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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Growing up Gay: My Story Part 1

Girls, the species I know a lot about and also know nothing about. I've spent my entire life around them but they've never been anything more than just friends and that's because I identify as gay. I've learned to become more comfortable with this sexuality of mine but it's not always been that way as most of my life I've been confused and conflicted. But I've now come to accept who I am which is massive progress compared to where I was before. Here I share my story with you.


The first question I'm assuming you've got is if I've always known. But there's not a straightforward answer for that because on one hand yes I've always been gay, however I haven't always known it as I was confused about this sexuality for a long time. It was foreign and strange to me. It was in my childhood years when I first felt different (around 6/7 years old) like something about me didn't fit in with the norm; like my behaviour and thoughts were odd. I was seeing and thinking about boys in a new way that I didn't really understand. But it wasn't that I was attracted to them in a lustful way, instead it was that something about them interested me. Their behaviour and the way they acted; the way they looked and their facial expressions; the way they spoke. Every little thing they did intrigued me in ways girls couldn't. And this is how it began. I started to just watch them, study them, work them out. I saw them on TV, in school, in the street. I didn't know why they interested me, in fact I assumed I had an illness because this 'interest' wasn't normal, or so I thought. Boys were everywhere and I couldn't get enough of them but as these feelings and thoughts got more intense, I got more confused.

As I grew from a young boy and went into full time primary education I saw things a little differently. Why did I think this way? Did other boys think like this? Was this just a phase? I asked myself these questions daily whilst in primary education (around 8 - 12 years old) from the moment I woke up. Being gay turned me into quite a serious child because it drove my anxiety about who I was insane and I didn't know what to do, I felt helpless. I was going through an identity crisis. These were intense thoughts for a young child to have so in a way it took my childhood from me as I forgot to have fun. This went on for more than a little while though as these thoughts travelled with me all the way throughout primary school and into secondary school.

It was in secondary school around the age of 14 when I first realised that these thoughts and feelings weren't planning on going anywhere soon, so it was time to do some research. I got a lot of use out of Google during this time as I searched for what I was, who I was and how I could change. Google allowed me to discover that I was in fact homosexual but that didn't mean I accepted it. Yes the it taught me who I was but it was so conflicting as it's not who I wanted to be. I pictured myself having a family and growing old with a woman next to my side and not a man, I wanted a traditional family and because I couldn't have one I self sabotaged. I cried quite a lot as I came to accept who I was because I didn't feel like I should be gay - like God picked the wrong person to make gay. I asked myself why me, why would God do such a mean thing? I asked myself through the entirety of secondary school.

As the panic set in, I knew I needed to seek help and answers - no, not from a counsellor or family or friends, but again Google. My most common searches were "Gay to straight conversion" and "Am I going to hell?". I was really concerned that there was no way out of this feeling of being lesser than everyone else and that I was some sort of abomination. I hated it. I searched for stories online of people being converted to straight and luckily there was, so it gave me hope. I thought, I, Liam Havard could be straight - what a wonderful feeling that was to know I could be like everybody else. Sadly for me the conversion cost a lot of money though and as nobody knew I was gay I couldn't ask for money so of course the depressed thoughts kicked in. I didn't know what to do; the cure was so close but so far. I couldn't live like this.

The religious side of things sure made things even worse though. Everything I read online about gay people read "Faggots are disgusting", "Gays are abominations" and "Gay people are going to hell" all written by religious activists. How could I feel good about myself after reading this? The internet was the worst place for a depressed insecure homosexual boy because these religious statements were taunting. Of course not all religions did this, it was mainly Christianity which was a shame because I saw myself as Christian. Reading these statements haunted me; in the nights I prayed to God to save my soul and begged him not to send me to the fiery pits of hell. I asked for repentance and for God to make me straight. I did this most nights all the way from 14 up until 18 and you know what I still do it sometimes now. All I can say is screw the internet for making me feel that way.

So what could I do, like really what could I do? Absolutely nothing. God wouldn't help me, the school kids mocked gay people, I hated myself and there was no one to help because I wouldn't talk to anyone. I didn't want to accept it and I didn't want to be made fun of, so what was the answer? Ask for help? Gosh no. End the pain? Yes. So one night during secondary school I ran a bath, dunked my head and body under and tried to drown myself. Sure I only ended up staying under water for about 10 seconds but to me this was a very real way to end the pain and although it didn't work, you get an idea of how difficult I was finding things. The disappointment I felt after not going through with it was indescribable and so I self sabotaged by making myself feel bad about it. "You're weak Liam".

School was hard. I couldn't speak to anybody and I couldn't accept who I was. It was a very lonely time for me. The only thing I could think to do was burying it all deep inside, acting like I fancied girls and playing straight. Honestly thinking back I didn't play the straight role very well, but it was the only thing I could try to do. I had girlfriends and tried to convince myself I could be straight, of course it didn't work but I kept going. With it all buried inside, I came to forget about who I was

So who's to blame for me feeling so low; my anxiety and low self esteem or is the culprit, SOCIETY for making me feel this way? I write about my coming out story in part 2, keep your eyes peeled!

Liam
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Part 2: here.
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3 comments

  1. My So Called Mid-life Crisis25 March 2017 at 12:27

    I have a lot of love for you. Life is a mixed bag. Sometimes it's hard to know what or who we need to be, at the very least be happy x

    ReplyDelete
  2. From someone who was the year below you school is a wonderful story to read :) it was never easy to come out x

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