Imagine not being able to wear your heart on your sleeve? To tell the world who you truly are and who you love?
As I look into my daughter’s eyes, I cannot imagine her going through intolerance or hatred simply because she has chosen to fall in love, or want to be with someone that others refuse to accept. Bigotry, racism, masochism and especially: homophobia are rampant in our society, language and media. I’m refusing to accept this and refusing to believe that with Brian’s face and story we cannot strive for better in ourselves and the world around us.
Brian Long, is a catalyst. He is someone that after meeting you cannot ever be the same. The drive he feels to better the world around him and inspire others to change their viewpoints is commendable. He, in fact: is already changing the world. Brian will be guest blogging on GirlmeetsGeek and discussing GLBT issues and his perspective. Our lives are entirely too short to spend near 100 years fighting over who is allowed to love or be physically intimate with another human being. I have no regrets posting his story because the incredible heroism behind what he’s trying to help other youth do? Is something that has inspired me.
I have never been so honored or PROUD of anyone before I met Brian. His story and incredible frankness will change you. Are you ready? You’ll hear Brian’s COURAGEOUS story below and find out how you can DONATE and help other GLBT Youth. We may believe different values and views, (everyone is entitled to opinion and belief.) Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we believed in EACH OTHER? I believe in Brian, and now you can see why.
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I came out June 22, 2004 on a church mission trip in Indiana. As a fourteen-year-old boy from Andover, Minnesota with no actual homosexual experiences, I wasn’t completely sure I was coming out the right way…
Months before the mission trip, I started to think about being gay – or, rather, not being straight. I don’t remember if I knew exactly what it was called the years before eighth grade, but I knew such a thing as not being straight existed – because I knew for many years that I wasn’t straight.
During my middle school years, I was fairly involved with my church. I was in the Confirmation process, sang some songs with the choir, did the youth group thing, and attended a mission trip with my youth director, Joe. Joe and I talked a lot about life; it was really easy to talk to him but it was important to my journey, I believe.
Joe drove his car filled with me and a few girls to Indiana during our mission trip. He let me sit in front with him. He was also in my randomly-assigned small service group for the week. Joe and I ended up being together for everything. I thought it was as sign from God; I was on a mission trip, after all.
I came out to Joe. They had computers set up for us to e-mail our families. I used the e-mails to say things to Joe that I couldn’t say in person. I came out around dinner time. I sat at a computer and typed a message to Joe.
“I have something to tell you,” I wrote.
“What’s that?” He asked.
“I don’t know how to say it,” I wrote.
“B, I think I know what you want to tell me.” he wrote.
“…I know,” he wrote.
I stood up and walked to the bathroom, stood in front of the mirror and starred at myself. How does he know? I watched tears roll down from my eyes, slowly down my cheeks, slowly off my chin. I turned to the door to find Joe standing in the doorway. He looked sad, he opened his arms, he hugged me and told me everything was going to be ok.
I came out June 22, 2004 when I was fourteen because, for as long as I could remember, I was not only lying to myself, but I was lying to my family and friends. Staying in the closet, as they say, was no longer an option of me. And, like many thirteen and fourteen-year-olds present day, it is no longer an option for them. Coming out to my family was hard, especially at such a young age. Six years ago, fourteen was not typical. However, fourteen is currently the average coming-out age for GLBT youth..
You can help. Simply text “Empower” to 85944. Your $10 donation will change a life and EMPOWER someone else, just like Brian.
…Coming out is a uniquely individual process that can take anywhere from two weeks (in my case) to two years. Everyone is different when it comes to sharing their biggest, most personal secret…Since 1992, District 202 empowers LGBT youth and their allied friends (LGBTA) to help inspire them discover their voice, build self-confidence and in the end strengthen these at-risk youth from within themselves. The organization provides programming, social events and other opportunities for youth to engage with their peers, mentors and the community at large—both face-to-face and online. District 202 is working hard to remain on the cutting edge of using technology to reach youth.
I have worked with LGBTA youth in my old school district and if I could say one thing about them, it would be that they are the most inspiring, incredible, resilient young group of people I have ever seen. They are aware of the discrimination they face and they are working hard to demolish it.
If you are interested in supporting District 202 in any way at all, visit http:/dist202.org/support, email [email protected] to share your time and you can even text “EMPOWER” to 85944 ($10 will be added to your mobile bill).
I am proud to be who I am. I am proud of my community.
Follow Brian online.