Acceptance comes with loss

Ruben A. Perez, Reporter

By Ruben A. Perez


I feel that I’m a very fortunate person.  As a gay person in a conservative town, for the most part, I’ve never really felt that uncomfortable being who I am.

There’s only two times that I’ve really felt weird being gay, and that all began with me coming out.

The first person I came out to ended up doing me wrong.  For all intents and purposes we’ll call this person John, because I don’t actually know anyone named John and I don’t really want people to judge him, even though what he did was a dick move.

We had been friends throughout high school and became closer friends during senior year.  That was the summer I came out.  I was nervous and I thought, “Well if I’m going to tell anyone he seems like a great person to start with.”

We had hung out all night and then, right before I went into my house, I told him.  John acted like he was very supportive which was great.

He encouraged me to come out to my family as soon as possible, and I figured he was on my side so I wasn’t that worried.  They were cool with it and I was so excited I texted John and told him what happened.

I heard nothing in response, which I thought was weird because he usually responded right away.  I told more people, and as my confidence rose I kept wondering why he hadn’t texted me back.

He didn’t answer my calls and un-friended me from both Facebook and MySpace.  At the time, most of my friends were in that transition phase where we used both.

When I came out to one of our mutual friends, he told me something I couldn’t believe.

John had told him that he had to choose which one of us he wanted to hang out with because we were no longer friends.

This struck me straight out of left field.  When I talked to him he seemed absolutely fine.  I thought about what happened in the last few days that made him not want to be friends with me.  The last time we talked ended with me coming out.

He was the black cloud on my day.  After that, I was afraid to tell more people.  I decided I wouldn’t tell people unless they asked.  Luckily the people I ended up telling were all pretty cool with the whole gay thing.

 My high school friends were actually very indifferent.  Stoners tend to be pretty chill with most things you tell them.  I’ve been fortunate enough that my family supports me and my friends don’t really care who I sleep with.

I’ve actually never gotten any flack about being gay until a few months ago at my job.

I typically work the back drive through window at a food restaurant and take people’s orders.

Sometimes I’ll say dumb things like “you’re the boss applesauce” and other fun things in high pitched or other ridiculous voices to customers as they order their food.  It keeps me, and whoever is within listening distance, entertained.

One night when this woman pulled up to the window the man in the passenger seat shouted, “You need to stop sounding so gay.  We can’t be having that faggot shit.”

I was shocked that someone would say that like it’s nothing.  Meanwhile the woman driving looked absolutely mortified.  We seem to have both been taken way off guard by what he said.  I really didn’t understand what had happened because I wasn’t expecting to be told that I sound too gay.

Not knowing how to react really, I told my coworker what happened.  Apparently the whole store heard and was immediately upset.

All my coworkers told me how messed up that was and how if it ever happened again to let them know.

From both scenarios I learned two very important lessons.  There are people that are just dicks.  That’s it.

The second is that there are much more people that will support you.  More people than not are going to stand up for you, help you, and not care who you sleep with.

Try to surround yourself with these people and your life will be much better.