This I Believe

Marshall - Boothbay, Maine
Entered on May 1, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope, integrity

Where is the Love?

Risk. Trust. Faith. Authenticity. All of these are big words with a lot of different meanings, I know. For this gay man, however, they are the epitome of a very strong belief that guides my actions every day of my life. As I approach the quarter mark of my life, there is definitely one thing that I’ve learned that I believe in with steadfast conviction; that there is an overwhelming amount of love available in this world if you allow yourself to be open to it.

Let me explain. When I was in seventh grade, I knew I was gay. Throughout high school, I knew I was gay. When I started college, I knew I was gay. It was not until the second semester of my freshman year that I told anybody, and even after that I tried to hide it as much as I could. It took me two more years before I could muster up the courage to tell my parents, and even longer than that before I could talk about it with my extended family. Throughout this entire time my interactions with people were guarded. I worried they would find out things about me that I didn’t want them to know. At the very core of this, I was scared of being rejected and scared of loosing the people that I loved. I was scared of being alone.

What I discovered, however, is that if you put trust in people and let them know the real you, many doors will open. For me, that means being honest with people about being gay. I realize that sometimes this can have negative consequences and can elicit negative reactions from people, but I believe that the good far outweighs the bad. Taking the risk of self disclosure and allowing myself to place trust in people has filled my life with more friends, family, and love than I ever thought possible.

I strongly believe that everyone has the capacity to find this sense of love and family in the world, but finding it cannot happen until you take the risk and open yourself up to it. Every day of my life I grow more and more thankful for the amazing people that are in it. The only regrets that I have are the relationships that I lost through lying and not trusting people. Are you still wondering where is the love? It’s right in front of you, you just have to reach out to it.