As I was growing up, my first exposure to the word gay or being gay itself was actually because of my oldest brother coming out when I was probably 10 or so. It’s so funny because when he did come out, I didn’t really think of it being weird or anything, and that’s probably because I was still so young. I definitely knew what my parents’ thoughts on the matter were. I was told that we were to love him, but not accept the “gay lifestyle.” I recall one of my brother’s friends giving me a rainbow slinky and my dad being upset about the fact that it was rainbow.
A little bit later on, my middle brother actually came out, which left me to be the straight sibling within our now strange family. Because of the fact that my two older brothers were gay, people would assume that I was too, and when they would say something about it to me, I would always get really defensive about the matter. All my parents put their last hopes of grandchildren in me. This was already difficult, because in school I had additional pressures on me already because my two brothers really struggled in school. This also meant that my relationship with the church was supposed to be angelic since I was the one brother who still went to church. I wanted to go against everything that they were so that I could keep my good title with my parents and prove everyone wrong about my sexuality. But I don’t think that anybody was fooled by this game that I was trying to play. I would be questioned by new people I met as to if I was gay or not. Whenever people would ask, I would get defensive and say that me showing my personality was always misinterpreted. Finally, this facade started to break down and I came out to my mom one eventful night after our scripture study which is funny thinking back on it. I was 17 when I came out. Now, I am 18 and realizing that I am so much happier not hiding any part of myself and feel so much more comfortable with my sexuality. Telling people about my older brothers being gay has always been a weird subject for me, and maybe it’s because I still hold onto the idea of me being the ideal child. I have realized now that my sexuality does not define the type of person I am, but that my actions do. My mom is so amazing and loves me and my siblings with all of her heart. My dad might be a little behind, but the road to understanding is process for everyone and I know that he might be confused by it all, but still cares about us no matter what.