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05 May, 2008

How I Learned

I was a weird shy kid in high school, a little on the young side, a little inexperienced. I wound up, freshman year, hanging out with a few other mostly weird shy kids, a group that eventually formed into a dynamic social group consisting, largely, of the sort of weird shy kid who had never had a dynamic social group before.

It was the last day of school senior year; the exam for the last class of the day. There were a few of us who were in that class, students in that year, who might never see each other again. It's an odd feeling, the triumphant escape and the mellow bittersweetness of knowing that each of us is going their separate ways.

The exam finished; the bell rang.

One of those first friends, back from freshman year, came up to me as I was gathering my things. "Hey," he said. "I want to tell you something?"

"Oh?" I had my things together; I looked at him. He looked nervous, perhaps shyer than normal, full of light anxiousness that might, if played a little more dramatically, go to fidgeting or handwringing.

"I'm gay." There was a long silent pause, and then he said, "... is that okay?"

Is that okay?

I put my arms around him and hugged him tightly. I had no words, because he had broken my heart.


Wanderer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wanderer said...

In many ways, society and biology teach us to judge our worth and that of our actions by the reactions of others.

One of the hardest things in my life, to this to day, is to learn to be proud of myself- particularly when others outwardly disapprove. I've been a validation-seeker from the time I was a child, I remember my mom teaching me 'not to fish for compliments.' I wish she'd told me that sometimes it just doesn't matter what other people think. I still can't always remember that.

Validation from others can be a blessing. Needing it can be a curse.

(PS- blogger should allow you to edit your comments, hence the deleted post. There was a typo, and it bothered me.)