This I Believe

Steven - Mesa, Arizona
Entered on May 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Standing Up For Myself

When most people think of the average 17 year old high school male a picture comes to mind of a mans man one who is into sports, hanging out with his buddies, and a ladies man. This unfortunately is not I and has never been part of my character. Being misunderstood had lead to countless name-calling and hurt feelings. Feeling as though you are alone to this form of humiliation has leaded me to believe that words hurt.

Even though I have always been well liked by people I still feel that they are always talking about me. In elementary school is when it all started, people would see me hanging out with the girls and they would call me gay. At first I didn’t quite understand what the meaning was and didn’t know why they were calling me this. When junior high came around I understood what the meaning was and I had to defend myself saying that I wasn’t and that I in fact like girls. At first high school seemed to be the same thing and I was dreading that this name-calling would never stop.

When people call me gay it really upsets me because I feel that no matter how hard I try to defend myself they never seem to care. Even my best friends or so I thought wouldn’t even stand up for me and just watch me sit there and take the mental beating to my self esteem. I felt as though I was not allowed to be me and that I had to mold myself into something that I wasn’t and I was not going to take that anymore. So when high school started I wanted to fit in so bad but I didn’t want to have to change myself, so I decided that I wasn’t going to and people were going to either accept me as me or not. And to my surprise they did I feel as though being myself these past four years has opened up many opportunities with friendships and I’m glad that I finally took a stand for myself.

Being talked down upon is something that I was used to for most of my life. I felt that I was nothing compared to anyone else and that I was never good enough for anyone. No one should have to go through the name-calling that I went through or the backstabbing. A simple word such as gay has so much meaning and negative affect that it can mentally damage someone’s soul and this is why it has led me to believe that words hurt.