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This blog is a hate-free place, dedicated to the spreading of awareness and understanding of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community, their shame experiences and their potential to be resilient. Our goal is to increase your empathy and compassion.

We do not claim to be experts on this topic, however, we recognize the importance of sharing what we can in the hope that at least one person feels compelled to re-evaluate their thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Forbidden Attraction

All through high school I played sports was involved in J.R.O.T.C. and that helped me become fairly popular. I had the typical high school experience, I went to parties, dated quite a bit, and in general lived the normal high school experience.

One day a friend of mine told me that a guy in my school had a crush on me. At first I thought that she was trying to play a joke on me but she swore that it was the truth. I was truly shocked when she told me this. First, I did not think that he was gay or even questioning his sexuality. Second, I thought why would he have a crush on me, I was straight and back then I thought that a gay person would only have a crush on another gay person.

I felt ashamed that he had a crush on me and I did not know how to handle this situation. I instantly got very defensive stating that fact that I was not gay. Then I began to wonder what would happen to me if anyone else knew this secret. Would the rest of the jocks hate me or beat me up? I was terrified that the rest of the school would think that I was also gay.

I had a few different ideas on how to confront this problem. I thought that I could solve this problem the same way I would handle a problem on the football field. By getting into a fight. But since it was near the end of my senior year I figured that being kicked out of school would not be a good idea. I thought about publicly shaming him in front of the whole school, but that would expose his crush on me. Ultimately my decision was that I would avoid him. That meant no more talking with him in the halls or in any class.

After becoming older and wiser I can now see that I made a mistake with the decision I made. I should not have ignored my friend. I cannot imagine the shame that he felt after I started to treat him differently and I now feel ashamed for the way I treated him. He was brave to tell anyone about his feelings and I disrespected his bravery.

-- Israel