This I Believe

Carina - Belleville, New Jersey
Entered on January 22, 2008

I am a sixteen-and-a-half year old teenage boy. Throughout those sixteen-and-a-half years, I have seen countless movies that filled my mind with a certain outlook on love. My idea of righteous love has always been: a boy meets a girl, and they marry in a chapel with doves and roses. It always seemed right to me, until I recognized that what happened in Cinderella was not going to happen in my life. It’s not a matter of insecurity; I simply do not want to marry a woman. I believe that love is free, and I have the right to choose whom I love without society’s approval.

I know well what society thinks of the gay community. I have been reminded every day of who I am, or who I shouldn’t be. On my first day at a new high school, I was harassed as I came out of a classroom by a group of loud boys. It seemed they didn’t approve of my tighter clothes or the way I carried myself. I took this as a sign that I should think twice about coming out to anyone in the school.

Even people who call themselves my friends make me regret coming out. Almost all of those “friends” have hurt me with my orientation as their weapon of choice. I’ve buried a ridiculous amount of friendships in the past. I expect prejudice from society, but I cannot understand why people I love let the fear of the unknown cloud our friendships.

My strength against this prejudice has not failed me in my sixteen-and-a-half years. Though I have run into obstacles that seemed insurmountable, I have somehow shone through the dark. I am still myself, no matter what inhibitions have been forced upon me.

I have realized that the fairy tales I have been fed are not guides on how to live our lives. I have also realized that love is not always “boy meets girl,” but “boy meets boy,” and “girl meets girl,” as well. As much as people might hate and argue with that story, all I can do is turn the page and continue reading. Hopefully, I will find a “happily ever after”. I cannot sacrifice my happiness simply because other people are not happy with my decisions. The story will end the way I choose to finish it and with whomever I choose to finish it with, and that is what I believe.