Growing up, I knew I was gay although I didn't know what gay meant. I just had this connection with boys that I didn't have with girls, and that's all I knew. It all started in elementary school. I had been to at least four schools so I had quite the experience. Why did I go to four elementary schools? I went to four because ever since the stock market crashed, my family and I had been in and out of apartments and trailers. Going through that, I never really had a set group of friends. But I always found myself having a temporary girl best friend every time; I just bonded with them more than guys. I think it was because the boys were always into sports and games, and I wasn’t.
I first experienced homophobia in the 5th grade. I told one of my girl friends that I had a crush on this boy and he somehow found out and made fun of me for it. I remember being embarrassed and ashamed. Ashamed because I was taught that liking a boy was wrong and embarrassed because I wasn't like anyone else. As time passed, and I went onto middle school, I had started to develop depression and anxiety; even more so as I started to get bullied. The bullying started off as verbal. I'd get called out for everything; from not talking to anyone, to the way I'd dress (which was pretty "normal" at the time). They'd call me things like "fag" and "mute". I'd also get death threats, and it pretty much stayed that way for the whole year. I started to self harm and see myself in a negative way. I looked in the mirror and all I could see looking back at me was “ugly” and “wrong”.
As seventh grade started, my parents got a divorce. This really made me isolate myself and kept me from expressing my feelings because I felt that it would be wrong and self-centered to do so. The bullying also started to go from verbal to physical; most likely because of the fact that I came out as bisexual, which I did to "dip my toe in the water”, if you will, and it was VERY cold. I started to get pushed, then punched, and it eventually escalated to me getting sexually assaulted. It made me feel disgusted with myself, disgusted that I would go against my family. That same day, I tried to commit suicide. I felt trapped, like there was no escape from what I was going through, and I thought no one would ever understand or care. I especially felt this way because the year before my parents got divorced, my brother had already come out, and the way my family reacted was horrible. They'd tease and harass him, and eventually he moved out. I didn't want help from my family because I was scared that I would end up like my brother. I wanted to cling onto the love they had for me because they were all I had left… I told them everything that happened, though I didn't come out, because it was too much to keep in. Deep down inside of me, after everything that happened, I knew that it was wrong; I knew that none of it was my fault. If I could describe it, I'd say that I started self-parenting.
After talking with my parents, I started doing things for myself. I started to surround myself with loving people who were like me. This helped me get through the rest of middle school, helped me fully come out, and helped me develop my current aesthetic. "No eyebrows, no thank you" became my catch phrase as I shaved them off, which I did because I didn't give a fuck anymore. I did that during THE year of peer pressure and social awkwardness — 9th grade; freshman year. No one could tell me shit; I was living and breathing the way I wanted to. I also went to the doctor to get medical treatment for my anxiety and depression, which helped a lot.
Currently, I'm fully out as gay. Everyone in my family knows, and although my dad and siblings don't really accept it, my mom (who got custody of me) and all of my friends do. I have forgiven everyone and moved on to become a better me. When I was sexually assaulted, it had a big impact on my sexual identity. And I think that because of that experience, I've been able to become stronger and build myself up. I've been able to make stronger relationships (my brother and I currently have re-connected and are bonding). My advice to the fellow queers? DO YOU. Because, honestly, no matter what you do in life — whether it be your aesthetic or making a PBJ sandwich — there's ALWAYS going to be someone telling you that it's wrong. Those kinds of people are inevitable, unfortunately. Also, at any cost, do whatever you gotta do to put yourself in a comfortable situation. Reach out! You’re not alone in this!!!🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈💕