This is a true story, my story. For Pride. Content Warning for sexual exploitation. (Don’t read it if you will hurt. I won’t mind.)
When I was in high school, a teacher of mine outed me.
(I will not reveal his name. If you know this story, and you know who this was, please DO NOT reveal it. Not in the comments. Not to friends. Not to your family. Not to mutual acquaintances. I’m serious. I will delete anything I see and BLOCK YOU. This is my story to tell. Respect my feelings or I don’t need you.)
This was a straight, cis man. He was not someone I sought out to confide anything to, but he picked up on something and felt he had the right to tell other people about it. He told several of my friends and classmates that I was gay. He told at least one of my classmates, another child, that I was in love with her. (If you’re reading this, ‘hi’. I still think you’re pretty damn cool, but I’m still not in love with you. Sorry.) Rumors spread, and boys from my class came to me and asked me if they could watch me make out with a girl. At the time, I was bothered by this, but I had other things going on in my life that were more pressing. I didn’t see just how inappropriate it was. In addition, he made many comments to me about other girls in my classes, specifically about their body parts. He told me that he had had sexual dreams about me.
I was a CHILD. My brain was not fully formed and I was immature. I will never know the extent of how this might have impacted me, specifically how it might have interfered with my ability to understand and accept myself. Regardless of the fact that I know that my parents, both my mom and my dad, love me no matter what, I was embarrassed and afraid to tell them. I was afraid of what would happen at school if I told any adults. It still took me a long time to fully accept myself and know what I was feeling.
If you don’t already know, I am bisexual and I identify as queer. I guess I’m coming out on the internet. My parents have known this for a long time, and their attitude when I told them was pretty much “tell me something I don’t know.” I once kind of tricked them into kind of going to Pride in Oakland with me. (Look at the picture below and tell me how YOU could NOT KNOW.) Most of my friends have never known me as closeted, but it’s not necessarily the first thing I tell people about myself. It’s not my “fun fact” for ice breakers.
So now we get to my “gay agenda”, because I have one, and it is this: These laws like the one in Florida, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bills, they WILL NOT stop adults from talking to your kids about sex, sexuality, and gender orientation. They’re going to stop the SAFE ADULTS from having the opportunity to talk to your children in a safe, age appropriate, and respectful way. Predators have the ability to spot the vulnerable, and when you force your kids into the closet, you make them perfect targets. You’re not stopping the groomers; you’re helping them keep what they’re doing secret.
If your thought on reading this is that you love me, but you hate my “sin”, the exits from my life are all around you, and I encourage you to use them expeditiously. That kind of “love” is neither required nor desired. If you “disagree” about any of this, that’s your right, and I respect it, but go do it somewhere else.
I will not turn the other cheek if you post hateful, bigoted remarks about my community, my found family. I will not hesitate to tell you exactly where in your anatomy to stick your slurs as well as your “thoughts and prayers”. I mean it when I say, it does not matter if I have known you my whole life. It does not matter if we share blood or if we were close wayback when. The LGBTQIA+ community is my family, especially our kids, and if you have any problem with my family, there is nothing between you and me.
To my LGBTQIIA+ family, especially anyone still trying figure yourself out, and all the rest of my family born and found, I love you and I will always be on your side, ride or die.
Thanks if you made it this far.