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YGA: What are the feelings you have about being in the closet?

Derek: I don’t like it. I want to be honest with people, so they stop guessing. I am afraid of what people will do if I tell them. Only a few people know. They are gay too. I’ve told one straight person. She’s cool about it, but will everyone else be? I hear people talk about how they hate gay people and it makes it even harder.

YGA: Do you feel like you are living a lie?

Derek: All the time. Because I am. People think I am straight. Some wonder about me. I try not to show it. I get nervous when people talk about being gay around me.

YGA: Do you think your parents will take it well?

Derek: I think my real Mom will. She’s always saying she wouldn’t care if I did turn out gay. She has gay friends. I think my dad and step-Mom will have a big problem with it. I don’t know how they will react but I know they will not be happy with me.

YGA: What are you afraid of most?

Derek: I am afraid of refection. This is my worst fear. I spend much of my life worrying about it. I don’t do a lot of the things I want to because of it.

YGA: What do you wish for more than anything else?

Derek: I wish I was straight. This would solve all my problems. I wouldn’t have to worry about coming out.

YGA: Do you have anyone you can talk to about coming out?

Derek: The gay friends I told live away from me. I met them at a summer job 30 minutes from my house. They all live in other directions. I wish I had gotten their email addresses. I’ve been talking to two people lately about it. They are both gay. I met them over the Internet. They live in other counties. I’ve met one of them. He’s cool.

YGA: What do you think coming out of the closet will bring you?

Derek: A new groups of friends and possibly the loss of old ones. A new fear when I travel the halls of my high school. More enemies and possibly a one way ticket out of my dads house.

YGA: How has the Internet helped you find out about yourself and start the process of coming out?

Derek: I am not alone. Many of the people I told was through the Internet. Some I didn’t know. I told my straight friend with an instant message. It is difficult to tell no matter how I am doing it but the Internet makes it easier. I don’t have to look anyone in the face.

YGA: What other resources if any have you used? I.E. books, counseling, pamphlets, help lines, TV shows, porn etc etc

Derek: I’ve used porn. It doesn’t help. I’ve gone to other website such as to read other peoples coming out stories. I wish I had the courage some of the other people did.

YGA: What are the feelings you have about being in the closet?

Cody: I hate being in the closet, but I feel a lot safer. I feel safe from all the homophobias that walk the campus that I walk. I always hate it when I see a cute guy cause I always feel like I shouldn’t be looking at him; I shouldn’t be looking at some hot girl. I also don’t like the way I can’t talk to anybody about my feelings. I’ve gotten a lot of help from this website, and it’s been great, but I really wish I could talk to somebody I know personally….and I may have found somebody, but I don’t want to take any chances yet….

YGA: Do you feel like you are living a lie?

Cody: Sometimes I do. I feel like I’m lying to all of my friends, family and myself. I wish I could just be honest with myself, but I can’t. It would be so much easier if I was a hetero, because I would have no problem with what I am. Whenever one of my friends brings up a homophobic issue, then I have no choice but to go along with it, but once (just last night actually) I actually defended them, and, ya, my friend said something along the lines of, “oh, ya, go and defend your own kind!” but he was just kidding.

YGA: What about your friends?

Cody: I have very close friends – a big, close, group that I love hanging out with – but I’m not too sure how they would take it. My best friend is totally homophobic. When a gay teacher we had at our middle school was let go for having to go to jail, then he got out and was coming back, my friend actually printed out flyers and did everything he could to keep him from coming back, and I knew that I couldn’t trust him. One of my other close friends said just recently something along the lines of, “my second cousin is gay. Thank God I barely ever see him,” but I actually question his sexuality at the moment, so I might be able to trust him. My other friend’s dad is completely anti-gay, so I don’t think I could trust him in fear of the genetic trait that he may have passed on…and everybody else in my group I’m totally unsure of, so right now is a really bad time to leave the closet for me.

YGA: What are you afraid of most?

Cody: Death. I’m scared that if word of my sexuality spread, somehow, somebody would shoot me, stab me, beat me or whatever and kill me. There are so many anti-gay people around my high school and I’m way too scared of them finding out. I’m also afraid of losing my friends. It took me 13 years to find such good and close friends that I don’t want to risk losing them. To die alone; that is my worst fear.

YGA: What do you wish for more than anything else?

Cody: I wish I was straight. I wish that I was like [almost] everybody else. I wish I didn’t have to worry about anything except school. Instead, I have to live in fear for the day when I may be pushed outside of the world and still worry about my education (which is NOT easy).

YGA: Do you have anyone you can talk to about coming out?

Cody: No, I don’t have anybody. I don’t know anybody that’s gay (I don’t think) and I don’t have anybody that knows about me and is ok with it. If I did, then I guess I wouldn’t be writing this survey. All I have is this website, and it’s really been helping me out with the pain that I’m suffering right now.

YGA: What do you think coming out of the closet will bring you?

Cody: It would bring me relief. It would make me feel like a HUGE weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I could just walk around proud…but scared….but I’ll at least be true to my feelings and to myself and others. I hope that when and if I do come out, I’ll still have my friends and they won’t see me any differently.

YGA: How has the internet helped you find out about yourself and start the process of coming out?

Cody: It’s helped me a lot, actually. I would probably be in a lot more pain if it wasn’t for the internet. I couldn’t exactly just go out and buy books about this kind of stuff because I would feel really uncomfortable and always wonder when my parents would find the book. I don’t know how I could have gone through this part of my life without the internet.

YGA: Any other things you want to say?

Cody: Thanks so much, YGA!! You’ve been very supportive for me, even if it has only been 2 days since I’ve discovered your site! Hopefully I’ll tell one of my friends someday. Most likely not this year, but soon enough for me. You guys have made it so much more easier to cope with my feelings and pains. Hope you guys keep up the website and keep helping clueless teens!

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