|A graduation day similar to my own at Onongada Central Jr./Sr. High|
In many of the earliest posts on this blog I have recounted my coming out story and my life growing up as a closeted gay boy in a Catholic household and attending a small conservative public high school in Central New York State. One of the worse parts of that era before the Internet was the sense of being utterly alone and believing myself to be some sort of lone freak (who, of course, was damned to an eternity in Hell according to my church). The consequence was that I worked incredibly hard in not allowing my secret to come out. Other than summers in the Adirondacks and snow skiing during the winter, I viewed my life as a living hell.
Now, inadvertently I have discovered that I wasn't the lone freak I had thought I was at the time. It turns out there were indeed other LGBT kids at my school, including some that I knew (the school was so small that one knew just about everyone). I've communicated with two of them and now know there were others as well. It's been a great experience. Of course, at the time none of us knew about each other, so we never had our "Geography Club" moment.
Growing up gay is still difficult in many parts of America and in far too many families. Thankfully, the Internet will allow many to reduce their sense of isolation - some that plagued me and increased my own lack of self acceptance - and add to their belief that things will get better. Yes, a long term view for teenagers is hard to implement, but having access to the knowledge that there are others like you and places that are accepting will hopefully serve as a life line to more and more of today's LGBT teens. Meanwhile, I will continue to try to expose the hypocrisy and evilness of those who seek to oppress and stigmatize LGBT individuals.