Once Battered and Bruised, Now Better Than Ever

September 20, 2011 § 7 Comments

This is one part of a series recounting the first college experiences and the lessons learned of Freshman at Georgetown University.

Click here to read the original post.

Being the linguistics major I am, I have assembled a vast treasure trove of adjectives that accurately describe who I am: caring, honest (most of the time…), trusting, brave, people-pleasing (just don’t piss me off), altruistic to a fault, intelligent, friendly :), Christian, authoritative, cosmopolitan, snazzy, and goal-oriented. A veritable repertoire of characteristics, huh? You might notice that “gay”, “homosexual”, or “queer” didn’t make the cut That’s because I’m still letting this personal aspect grow and assimilate itself into who I am as a person.


  Like many of you, I assume, I don’t exactly come from the most accepting of homes. I’m from a small town in Georgia. I’m not talking about bustling Atlanta or charming Savannah; no, I lived in unpaved-roads, let’s-go-drink-beer-and-watch-NASCAR-on-a-Friday-night, hodunk Georgia. Not exactly the most fostering atmosphere for a young “faggot” (as I was most affectionately called) to grow up in. Unfortunately, I’ve had my fair share of beatings, abuse, and ridicule and have suffered the jejune forms of ostracization because of my homosexuality. These events culminated in my decision to remain so deep in the closet my first year of college that they would have needed a fifty-member search party and a bulky St. Bernard to drag me out.

Yet, I quickly noticed this staunch conviction change my very first week at Georgetown University. I went from being the only gay person I knew to being surrounded by them, which was probably the scariest realization I’ve ever had. I was utterly shocked at how straight guys responded in a genuinely caring and interested manner to a gay person’s story. College in Washington, D.C., turned out to differ drastically from  my bucolic life back home. So slowly, one by one, I began telling trusted individuals about my sexuality.


Though far from being completely “out” (my parents still don’t have a clue…), I’m at least being selectively honest about who I am. I’ve joined an LGBTQ prayer group where we open talk about our issues and pray not for pardon for our “sins”, but so that others may gain understanding. I finally have straight friends who assure me that they will come to my aide if I ever need them. College has allowed me to build a community of gays, straights, whites, blacks, Asians, Christians, Muslims, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, vegans, and voracious carnivores. It’s through this community that I get to learn from others, and others hopefully get to learn from me.


So if you’re anything like how I was, don’t despair! To quote the popular anti-bullying and acceptance campaign: It really does get better. I wish I could tell you how and when and to whom you should come out, but really you’re the only one who knows when the time is right. Be studious, get good grades, act responsibly (I hope I don’t sound too paternal here), and hold out if you need to until college. A university campus is a convergence of all walks of life eager to engage you in dialogue to at least understand, if not accept, homosexuality from a gay person’s point of view. Keep on keepin’ on!

If you’re out and proud and you have supportive friends and your parents love your little gay self, cool. That’s great. If your story’s more like mine, however, take solace in the fact that you’ll soon be surrounded by a supportive community.

   I wish everyone an informative and happy college career and a great start to the rest of your gay lives!
Love, Anonymous

§ 7 Responses to Once Battered and Bruised, Now Better Than Ever

  • Alan E. says:

    College in DC as an openly gay person should be much easier than podunk Georgia. There is less of a chance of having a run-in, and I hope that you can live openly and not care what other people think. This is your chance to break loose and become you because it’s what you want, not what you think others want of you. There is a great quote from Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion that might be relevant here:

    “You’re a bad person with an ugly heart, and we don’t give a flying fuck what you think.”

    This came after they tried to be people they really weren’t. I understand that paying for college might be compromised if you came out to your parents (or worse, they found out from someone else). This should certainly be a major consideration, but it shouldn’t be the only one. I came from Richmond, and I would escape up to DC to get away from backwards thinking. As soon as I realized that I am the only one who is ultimately in charge, my life became a lot better.

    The best thing you can do is to show your parents what you are made of, and the rest shouldn’t matter. Celebrate with the soldiers today that are coming out around the world. There never is a perfect time.

    Regardless of it all, enjoy college. Also, avoid “Nations” nightclub.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Alan! Like I mentioned, I’m making a lot of great connections with wonderful people here. College is definitely an exciting time, and I’m trying to make the best of it!

  • Elizabeth F. says:

    1) Fellow ling major here! We are a rare and noble breed. Also I’ve observed lots of queer folks in the department for whatever reason.
    2) Extra points for using the word “jejune”
    3) College is a wonderful place to explore parts of yourself that you could never access at home. Coming out to friends at college gave me the practice and courage I needed to come out to my parents. College really is the place where “it gets better.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Yay for linguistics! 😀
      I’ve noticed the “abnormal” amount as well, which I suppose isn’t really a bad thing.
      Thanks for the extra points and the encouragement!

  • Tom Davis says:

    You’ve probably already discovered it, but I highly recommend getting involved at MCC-DC. It’s a great congregation and definitely worth the hassle of metroing on a Sunday morning.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Tom,

      Thanks for the info; I actually had no idea what MCC-DC was. I checked out the website, and it seems like a great spiritual atmosphere. I’ve been attending mass here on campus, but I would love to check out MCC-DC as well.

    • Craig says:

      I also have yet to hear about MCC-DC Tom, but I think i’ll check it out too Tom. Thanks for the suggestions!

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