My name is Charlie. I’m a sixteen year old junior in high school. And I am gay. I’ve known this from the first time my mom explained what that meant to me at 9 years old. Being gay is something I probably think about less than the average straight person. If you’re straight, do you think about how much you looove members of the opposite sex? Probably not. So I think it’s a little weird that people spend so much time thinking about how much I don’t. But for those of you that don’t know, June is LGBT Pride month and in honor of that I want to share my story.
I think my family had always known I was gay but coming out at school was a little more dicey. I divided people into 3 categories: the awkward ones who just smiled because they didn’t know what to say, the overly enthusiastic ones who I think were secretly trying to hug the gayness out of me, and the hypochondriacs who immediately put another half a foot between us so they didn’t catch my cooties.
For the most part I was okay with all that though. I think I fell into the overly enthusiastic category myself when my friend told me she were pregnant the year before. So not everyone reacts perfectly to every piece of news they hear. Big deal. But what really bothers me though is people’s out right ignorance. Apparently the test in government was “really gay” yesterday and the teacher with an annoying voice is a “stupid faggot.” I wasn’t invited to the big dinner before homecoming because my friends assumed I wasn’t going. How does being gay make me not want to go to homecoming?
Every time something like that happens I am reminded I’m not only different, but inferior in today’s society. People smile to my face and no one has stuffed me in a locker yet, but every time someone uses the word “homo” to describe a person they dislike they are implying people like me are second rate human beings. How does that make any sense?!
So the point of me sharing this with you is this whole month is LGBT Pride Month and is dedicated to celebrating people like me who spend most of the year fighting for our right to be acknowledged as part of this society LGBT Pride Month attempts to tackle the stigmas associated with being part of the LGTB community. I look in the mirror and I am proud of who I am, but not everyone in my shoes can do that yet. This month is about spreading the pride because everyone should love themselves.
The month is also about awareness. So next time you see a gay pride flag pop up on your newsfeed this month, take a second to reflect whether you are part of the LGBT community or an ally. So how do you celebrate Pride Month? Don’t have a clue yet check out some of these organizations: