Gay + Lesbian Youth – Making History

Lee Fearnside, 17 year old
high school student

I learned to see gay people as alien and criminal. Soon I acknowledged  that I was one of those who I had been taught to detest. I was a lesbian and my world had been turned upside down. The festering self-defeating emotions surged to the fore as I learned exactly what it meant to be gay in American society. Because of the invisibility of sexuality, I thought that I could just pretend to be straight and avoid all this discomfort. I tried that for a while doing my share of  drugs and denial, using guys to prove to myself that I could be straight if only I tried hard enough, but instead of being accepted into the mainstream, I lost my self respect. I felt completely isolated from my family and friends. It appeared that I was the only one who ever had these queer feelings. I couldn’t come out to anyone. After all who would associate with anyone who was as sick and deranged as I thought myself to be if only they knew the truth. Not only does society shout at me that I’m evil, but an inner voice whispers it as well.