Why You’re NOT Alone! (PERSONAL)

๐ŸŽ’ ๐ˆ ๐Š๐๐„๐– ๐ˆ๐ ๐„๐‹๐„๐Œ๐„๐๐“๐€๐‘๐˜ ๐’๐‚๐‡๐Ž๐Ž๐‹!!! ๐ŸŽ’

It was elementary school. I was a quiet, soft-spoken child. I talked with my classmates, just like any other kid. I played at recess with friends, just like any other kid. I did get in a lot more trouble than any other kid though, Iโ€™ll admit that! ๐Ÿ˜‚

But for the most part, I couldโ€™ve been seen as any other โ€œnormalโ€ kid. ๐Ÿ‘ฆ

๐€๐ง๐ ๐ฒ๐ž๐ญ, ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐Ÿ˜•

I knew as early as 1st grade something was different about me. Of course, at that age I didnโ€™t have the understanding I do today about what those differences couldโ€™ve meant. ๐Ÿค”

In 1st grade there was another boy in my grade. I had never met him; he had a different teacher. I had never talked to him; he had his own friends. But something in me, something I couldnโ€™t understand, kept wanting to take second glances at him whenever I saw him. And eventually, it went from second glances to many more glances. ๐Ÿ‘€

๐€๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง, ๐ˆ ๐๐ข๐๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ˆ ๐๐ข๐ ๐ข๐ญ. ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ˆ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ข๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ: โ€œ๐ˆ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ.โ€ ๐Ÿคทโ™‚๏ธ

I liked looking at this boyโ€™s face. It really confused me! Remember, I was just a little boy; I had no conception of what sexual attraction was at the time! I had heard about having โ€œa crushโ€ on girls, but that was supposed to be with girls, not boys! ๐Ÿ‘ง

So, as much as I questioned why I liked looking at this boy, it only kept coming back to the same conclusion: There was no reason. I just did. ๐Ÿ‘

Then in 2nd grade there came another boy, but this time he was in a higher grade. The same types of feelings I had for the first boy happened again with this boy. ๐Ÿ‘จ Again, no reason. No logic. But this time, my interest in this new boy took an even bigger chunk of my focus while I was in elementary school. ๐Ÿซ

I still have many memories of it all. But there is one particular memory from elementary school I will never forget. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

It was the moment I finally asked myself:

Could you see yourself kissing a girl?โ€

I visualized it and I said: โ€œYeah.โ€ ๐Ÿ‘

But then I asked: โ€œCould you see yourself kissing this boy?โ€

I visualized it and my response: โ€œโ€ฆI could, yeah.โ€ ๐Ÿ‘

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ ๐ง๐จโ€ฆ๐Ÿ‘Ž

There is a part of me that is concerned sharing this with you all. By far this is the most vulnerable post Iโ€™ve ever written about my personal life. Itโ€™s a part of me Iโ€™ve kept out of the limelight, purposefully not being a part of my social media โ€œbrandโ€. ๐Ÿ‘ค

A part of me has been scared of judgment. Another part of me is very comfortable with who I am at this point in my life that I don’t feel it’s necessary to share it. And thereโ€™s another part of me that is still scared of being typecast into a label of sexuality for what is only just a mere fragment of my whole identity. ๐Ÿ˜จ

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐š๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž. ๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐š๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ’๐ซ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐ž. ๐Ÿ“–

Sometimes I forget this part of me, which Iโ€™m now very comfortable with, is not the same feeling for many others. While today Iโ€™m far more accepting with who I am, I know many others out there are still struggling with self-acceptance just like I did. I was in the same boat for a very long time. ๐Ÿšฃ

So in honor of National Coming Out Day, that is why I wrote this post. โœ๏ธ

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐žโ€ฆ

๐Ÿ“ƒ It is written for the individuals who hide a part of who they are to be socially accepted.

๐Ÿ“ƒ It is written for the individuals living in fear of rejection if people knew this part of themselves.

๐Ÿ“ƒ It is written for the individuals shaming themselves because theyโ€™re in toxic environments which also shame them: โ€œIt is wrong!โ€ โ€œImmoral!โ€ โ€œAn abomination!โ€

๐Ÿ“ƒ Just as important, this post is written for the skeptical who are willing to seek to understand through the eyes of someone who is gay.

And I share this post for all of these people above. Because it’s so easy these days for a person to condemn someone they’ve never met, to label an entire group of individuals as “this” or “that“, to demonize from behind the safety of one’s computer screen. ๐Ÿ’ป

๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ณ๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ข๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐ข๐ง๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ’๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ˜”

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐๐ฌ ๐›๐ซ๐ข๐๐ ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐ŸŒ‰

๐”๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ค๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ง๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ. โค๏ธ

๐”๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐›๐ข๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐ŸŒŒ

So among the Voices of Generalization I add my voice today for continued understanding. ๐Ÿณ๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ

It took me until I was in my 20’s to finally become more accepting of my sexuality. And some of you might be thinking:

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ โ€œYou probably didnโ€™t have a supportive environment.โ€ ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

But as a matter of fact, I was raised and surrounded in a very supportive environment. There were even points I “came out”, but often only going so far as to claim I was bisexual. It was never to a point I was fully comfortable saying it. It was also because I had never in my life been sexually attracted to a woman. ๐Ÿ’ƒ

In other words, ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐โ€™๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐จ๐ค๐š๐ฒ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ˆ โ€œ๐œ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญโ€. ๐Ÿšช

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ˆ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐จ๐ค๐š๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ข๐ญ. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

Me! I wasnโ€™t accepting of myself! And it had nothing to do with my environment; it had everything to do with the internal environment I was carrying around inside me. ๐Ÿ˜จ

I hid my sexuality in shame because I was insecure to admit it. A part of me just didnโ€™t want it to be true. ๐Ÿ˜– A part of me believed if I could simply be attracted to women like most men that life would be better for me. There were days I wished I could’ve woken up and been attracted to women just so I could blend in a little bit more into the crowd. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Why? Because I didnโ€™t want to be negatively judged by the wrong person. I didnโ€™t want to be potentially bullied for my sexuality. I didnโ€™t want my male friends to start assuming I was only friends with them just so I could sleep with them. ๐Ÿ˜“

๐‘พ๐’‰๐’, ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’‚๐’๐’š๐’๐’๐’†, ๐’˜๐’๐’–๐’๐’… โ€œ๐’„๐’‰๐’๐’๐’”๐’†โ€ ๐’•๐’ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’‚ ๐’”๐’†๐’™๐’–๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’˜๐’‰๐’Š๐’„๐’‰ ๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’—๐’†๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž ๐’๐’‘๐’†๐’ ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’ ๐’Ž๐’–๐’„๐’‰ ๐’‘๐’๐’•๐’†๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’‚๐’ ๐’“๐’Š๐’…๐’Š๐’„๐’–๐’๐’†, ๐’„๐’“๐’Š๐’•๐’Š๐’„๐’Š๐’”๐’Ž, ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’“๐’†๐’‹๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’? ๐Ÿ˜ž

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ โ€œHow do you know youโ€™re gay?โ€ ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

I would ask a similar question back: โ€œHow do you know youโ€™re straight?โ€ ๐Ÿค”

Because youโ€™ve never been sexually attracted to someone of the same sex? Itโ€™s the same with me, only Iโ€™ve never been sexually attracted to the opposite sex. ๐Ÿ‘

Again, I wanted to be. I can definitely see a woman as โ€œbeautifulโ€ and โ€œgorgeousโ€. But you couldโ€™ve shown me as many Playboy magazines as you wouldโ€™ve likedโ€ฆnothing would happen to my physical body, trust me! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So, Iโ€™ve known for a long time. And since Iโ€™ve been on a journey of personal growth for so long my sexuality has taken a huge backseat as I developed more parts of my identity. I haven’t participated in the LGBT community in a very long time, nor do I intend to either with the ideological shifts they’ve made the past decade. ๐Ÿ‘ค

And I’m absolutely okay with that! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Before, my sexuality used to be a HUGE part of my identity. Now itโ€™s but a tiny fragment and focus in my life. Rather than being a “gay male“, I’m now “a human being…who also happens to be gay“. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Before, I use to seek out a significant other because I thought being in a relationship would validate me and give me happiness. But today I realize my happiness starts and ends with me, and having a significant other is about sharing my cup with another, not getting mine filled up. โ˜•

๐’๐จ ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ž, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ. ๐ŸŒŽ

For those who are still struggling:

โค๏ธ ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  โ€œ๐ฐ๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐ โ€ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ.

โค๏ธ ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐๐ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ.

โค๏ธ ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ.

What matters is knowing who you are and living with that authenticity. What matters is the approval you give to yourself to be who you are. What matters is the opinions you say towards yourself.

Because once you build that self-love and self-acceptance within yourself:

๐Ÿ’ช ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ž๐ฉ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ’๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ.

๐Ÿ’ช ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ค ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ž. ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐๐ฒ ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ.

๐Ÿ’ช ๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐›๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐.

๐Ÿ’ช ๐˜๐จ๐ฎโ€™๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ง๐จ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐š ๐ฏ๐ข๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐œ๐ข๐ซ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ ๐š ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐จ๐ซ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž.

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