This I Believe

Sean - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on September 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

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.