Devin Beringer, 17 year old
High School Student
DEVIN BERINGER: I was always an outcast at school. Books were my best friends. I ostracized myself from the rest of the world, because I felt as if I could trust no one — not even my parents. The pressure of feeling so alone manifested itself as bits of manic depression, hysterical outbreaks, and eventually suicidal tendencies. I would spend hours sitting in my window cill wondering would jumping make things better? Hoping that someone would help me. All I needed to be told was that my feelings were normal and that I wasn’t the only one who felt them.
At …brook, homophobia and hazing were rampant. I had to act heterosexual and had to make dehumanizing comments about girls, or else be labeled a faggot. I had to prove my masculinity by hazing the underclassmen… When pushing wasn’t enough, I turned to whiffle ball bats. Once someone was rolled down cement steps in a laundry bag just for the fun of it. The psychological torture was the worst. Any expression of emotion was taboo and I would get teased or hazed if I ever slipped up or let on that I was homesick or felt any other so-called weak emotion.
I was constantly denying feelings I had for other guys. In the process of hiding these feelings, I repressed all of my emotions. I refused to admit to admit why it was I couldn’t help staring at the boy in my geography class. I was unable to deal with the truth so I just convinced myself that the attraction was an exception and that he just had a magnetic personality. Concord Academy changed all of this. It was the first place I encountered that was even slightly gay-positive. When I arrived, an openly gay faculty was assigned to be my advisor. He was the first openly gay person I had ever met. Through him I learned that being gay is not a horrible disgusting thing that society makes it out to be, but a normal and natural part of me.