I Thought I Was Gay

I Thought I Was Gay

Turns out I just liked fashion.

At this point in life, it almost sounds funny -- assuming that creativity, sharp dressing, or a love for the arts somehow meant that I was attracted to other men. These days it's pretty normal for a dude to be like this, right? Guys can be emotional. They can cry about things, they don't need to fix cars or watch football to be a man. Right? Talking with some of my peers has made me realize that some people have lived in a world like this their whole lives, a world that told them that their interests were a separate area from their sexuality. This is not the world I came from.

I grew up pretty blue collar. My parents owned a masonry company near Indianapolis in the predominantly white, business-minded, practical town of Noblesville, Indiana. Not exactly a place where artists thrived. The people I saw on a regular basis were generally part of the construction field- brick suppliers, concrete truck drivers, roofers, plumbers, landscapers, etc. It was a world where your ability to fix up your house, predict sports games, and strike a good business deal was how you measured your manhood. Then there was me, with my primary interests being photography, drawing, writing, gymnastics, handbells, literature, and drama. I didn't swear, I didn't drink, I barely ever dated, and that scared me. I felt a lot of pressure to conform to this image of manliness, but I never could. It threatened to destroy my self confidence and made me resent the skills I actually had. The worst part of this whole dilemma was that no single person was responsible. It was like an unspoken force that hung over everything, a pressure to avoid talking about certain things, a pressure to compete and prove myself.

Sometime around eighth grade, people started talking. I was an awkward adolescent (but weren't we all?) with zero confidence and absolutely no game with the ladies. Somebody somewhere asked somebody else if I was gay, and those people asked other people until finally they started confronting me. I was shocked. Since kindergarten I had been chasing after the attention of my female classmates, and not once had ever felt that way about any of the guys. I could have dismissed this rumor if it were an isolated incident, but it wasn't. I was asked by several more people over the next couple of years, and it really made me question myself. I started to wonder if I could somehow secretly be gay. Wouldn't I know if I was? I think what was confusing me was this stereotype I'd been raised with -- that to be homosexual was to hit on every member of my sex, to dress well and go to fashion shows, to cry easily and detest practical life. I saw way too much of myself represented in this stereotype, and it terrified me. I saw how gay people were gossiped about, insulted, and rejected in my world, and I felt that I would lose everything. Even worse, I didn't feel safe talking about it with anyone around me. I had some very close male friends that I used to do everything with. We always had sleepovers and were pretty affectionate guys. I feared losing their friendship or making them question me.

Now I realize just how unnecessary this whole thing was. It's taken actually getting close with some gay people in my own life to understand that they are just that: gay people. And, being people, they are a widely diverse group like any other. Their uniting factors are greatly overshadowed by their variety -- gay people can love or hate sports, fix cars or organize ballet, believe in God or dharma, or have any countless combination of attributes like anyone else. No matter your opinion on their sexuality, they will still be people with aspirations, needs, and quirks. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: www.pinterest.com

Popular Right Now

When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.


For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

Related Content

Facebook Comments