One of the great markers of maturity is an appreciation for complexity. Although I'm of Somali descent, I did most of my growing up in Nairobi and London. As the years zipped by, the lens of my identity also zoomed out to encompass my sexuality as an out and proud gay man.
I see you at 17 -- feathered hair, parachute pants, asymmetrical smile. You have just graduated from high school. Despite your outward ebullience, I see that, beneath the jocular façade, you are so very sad. Of this you are (mostly) unaware.
Having same-sex marriage legalized one year prior gave us hope that our bill would be heard and eventually passed; if our legislators approved marriage equality, surely they would advocate for the restriction of a practice that treats homosexuality as a curable disorder.
Here was the ultimate mom test. Was I the real deal? At this crucial moment, probably the most important one of my life, my mind had shut down, and I'd lost my voice. I'd expected to perform much better. This had been a D-minus at best.
For those of you who are determined that we suffer and be held accountable for our mistakes, we can only say that the pain of knowing how deeply we wronged our son and not being able to sit down across from him and ask for his forgiveness is agony beyond all attempt to describe it.
You would think that after getting a phone call from Harvard Law's LGBT group encouraging their son to attend the prestigious university, Scott Blair's parents would be proud. Instead, they were devastated and joined an ex-gay counseling group and tried to make their son straight.
On June 23, 2005, I moved to New York. My parents drove me up and helped me move into my dorm and then walked me to orientation. As I watched them walk away, I knew that I was home, no longer a flamboyant country boy but a future star in the city that I would conquer and take over.
Daniel Pierce's bravery touched many. After-all, his story garnered over 3.5k donations. We hope the best for Pierce and other youth in his situation. Assumedly, that cash will come in handy for him though.
I've been thinking of my own early years as a queer youth: how despairing I was, how wrong I felt, how terribly unseen and unheard. Then I remembered my suicide notes, how occasionally I would write one and leave it around to be found.
In a recent episode of Nicholas Snow Live, my BFF and volunteer co-host, Helen M. Holdun, expressed opinions that shocked me and listeners. She revealed that she believes that sex is only for heterosexual married couples, and only for the purpose of procreation.
It might not come as a surprise to you that Noah Michelson, Executive Editor of The Huffington Post's Gay Voices vertical, is a proud queer man. What might surprise you is how young he was when he first discovered his pride and sexuality.