This I Believe

Sean - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on September 4, 2008

One of the most influential things in my life would have to be the fact that I’m

gay. Growing up it set me apart from all the other kids. I was picked-on on a daily basis at

school, I had no friends, felt alienated from my family and everyone in general. Even at

church I was harrassed. I coped with this for a long time by just hating everyone in

general, since they apparently hated me. Later I joined the military, where I had to keep

being gay a secret or risk getting kicked out. When I look at my life from an outsider’s

perspective all I see is an angry person lashing out, but when I’m living it, I just feel

confused that anyone in this world would care what I do with my life. My being gay isn’t

even that big a deal to me, it’s only a big deal to other people it seems. I love playing

video games, I like to walk my dog around the neighborhood, I enjoy reading; being gay is

such a small part of who I am.

I’m often asked by my friends whether or not I would take a pill that would make me

heterosexual. I always say no. My entire life would be different. It’s not that I prefer

being gay, if anything my life would be much easier and “happier” if I was straight. But

would it have been as reflective? How would I have learned what it feels like to be excluded

from what everyone else takes for granted? I used to spend the majority of my time worrying

about what other people thought about me, but now I have a whole new way of thinking. It

took me being gay to realize that I can never appease everyone. Even if I was straight,

someone would hate me for being white, or for my being from the United States, or for not

believing in their god. People that I have never met hate me. I imagine everone has someone

that hates them, for whatever reason. I try to live my life now by the simple rule of “treat

others as you would like to be treated”. I believe that everyone is on a journey towards

spiritual enlightenment and that me returning hate for hate is just counter-productive and

hurts me more than it hurts them.