The Most Life-Altering Text Message I Have Ever Received.

Sometime in the summer of 2011

“Hey, this may be a weird question and I don’t mean to offend you, but are you bi or gay? I’m kinda getting that vibe” This was probably followed by some emoji to relieve some of the tension.

“Hahaha no I’m not.” I didn’t think so.

People made “gay” jokes towards me while growing up, but I never took offense to it because I genuinely didn’t believe I was gay. I also went to a Catholic elementary school, so I guess the jokes were really only jokes in my head. Flash forward to the summer I was going into 10th grade – the first time I began seriously questioning my sexuality.

Were people right all along and I never really noticed?

I had girlfriends in middle school. I know that doesn’t really count, but it still says something. At this point, I’ve realized that attraction and sexual orientation are two seperate things.

October 31, 2011

I celebrated Halloween night the way any 10th grader would. I went to a local elementary school with some of my friends then walked around the town and did 10th-grade stuff.

“Hey, Tom. Where are you? Want to meet at the middle school playground?”

“Hey! I’m walking back to my friend’s house now. Once we get there, I can probably sneak away.”

This was the first night I had ever made out with a guy.

Making out with boys is the same as making out with girls. I don’t think after this night I knew I was gay, but it furthered my understanding of the difference between attraction and sexual orientation. It didn’t feel wrong. I didn’t feel uncomfortable. For me, this night verified that I’m attracted to both boys and girls, but I was still figuring out the whole sexual orientation thing.

November 2, 2011

“Tom, want to come over and watch some TV?”

“Sure! I’ll be over soon.”

I don’t remember what we watched, but I remember we made out again.

I wasn’t very sexually active at this point in my life, so I had a boundary that I wasn’t going to go any further than making out until things were exclusive. Remember… I was in 10th grade. But after this night, I began to catch “the feels” for this guy and it was way different than with any girl I’ve been with beforehand. I never felt the need to be sexually active with a girl, but now, I was starting to feel like I wanted to be. It was weird af for me. I finally began understanding what sexual orientation is.

I had been told being gay was wrong while growing up. Well, maybe not that it was wrong, but I always got the hint from teachers, family members, and my parents. I grew up in the age where “You’re so gay!” was yelled at someone who wasn’t doing what was desired. And I can’t forget to mention how my mom would mutter snarky comments under her breath if we ever saw someone who was “feminine” walking around in the stores she dragged me into. C’mon mom, we’re in Khol’s. What do you expect?

I never really thought about it because I guess I was never encouraged to. I wasn’t ever in a situation where I felt like I could explore the thought of myself being gay. Not that I was suppressed by any means, I just was never put in a situation where I felt like I was gay. So, why even think about it?

December 4, 2011

“Hey, Mom. I have something to tell you…”

Not going to lie, I chugged a whole 4 Loko in 5 minutes after doing this. It was 10th grade.

The next year was the hardest of my life so far. My dad then found out, then my brother. “Don’t you dare tell your sister.” Constant tension in the hallways of my house. Texting fights so no one could hear. I never felt suppressed until this time of my life by the person who mattered most.

Strangely, things started looking up when I brought my first “boyfriend” home to meet my parents. Maybe my family was seeing that I’m still who I was before coming out and it’s not a big deal. Everything was all out on the table and my dad started making jokes about it. I’m the type of person who likes to laugh at myself, and these jokes weren’t offensive. It became normal. It got better.

It’s better than ever before.

We’ve never been living in a better time in terms of the views on LGBTQ+. Yes, the big guy in the White House isn’t necessarily the ideal candidate for this community. Yes, there are so many tremendous problems in our world due to ignorance for other communities of people. Yes, we could be in an even better time. This may be just my opinion, but being part of the LGBTQ+ has never been so, okay.

We still have a long way to go until America is really “great again.” People need to stop killing other people; people need to start respecting each other. We’re all alive for a reason. It’s time to encourage each other to fulfil our passions and let each other do it in their own unique way.


What was your coming out story like? Are you part of a suppressed community in modern society? I want to hear what you guys go through because the more we know, the more we can feel empathy for each other. Please share your stories in the comments below.


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Why I Cannot Stand Living on Long Island Anymore

I lived in a house with 7 other people. It was a college house and, inevitably, we wound up going through a lot of cans and bottles. From the beginning of our lease-year, we collected our empties and brought them to Target to deposit them and get the money back.

One time I went with my housemates to deposit the bottles. I was standing on line at customer service with a handful of receipts from the deposit machines. “I can help who’s next.” I walked over to the counter where the lady was standing. “Hi, how are you? I just want to cash these in.” She grabbed my receipts and quickly handed me the cash in return, “Have a good day.”

This encounter may seem perfectly normal. It was – especially because it happened on Long Island. The thing that bothered me most about this was not how direct and short the conversation/exchange was, but the fact that she didn’t even look up. I completed the entire transaction without the Target woman even looking me in the eyes. I don’t know why, but this pissed me the fuck off. It was rude and the worst “customer service” I’ve ever received.

Let’s talk about another circumstance which highlights why I cannot stand living on Long Island anymore. Driving. Now, I have a feeling this problem exists everywhere in the world, but people do not even ackowledge each other’s existence here. When I drive, I follow the right-of-way laws. Far too many times recently, I’ve noticed people don’t give a shit about who’s around them and they drive as if they’re the only ones on the road. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I let people go, even if it’s my turn, and they cannot even put their hand to communicate “thank you.” I’m not letting them go for the thank you, but the least you can do is acknowledge my existence.

And finally, everyone needs to either smoke some weed or take a chill pill. I am disgusted by people’s attitude toward each other for absolutely no reason. I’ve lived on Long Island for 22 and a half years now. I’ve always known this was the general attitude here, however it’s more in my face than ever before. I’m absolutely sick of this “I’m the best” perspective most people here seem to have. We should be helping each other out, not making each other’s lives more stressful.

These are just a few of hundreds of reasons I cannot wait to move off of Long Island. I can no longer live a life where people do not acknowledge each other’s existence. I love Long Island and it will always be home, but I think if I stayed here any longer, I would never step foot here again. If you live on Long Island, please take a moment to observe the way people here interact with each other. If you can make it better, please do. I feel I’m going to move away and never want to come back because this general attitude is only going to get worse.


Does anyone else feel the same way about where they life? How do you combat the way society interacts with people? I think it’s time to we take it upon ourselves to make this world better, even if not everyone is on board.