As you know, there is something about being a gay teenager that your heterosexual counterparts could never understand: longing for someone they can never have. By this I mean a sexual attraction which will never bear any fruit; no relationship, not even a friendship. This is something almost exclusively unique to the gay identity because, for the most part, heterosexual youth are able to freely express their sexual attraction not only without fear of attack but with a reasonable chance that their interest will be, in some form, returned.
Homosexual youth not only are unable to express how they feel sexually but are pigeonholed to a closet where their innermost feelings are kept a secret. Undoubtedly you have felt this yourself. You have felt an intense want for someone of your same gender yet have been unable to tell them or even to get over such feelings yourself.
Many gay youth go through this ordeal, me included. It is almost a rite of passage at this point because so many of your gay peers undergo the very same struggle. Each and every time is a hard stranglehold to break with many hours of painful realizations to achieve. In this article I will attempt to help you overcome these feelings by using my own stories as an example.
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When I was in the troughs of adolescence and had next to no ability to control my hormones I had crushes on many guys and obsessions on many more. It wasn’t something unhealthy, just indicative of a teenager’s desire. Many youth undergo this haelstorm of emotions and it is perfectly normal. Yet, there was one guy, in particular, that caught my eye more than the rest. I’m not sure why but this young man took an ever present place in my thoughts from the first moment I met him.
I was in the 7th grade when I met him yet for years afterward he would be on my mind. During the entire school year of our original meeting I would stare at him whenever possible, try and glimpse at his underwear (baggy pants were very popular back than) and attempt, very pitifully, to engage him in conversation. This was all well and good until I entered night school.
For those of you who do not know night school is Adult Education (I entered when I was sixteen) for individuals who are not adjusted to the day school schedule. Some enter it because they prefer it over the rigors of day school. When I entered I was free from this other boy’s range. For a time I thought I was free of and my sexual attraction problem was over.
I was wrong, of course. As time passed my thoughts gradually returned to him. Eventually it became unbearable. I would spend all night moping, depressed that I never knew his sexual orientation. I was consumed by the thought that if he was gay, it is important to recognize that I knew of no such tells to say that he was gay; I would be missing out on my soul mate.
As my depression grew and my desire to have some sort of contact with him grew, I scattered through my old school books and searched out any shred of material that might help me in locating him in real life. At this point it didn’t matter: one way or another I had to find out.
What I devised was scouring through the phonebooks. I was searching for a number to call. He had a name and a place of residence, so surely he had a home phone number. I located several possible numbers and called every name which had even a remote chance of him being listed among them. My efforts paid off: I found him.
At the time I didn’t have the courage to ask him about his orientation, I barely was aware of my own, but I did manage to cop out a thread in which if he ever wanted to talk he would have access to my number. I had sown the seeds for communication.
Unfortunately he never did call me on anything. Never. As time passed I grew depressed once again and the same feelings of massive insecurity returned. Then, when I finally came to terms with my own sexual orientation, the thought that I was missing out came back at full blast: I knew I had to definitively find out what my friend’s orientation was.
I have had enough with the dreams, with the ceaseless worrying about missing out, and just the plain old guilt from keeping such feelings locked inside. I was lucky at this time though for by now my family had an internet connection, and I a new computer, hence I was able to sign up for a Facebook account. Surely, I reasoned, he would have a FB profile page. Everybody seemed to and it was my only shot to communicate with him via private.
So I signed up and hit pay dirt: after some time of being on, and after an extensive search, I located his profile and friend requested him instantly. After a few days he accepted. With me being as happy as a gay kid could be I immediately set out to talk with him. So we chatted about writing, video games, and interests. That is, until one day where after gathering up a bit of bravery, I wrote out an email. This email asked the question that I had been meaning to ask for years: Are you gay, because I have feelings for you?
I would be disappointed when he responded: he wasn’t gay OR Bisexual (he had taken it onto himself to include Bisexuality). Yet, I still won some: we remained friends (even if it was only on Facebook).
Right after I received his answer my tired mind was put at rest. Though I was depressed I finally obtained the much sought after answer to my most burning questions. I was free to peruse my life without fear of missing out from a great guy. Though the dreams in which we were a couple persisted for some time even those eventually dwindled the primary rush had been overcome.
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When I was dealing with this emotional turmoil it is safe to say I lived in a nightmare. My existence never ended and on more than one occasion I dreamed of sleeping but never waking up. Yet, for all its difficulty I overcame my love and established a regular connection with my one time obsession. I did this through many stages of realization, stages which I now wish to share with you.
When you have a sexual attraction to a heterosexual chances for a committed relationship are zero. No matter how hard you try you cannot change the fact that the object of your affection is heterosexual while you are homosexual. Any arranged relationship is prone to unmitigated failure. Knowing this I knew it was in my best interest to try my best to forget about my obsession and instead focus on finding a gay lover. This way my need for intimacy would be met and it would be in a healthy manner.
You owe it to yourself to find a partner which loves you for you, not an idol that consumes your time and energy simply for existing.
Satisfaction of Knowing
When I was depressed over my obsession a great part of my sorrow was attributable to failing to understand the orientation of my idol. When I did finally uncover who my idol was sexually, a great part of my worry was eliminated. Yet, this was only possible due to my desire to know who my idol was sexually. Had I never asked the question it is likely I would still be despairing over remaining mired in ignorance.
Because of this it is vitally important that you find out what your idol thinks of you. Asking is a difficult process to be sure; it is not something to be taken lightly. I would highly recommend you do some “detective work” and uncover how your obsession reacts to gay issues. If he is supportive than ask him about his orientation and of your own feelings right away. If you think he isn’t supportive of queer people, and seems generally homophobic, than hold off on asking him his orientation until such a time where he appears to be in a position to answer bluntly, yet not abusively.
Inability to Escape
Possessing an overwhelming attraction to a guy you can never be with is a heartbreaking event. Sometimes, especially if the guy lives nearby, it may seem like an attractive option to move as far away from the other guy as possible. This is not a sound move. An important fact to remember when considering such a hasty action is that no matter how far you move that no matter how far you run away, you will always be in possession of your attraction. You cannot overcome obsession by distance; you overcome obsession by contact and realization.
By realization I mean epiphany; a great understanding suddenly achieved by sharing intimate life details with a trusting individual. Through such means I have been able to shed light on parts on my conscious which have ultimately made me a better person. I shared my inner torments over my obsession with a trusted gay friend I had met online and through lengthy conversation I was able to realize that I was not alone; that my struggle was also felt by many of my gay peers.
Such thoughts gave me strength; they gave me the tools to understand my own inner torments and, by extension, understand how to solve my intense feelings in a constructive, mature manner.
Clues, Hints, and Stereotypes
A method one can use to help stop such obsessions before they begin is understanding that simply because the idol of your affection shows kindness towards you does not mean he has an attraction towards you. Taking this further, it is important to remember that stereotypes are exactly that: stereotypes. If your idol shows one or two of the typical gay stereotypes it does not mean that they are gay. Many straight guys can be as flamboyant as the gays you see on TV and yet still be heterosexual. Indeed, this is also true for your fellow homosexual: a gay guy can be a tough, muscle bound, football player and yet be interested in other men. Just because a person has some traits glorified by the mass media it is not a “tell” of who they are sexually. If you understand this than you can know that the single actions of an attractive person is not any all revealing cue for you to follow and unwind.
Because many gay youth are unable to fully do away with their obsessions due to hopes that their crush may be gay, an impression given to them by vague stereotypical behavior, it is prudent to be aware of such inner thoughts and combat them with reason: tell yourself that no matter what the other boy might have did or said, such mannerisms are not proof of his presumed sexuality.
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There you have it. I sincerely hope that my words have assisted you some, even if only a little. I want you to peruse happiness and find that loving man you deserve. Before you can do that, however, you must be able to come to terms with your own obsessions, idols, and unhealthy desires. It is hard, I know, but you are capable of doing so; you just have to take it one step at a time.