney, dance, even my choice to do a project on THE PLANET NEPTUNE!!!!! Now they heard a rumor that I was gay even though I never really talked about being in a relationship, crushes or anything. They decided to basically make fun and add the word " Gay " to any insult. I really messed with my self-esteem, my confidence, and even my thoughts. Like middle school through high school is the time when you discover who you really are, your sexuality, maybe what you want to major in and so much more. But to have 2 assholes (yes i called them assholes) basically critique every little thing you do.... it basically makes you think " ok so if I don't express who I am I am safe from social ridicule, but if I express myself, I'm going to get ridiculed". It was so damaging. My sophomore year i came out as Bisexual. I felt like it was a steppingstone to being fully gay, Kind like the stereotype " Bi now Gay Later ". Reflecting on it my " Bi phase" was just making it palatable for everyone else.

I went back to my local public school for my junior and senior years of high school. And let me tell you... HUGE culture shock. But I was back in school with my classmates from elementary school. Now you're probably thinking " OH NO HE'S GONNA GET BULLIED AGAIN BY THE SAME PEOPLE WHO MADE HIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YEARS HELL ". Nope... none of that happened. It was like " Oh wow your back!!! nice to see you again". Even some of the classmates who bullied me ended up coming out of the closet. And let's just say I was mad. Like I wanted to scream at them " UMMM WHERE THE FLUFF IS MY APOLOGY FOR MAKING MY LIFE HELL? WHERE WAS YOUR TORTURE FOR THE PROCESS OF YOU COMING OUT?? ". I found it so unfair. and even to this day I find it unfair. But I digress.

By Katie Rainbow ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ on Unsplash

Now moving on to college.... well, I should say Beauty School. At that point I was Gay and came out of the closet as gay not Bi. I remember telling my mom. I told her and legit she told me " Oh I knew since you were like 5. What the hell took you so long? and what do you want for dinner?" and no i am not making this up. And my dad gave me the same reaction. Basically, everyone in my family knew I was gay before I was. Now, the want to be musical theatre major (who applied to multiple colleges but didn't get into any, but I digress) and Gemini (who LIVES for the drama of it all) wanted at least some sort of drama. Like ANYTHING! Heck I'd even take someone breaking a plate and saying, " YOU ARE NOT A QUEER", they storm out for like an hour and like come back accepting me. But i got nothing. While part of me is so grateful that I didn't have anything happen like getting kicked out or disowned. I feel horrible that not all families are accepting like mine. Some get sent to conversion camps, get kicked out of their homes, disowned by family and some killed. It hurts me knowing that these are real, not just some side plot in some tv show/movie. It's wrong. I'm not going on a whole rant about religion or how in the bible there is a mistranslated verse that was made up by German translators who were paid by a conservative's church (and yes there is actual proof and yes i will fight you on it). My stance is that religion should not be a thought on how you love your child. You should love them no matter what. For real I'm pretty sure god said to love each other. Family included.

Now back Beauty School. I was in a highly creative place and was told on multiple occasions to express myself to the fullest extent. So, at that point was the point that I verbally say, " I'm gay". And I did. After beauty school I had my first boyfriend. He was.... let's just say interesting. On our few first dates he'd go on about how his dad is accepting, but his Stepdad isn't. How some relatives talk to him, and some don't. How he told me toilet paper belongs on the toilet tank and not in a holder (Yes this was a big red flag to me) and that it should be like the 1940's cause " it was a better time for America". But there was 1 thing that was one of biggest red flags was on our last date before I had to break up with him. He told me about his dream future. He told me wanted to get married and have a full-time job. And I totally supported that. He then said " I want you to stay home and be my housewife. When I come home, I want to see you in a house dress and pearls holding a martini for me when I come through the door". After the date I was still perplexed. The whole situation reminded of a video I saw on BuzzFeed. It was about stuff gay couples always hear. One of the things was " So who's the girl in the relationship?", Like don't get me wrong, I want to be treated like a princess by my prince charming. But he has to realize that I can buy my own diamonds and I can buy my own rings (Yes, I just quoted Destiny's Child). I ended up breaking up with him. Being a Fem gay man doesn't mean I'm frail at all.

Something that I noticed (maybe with in the last couple of years) is how easy it is for someone to come out, I notice it with celebrities and just the younger generation. Part of me is happy for them. But part of me is still bitter that they didn't get bullied and ridiculed like I did. I also feel like it's kind of become a bit mainstream to come out. Heck, people are legit having coming out parties (Also mom and dad when are you throwing me one?). In conclusion of this article which is in a way was the big therapy session I should have had. Not even one's coming out story is going to be picture perfect or movie worthy terrible. But it is kind of fun to talk about and compare a bit to other people's experiences. All of us in the LGBT+ community have 1 thing in common. And that's our coming out story. No coming out story is the same. They are each uniquely fabulous.

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About the author

Evy E

You know I'm just your average femme, Gay, Disney nerd, history nerd, Broadway nerd, Lovatic, hair stylist, make up enthusiast, Gemini sun guy that everyone knows and loves! (Don't forget to share!)

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