Monday, October 5, 2009

Sexual Health: 
Growing up gay

Talking - – Real kids, smart choices, growing up.

As a kid, Patrick always felt that he was different. 

It took him a long time to understand that he was gay, and, then, to tell others. “I had a lot of desperate days,” he says. “I felt ashamed.


Some of his most desperate days were when kids called him ‘faggot’ and ‘homo.’ Teachers who heard Patrick being harassed didn’t come to his defense. 

Patrick was afraid at school and at home. What if his parents heard he was gay and got angry? What if they kicked him out of the house? “That’s what every gay kid fears,” Patrick says.

So when he was teased at school, Patrick didn’t tell anyone at home. “I was sulking,” he says, “crying by myself in my room.” His brother was a football jock. Sometimes Patrick would hear his brother refer to something a teammate had done. “That’s so gay,” he’d remark. Patrick would wonder, If he’s reacting to other people like this, how would he react to his own brother being gay?

At school, sometimes Patrick was so stressed he felt sick. The school nurse called his mother, Linda, to come and get him. 

Finally, at the beginning of his freshman year Patrick began to see a therapist. His mother went with him to a therapy session. That’s when he told her that he was gay.

“I looked at my little boy sitting there, crying his heart out,” Linda recalls. “I got out of my chair and knelt in front of him.“ I said, ‘Thank you for telling me, Patrick. I love you. Whatever it takes, we’ll get through this together.”

Patrick refused to tell his father. So Linda told him instead. 

Peter went to Patrick’s room and pulled up a chair. “Mom says you’re gay,” Peter said. “Listen to me. It doesn’t matter. I love you. I want to be a part of your life.”

Patrick and his dad hugged and cried. “It was huge to get that off my shoulders,” Patrick says. “My brothers and sisters have been great, too. They’ve all totally accepted me.” Read complete article -

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