Freshman and Sophomore Years (HS)

July 14, 2011

*Some of the things said in this post have been kept as secrets for a long time.  I feel comfortable talking about them openly now and I just wanna throw a warning to people who may be triggered by sexual harassment or conflict.  These events in my life have made me a stronger person, but it took a while to get to that point.  If you are struggling with related issues please don’t hesitate to contact me for support or check out some other available resources in the “Resources” tab of this page.

FRESHMAN YEAR:  Welcome to Mount Pleasant High School, here’s your rebel flag, your giant fishhook for your camo hat, and your choice of electives (agriculture, drafting, masonry, or mechanics).  Don’t mind your textbooks, we won’t be using them…Freshman year was a blur.  Thrust into an environment where the boys have more facial hair and bigger potbellies and the girls wear more make-up and less clothes.  This was a transition period where I made decisions that would affect the rest of my high school career.  For example, I chose marching band over volleyball. I consider that the single best decision I ever made in Mount Pleasant mostly because it eventually lead me to DCI (Drum Corps International-check it out, YouTube it, I think it’s fucking cool, I even have a tattoo dedicated to the activity) but also because band kids are much more forgiving of differences than most other high schoolers.  I also had a major crush on the saxophone section leader (and I was in the saxophone section).  At the time, however, I wasn’t really understanding that it was a crush.  I had never really crushed on a girl before because I had really only messed around on an emotionally detached level.  Years later, after all of my personal growth and looking back on my younger years we both acknowledged my crush (mainly in the form of my page long good-bye note in her year book…gah, so embarrassing) and consider it something to laugh about now.  Freshman year was also the year that I chose to fight for the things that I believe in.  Up until then I had never really been confronted with right or wrong as far as huge societal issues went, but realizing my differences pushed me into this rebellious, angry phase that empowered me to let people know (and fucking tell them loudly) that they were WRONG.  This was also the year of my first sexual assault and the first and only time I got jumped by more than one person.  Both happened on school property between when school ended and when band practice began and were initiated by my peers.  I was jumped for making an argument for same-sex marriage in my social studies class.  I’m still not sure the motivation for the sexual assault.  I’ve only told a select few people about those incidences until now.  At the time, I kept quiet about everything, I was small and scared, and physically defenseless, I was in a new school with bigger, older people and I thought that causing a scene was the sure-fire way to become an outcast for the rest of high school.  I regret not talking about it when it happened, I needed support but felt like I had nowhere to go.  If you have experienced similar things or are currently experiencing similar things then I urge you to check out the “Resources” tab, I will continue to update it when I hear of different organizations.  You should know that there are people willing to help, including myself, if you can’t find a good source of support then shoot me an email and we can look together.

SOPHOMORE YEAR:  This was the year of my first official girlfriend (we will call her C, because I haven’t asked her permission to write about her).  She was two years older than me, we shared the same birthday, and I thought she was the absolute coolest and cutest person I’d ever met.  When we met she was in a monogamous (I’ve recently realized that A LOT of people who practice monogamy don’t even know the definition of the word…monogamy: refers to the state of having only one mate at a time; dating one person at a time; being committed to a single person) relationship with another girl from our school, but it was kind of a secret.  I made it a point to befriend the both of them, but I was way more compatible with C than her current girlfriend.  So, in true high school fashion, C broke up with her girlfriend right before summer and began to date me.  It was exactly what I wanted and then everything in my life went to shit.  Okay, I’ll try to explain this the best I can: C’s ex-girlfriend took singing lessons from the chorus teacher at my high school.  So during a lesson, the ex was bitching about how C broke up with her to be with me.  Well, the chorus teacher lived in an apartment with my high school secretary who was also a marching band instructor and knew me and my family personally.  The chorus teacher brought the news home and told the secretary who then decided it would be appropriate to tell my parents. Oh, and at this time I was away at summer camp so I wasn’t even home.  The secretary first goes to my best friend’s house and proceeds to ask him many inappropriate questions about me and my sexual orientation and when he refuses to answer she drives to my house, MY HOUSE, where my parents are and I AM NOT, and she sits them down and tells them that I’m gay (Ex-gf–>chorus teacher–>secretary–>my parents).  WHY WOULD SHE EVER THINK THAT IS ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR?  SHE IS AN ADULT WOMAN CAUSING UNNECESSARY DRAMA IN HER STUDENTS LIFE? So, I get a phone call from my mom and she is so upset and crying so hard that I think she’s probably throwing up at the other end of the line:

“I didn’t raise you this way”
“Why are you punishing me”
“You are going to hell”
“Why have you been lying to me”
“This is all my fault”

A painful string of hurt, anger, hatred, fear, misunderstanding, sadness, and guilt spilled out of her mouth as she cried to me begging for an explanation.  I’m gay, mom.  And I’m sorry.  Summer camp ended and I was sent home and grounded.  Not just no-TV kind of grounding, I’m talkin’ no TV, no phone, no internet, no friends, no life type of grounding.  Then I made a bad decision.  I stole my mom’s car and drove it 2.5 hours away from home in the middle of the night with no money, no food, and a phone that I stole back from my mom, to see C at the college she had just started attending.  Mom knows all and called C before I even arrived at her college to tell her I was on the way.  I spent the day there and came back home the same night (I was too scared of the consequences to stay any longer).  I arrived at home to an empty house, but only 10 minutes went by before I heard the garage door rising.  My mom was home, by herself, my sibling and dad had been told to stay away for a while.  Words were exchanged, things were thrown, my mom foamed at the mouth with rage and disappointment, and the result was me on the street with a bag of luggage and nowhere to go. I was barely fifteen.

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