YGA: What are the feelings you have about being in the closet?

TYLER: It’s hard sometimes, when you speak to people who are supposedly close to you and they assume you’re straight it makes it seem like they don’t know you at all. Parents and friends are the worst, but even coworkers and teachers not knowing this major part of who you are hurts.

YGA: Do you feel like you are living a lie?

TYLER: No, I never claim to be straight, and I avoid making any comments saying I am, but there are times when I answer questions like “why don’t you have a girlfriend” and I want to scream to the world that I don’t because I like guys, and want a boy friend, but all I can say is something like “I just haven’t found a girl that interests me.” It’s not a lie, but it is still deception.

YGA: Do you think your parents will take it well?

TYLER: I don’t know. If I knew one way or another then I think I would come out just to get it over with. But I don’t and it terrifies me. My parents are devout Catholics, and that makes me fear that if I did come out that even if they accepted me being gay that they would forbid me to live the way I want to, that they would be ashamed and tell me to keep it to myself. It’s bad enough being closeted by my own choice, but to be told to be would tear my heart out.

YGA: What are you afraid of most?

TYLER: Dying, no dying alone. I know that the life of a gay teen is dangerous, what with AIDS and hate crimes, and to think that no one would care, that they would see it as something I brought on myself scares me more than death itself.

YGA: What do you wish for more than anything else?

TYLER: That I was straight, that way there wouldn’t be anything wrong with me, there wouldn’t be that fear of discovery and being alone. I know that out people will see me as a coward, and I don’t care, this is what I wish for. but it isn’t going to happen, that much I know, but that doesn’t stop me wishing for it.

YGA: Do you have anyone you can talk to about coming out?

TYLER: No one with a face. I have internet friends who understand my fears, and they try to tell me it’ll all be okay, and I wish I could believe them, but they are some of those lucky kids with parents that didn’t care, and I don’t think I’m so lucky.

YGA: What do you think coming out of the closet will bring you?

TYLER: I don’t know, it’s either condemnation by my family and friends, or freedom to be myself and maybe be happy. They odds are against happiness, but the thought helps me get through the day.

YGA: How has the internet helped you find out about yourself and start the process of coming out?

TYLER: I’ve found so many sites that say “c’mon out, it’s great out here!” And then there are sites that show what happens when it doesn’t all work out and being out is as bad as being in. But there is enough hope and positive stories to make me believe that even if my family never speaks to me again that there are those who will be there for me.

YGA: What other resources if any have you used? I.E. books, counseling, pamphlets, help lines, TV shows, porn etc. etc.

TYLER: Yeah right, and risk getting found out? The net is the only safe place, there’s no book or pamphlet to be found by your parents, any counselor would have the right to tell my parents because I’m a minor and have no rights, and as long as it’s late at night no one can walk in and see. I think I’ll stick with the net.

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