The Power of Pride
|My dad took me straight from the airport to see a psychologist, and the hour-long drive there felt like ten hours. Everyone was quiet. When we finally made it to the psychologist's office, he worked with me extensively for hours and asked me questions like, "How long have you been attracted to men?" "What do you believe is the right way to live?" "Do you have faith in Jesus or any other God-like figure?" To my surprise, after he completed an analysis of my responses, he told me that I wasn't mentally ill-nor was I different than any straight person. Instead, he told me that homosexuality was genetic and that what I needed to overcome were my own insecurities about myself. He explained that my parents were just confused and shocked and that I needed to give them time to understand how normal I really was. When the session was over, I shook the psychologist's hand and thanked him for his insight. I left the office with hope.|
Just as the psychologist had predicted, my family definitely needed some time to understand and deal with it in their own way. Part of this process included taking me to see a church pastor who not only told me that I had the devil controlling me, but that I was not a true Christian and that I would be condemned to hell if I didn't change my ways. Unfortunately, my father sided with the pastor and kept telling me that I was a possessed demon. He said that he would no longer support nor accept me until I became heterosexual. I repeatedly explained to my father that I had always felt this way and that I was born this way, but my father couldn't accept it. "How could a man ever desire another man?" he asked me. He kept comparing me to an alcoholic and a drug addict, saying that, "If they can change, so can you!" I told him that being QV wasn't about sex, but that there was so much more. But it was a lost cause so I concluded that the only thing I could do was give my father time.
I decided that it was time for me to start making some more changes in my life. I didn't have anyone to turn to-so I prayed to God for his knowledge and guidance. I took a leave of absence from school. I packed my things and decided to experience life as I thought I should. I left my parents behind and I became my own man. I joined support groups and made QV friends. Because faith was so important to me, I did extensive biblical research from all sorts of bible scholars on the issue of homosexuality to try to find answers and set my mind at ease.
Most importantly, I came out to all of
my friends who had heard rumors about me being QV. At first,
a lot of them thought I was kidding because they didn't think
I "acted QV." Some wondered why I, being a well-known
individual in the community and very popular in high school,
would want to be QV. My guy friends couldn't understand why
I would turn down a girl for a guy when a lot of girls liked
Through my experiences in dealing with my sexuality, I considered the words of Sr. Juana Ines de la Cruz, a Latina writer, poet, and mathematician. In her best verse, she illuminated the inner struggle within herself:
"...inflamed civil war
importunately afflicts my bosom.
Each part strives to prevail,
and amidst such varied storms,
both contenders will perish,
and neither one will accomplish."
From Sr. Juana's life and death, I learned that in order for us to win our own personal battles in life, we must learn accept ourselves, and we must have pride in ourselves.
In looking back, developing the pride to come out was one of the best things I ever did because not only did it show me who my true friends really were-the ones who accepted me unconditionally, but I no longer had to pretend to be straight and that realization helped me to love myself. I was more content now than I'd ever been in my "previous closeted life."
Coming out has also helped me develop a new mentality that when I look back and think about the guy I taunted and teased for being QV and proud, I feel sorrow. I feel bad about it and I wonder why I did such a thing. Little did he know that his pride in himself and who he was started me on a journey to discovering my true self. Back then I had no pride, and I was insecure, unhappy, and depressed. Today, I'm proud, and I am someone who is confident, gregarious, and spiritual. In my heart, I wish I could have the opportunity to apologize to him and to thank him. It is people like him who have given me and countless others the courage to come out, have a voice, and most importantly, be happy and proud.