Earlier this week the New York Times opened a new interactive portal about the lives, struggles and joys of LGBT youth called “Coming Out.” They have a few photo essays and tons of user submitted stories.
One story was submitted by a 16 year old from Weston, West Virginia. He starts his story “My name is Charlie, I am currently 16, and I knew I was gay when I was 5.” At the age of nine he thought that we would always pretend to be straight. Last fall, after viewing videos from the It Gets Better Project, he finally worked up the courage to come out to his family. As he describes it, “they were all fine with it. Even my grandparents. If anything, my friends loved me more, and my mom’s relationship with me grew stronger. I was so happy, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I mean, what can you do with yourself when the day you think will never come finally comes?” Reflecting back on it now he now has an overwhelming joy in his life that cannot be dampered by high school bullies.
These stories are a great resource to young kids who are thinking about coming out. They are written by their peers and offer a practical view from the high school classroom. Check it out and let any young LGBT folks you know about it.