For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled finding out who I was sexually attracted too. I guess it all started from a young age, I would go to school pretty happy, my childhood from birth to the age of 9 was great.
Kids will be kids, they say hurtful things, I always remember the children in my class would point out how small my friendship circle was, whilst they had hoards of people around them.
Then the bullying started.
I found girls easier to get a long with, I had never really been a sporty kid, I was never the kid that was picked first for a team, I was always the last. I’m not sure why but most of my boy class mates took a dislike to me – like I was some sort of alien.
” You must fancy boys because all your friends are girls”, I remember one of my class mates saying.
I was a little kid, I didn’t know… I was that little kid who never had a ‘girlfriend’ or ‘girlfriends’ in primary school, it was alienating.
I’d always try and brush it off, it would be killing me inside, it was just getting worse. Why were they saying these things?
Then high school happened…
High school was THE WORST time of my life, kids are cruel, its a pact mentality, once something it said about you… the whole school knows.
I tried really hard to make friends, girls or boys – I was so conscious about how I was coming across. Did they think I was gay? Teens are judgemental. They hear something about you and because it’s been said… it’s gospel.
I used to get people coming up to me making comments about me, comments about my sexuality.
It was horrendous.
I vividly remember someone exposing themselves to me once, “Do you like this” he said.
I didn’t know what I liked, The constant taunting. I couldn’t go anywhere in school without someone knowing who I was… that isn’t always a good thing. I struggled so much with anxiety. It got to the stage where I started refusing to do P.E – I didn’t want to be in the boys changing room, they’d say stuff to me there too. It made me feel so uncomfortable. If you caught someones eye line you’d immediately be accused of ‘checking them out’.
I was scared of what people thought of me, was I coming across the wrong way?
Why wouldn’t they stop?
It got to the stage where everyday I’d come home from school after a full day of being told I was gay. Then even more taunting on the bus journey on the way home. I’d come home and lock myself in my room..
I would try and not react.
It’s hard to not give a reaction, when you don’t know something about yourself and you are constantly being told who you are you feel like it’s been decided for you.
I was a horror to be around, I’d come home in an awful mood, I wasn’t ashamed of the person I was. I just didn’t know who I was. It had me questioning myself.
Is everything these people are saying about me true? Was I gay?
So many people had said it, so it must be true. It was relentless.
The taunting eventually stopped as I returned for Sixth Form – I guess people had grown tired of me not giving them a reaction… It was destroying me inside. I didn’t know who I was..
I still don’t.
To this day I couldn’t tell you the status of my sexuality, I haven’t experienced relationships or sexual relationships with either gender. I guess going through life being told you’re something makes you believe that’s the case.
Of course I find men and women attractive, everyone has a different definition of attractive. I can’t sit here and write that I’m gay… straight or bisexual because to be honest with you I have NO idea.
My main message to anyone struggling with any issues surrounding their sexuality out there is too…
Stay true to yourself, people can say things, they can be personal. LOVE is LOVE at the end of the day.
You don’t need to be defined by who you find attractive or who you chose to be in a relationship with.
Words By James Conlon