What is Being Gay?

This is not an easy question to answer. It's like asking a heterosexual person "What is being straight?" Not everything will hold true for all people. The easiest answer is that it's just liking members of the same sex "in that special way."

But that doesn't give a clear impression of what it is to be gay. Sexuality is an important part of a personality, but it is often not the dominating part. Many times it is merely one aspect of many that make up a person.

Using me as an example: I am gay, yes. But I don't "act" gay (whatever that is). I have girls as friends. I'm not attracted to every guy I see. And it doesn't determine what I do. I enjoy music, playing and listening. I play viola. I also act. I have almost zero sense of how clothing works together. I go out to movies with my friends, male and female. In our house, we have two cats and two dogs. I like computers, I know how to program (simple programs, but yes). I write music. I like science, and am planning on becoming a physicist. I know people that are straight that have those qualities as well.

Now, what are the aspects of being gay? I'm attracted to boys, not to girls. I constantly feel like I'm hiding, like I have to hide from my friends. But, although I'm not comfortable with people knowing that I'm gay, I am comfortable with my sexuality, and that is very important for everyone. I joke about my sexuality, sometimes.

My view on being comfortable with sexuality is that you can't be comfortable with other people's until you are comfortable with your own. This, it seems to me, is why so many people have problems with homosexuals. I think they are more afraid of themselves than gays, that they are afraid that they are truly gay and they don't know themselves. And it's not even their fault that they don't know themselves. The society we live in makes it difficult for people to explore their personalities. Anyone who does so, especially when in high school, is labeled "weird" or "different" or "queer." This can happen even when they are just exploring what they like and dislike. Boys aren't supposed to dance, according to our society. Yet many, many males do dance and enjoy dancing, and I'm sure more would if they were given the opportunity to explore their likes freely. Those who are comfortable with themselves often take pride in being labeled "weird," they like the fact that they're not the status quo and able to be themselves.

In a more ideal world, during their high school years, everyone would have a boyfriend and a girlfriend. This is similar to tasting Coke and Pepsi. Most people would prefer one of the opposite sex, some both, and some one of the same sex. It wouldn't even be an issue if some boys were going out with boys, except maybe which boys ("The captain of the football team is going out with the valedictorian? You're joking!"), just like it is now with girl-boy relationships.

How does one become comfortable with oneself? It's not easy. You have to listen to yourself, and decide on your own what you like. You can listen to your friends, and try new things, but you shouldn't base your entire life around what is "popular." Chances are, most people secretly like and dislike things that they aren't willing to tell their friends, and it is often true that some of those friends don't like it either! You don't always have to hang around the same people. There are people out there who are really great that you wouldn't have picked out as your friends because of the way they dress or their hairstyle. Or even who they hang out with. Granted, no one likes everyone, and no one can be liked by everyone. That's fine. There are going to be people you don't like. But that doesn't mean you should be mean to them, or that they should be mean to you. I try to generally avoid people who I don't like and let them go their own way. So long as it doesn't hurt me or someone else, people can do what they want, as far as I'm concerned.

And remember, just because you think someone doesn't like you, doesn't mean that they don't. They may just not know how to express it, or they may be afraid. Or, they may not like you. The only way to know is to talk with them.