This I Believe

John - Decatur, Illinois
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I used to think that the gay was something I could hold inside me. Hold it tight and never let it out. That I could keep it inside so no one would see, so no one could disapprove. But that left out one very important aspect of every life: a relationship.

He came out of the blue one day – I met him in band, offhandedly commented about some piece of music. Somehow we exchanged screen names, talked online a bit. Hung out the next evening. It wasn’t until a few days later I finally came out to him, only the third person ever to know. I finally let it out to him online, but this was no online relationship. The next night we talked about my life at home and how different things were here, in this place no one judged you. How at home I kept it all balled up inside, with no chance of any man ever reaching me. Somehow we connected that night, held hands. Kissed a little bit.

As our relationship grew stronger, I started to care less and less what happened to me. After all, I reasoned, no one back home will know. On campus everything is safe, and it seemed that way. He and I kept falling deeper in love, and pretty soon my whole floor knew, and everyone else on campus. It’s funny how once you develop a passion for someone, everything else sort of slips away. You’re so focused on that one person and your love for them, everything else takes a back seat. I don’t believe I was being true to myself at home, only concealing an important part of who I am. I was afraid to let the world know because I was afraid of disappointing the ones I loved – but here, it doesn’t make a difference to my friends, my roommate, the guys on my floor. They love me the same, and our relationships have not changed. It’s because they realize that one little detail is not important to who a person is.

My name is John, and I believe that college can forever change a life.