What I Thought I Was: My Struggle With Sexual Identity

August 6, 2012 /

Not knowing why I feel these feelings and I’m a boy is just so frustrating. Being young, around the age of five, you don’t worry about things like sexual identity. I remember once in first grade, I was just playing hopscotch and jump rope with a group of girls, my whole life I had never really gotten along with boys, and this group of cruel little boys went up to me and said, “oh, you must be a girl because only girls play with other girls!”

That act of cruelty had me thinking that whole day. I got home and I kept wondering, so then I looked to my grandma, who I lived with all my life, and asked, “was I meant to be a boy?” Her jaw dropped. Those words pierced her heart, she had nothing to say and there was a big long pause. Finally, she was able to collect her thoughts and gave me the simplest answer, “yes you are because you have boy parts.”

Unfortunately, that didn’t make much difference to me because as I got older the bullying didn’t stop, especially in junior high. Around sixth grade kids would ask me often if I was gay, or why I acted the way I did. To me, how I acted was normal, I didn’t know any other way to act. Sometimes, following the hurtful questions, kids would call me a faggot and throw things at me.

Not having a father in my life made things worse. I didn’t have that masculine role model to teach me sports or to stand up for myself in the traditional ways, instead I learned behavioral traits from women around me, so I had feminine traits in my personality that made others think I was gay.

Bullying and rejection is a terrible act a kid can bring upon another just because of their sexual orientation. In situation like these, according to social worker Edna Turner, “without family support you would see a higher risk of suicide.” Talking with a professional or someone that went through a similar issue can be a great way to deal with this confusion. Many children, according to Edna Tuner, suffer from terrible childhood memories, medically called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is a disorder where terrifying memories can haunt the victim. The memories can be things like sexual molestation or being exposed in an explicit manner at a young age, these things could cause feelings in a young person that could lead to confusion.

My whole life I’ve dealt with this confusion, not understanding myself and trying to hide it from others. Now I can say that I know who I am and I’m free to make my own choices, I’m not the shameful labels people have put on me. I love who I am and the walk I talk and the way I act is not anyone’s concern, nor is it my concern what others may think of me.