That’s the struggle of Angelica*,16, who identifies as a lesbian, yet is still trapped—as she so eloquently describes it—in “a dark room behind a multi-ton door.” From her very honest expression of how it feels to be a closeted teen:
To a certain extent, I am extremely proud of who I am, but that cognizant fear of people hating me because I am a homosexual has kept me from boasting my pride. Some days, it’s emotionally arduous. Especially when I open up my Facebook page only to see a thread of comments in which someone’s “friend” is ripping apart the feelings of an openly gay teenager, or when I roam the hallways at school and behind me I hear whispering from others about the lesbians who just hugged in front of them.
Wow. At Angelica’s age, I remember so intensely fearing what people would think if they knew the “real” me (don’t all teens?), but my own concerns (e.g. listening to uncool music in the privacy of my own bedroom) were seriously inconsequential—and didn’t come with such a harsh risk of true hate. I highly recommend that you read Angelica’s full essay over on the Teen Flaunt page. It’s powerful stuff.
A few of our other favorite essays in the series:
- Teen Flaunt: Katherine, 18, Overcame Trich
- Teen Flaunt: Harrison, 18, Has a Sister with Special Needs
- Teen Flaunt: Max’s Weight Doesn’t Define Him
If you would like to have your teenager or student (age 13-18) write a “Teen Flaunt” that could potentially be published on the Teen Flaunt page, please submit the proposed essay (no longer than 700 words) to: meg [at] megzucker [dot] com.
*Name has been changed