Black History Month Project: Personal Stories from Young Black Americans #2

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Coming Out Story

I had a pretty interestingchildhood. I was teased daily because I “actedlike a girl” as my classmates and teachers would say. I hated going to school because people wouldtease me which caused me to fight a lot. Sometimes I’d even pretend to be sickjust so I could stay home from school. Iwas teased so much that it gave me low self-esteem. Growing up in a Baptist church, where being aHomosexual is the worst thing anyone could be (according to members of thechurch), I denied being Gay, even though I was extremely feminine. I was told I was worthless, hell bound, goingto die from AIDS, and should be ashamed of myself for shaming my family.

I felt absolutely worthless untilmy Aunt (who was more of a big sister) told me something I will neverforget. She said, “You have no idea ofwhat you’re capable of. You’re an amazing, beautiful person with an amazing,beautiful spirit, and no one can ever take that from you.” For some reason Ibelieved her! Her words alone gave me the courage to come out of the closet at16 years old. That was the best night ofmy life. My Mother was the first personI told and she made it clear that she accepts me either way. After that, I didn’t care what people thoughtof me, which definitely brought my self-esteem to new levels. I became extremely confident and peoplenoticed. So now those same people that made me feel like I was worthless arethe same people telling me I’m great, they love my confidence, they find mehilarious, etc. It’s very cliché. But if it weren’t for my Aunt’s words, Iwould have never had the confidence to come out. Thanks Auntie! R.I.P. I love youforever.

Derek

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  • http://twitter.com/Kahari101 Kahari

    This is beautiful! Be who you are! No need to restrict yourself based on society’s standards intertwined with religious biased information. You’re gorgeous, DJ! -Kahari

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