This was No Choice
“Aaron,” a faint voice said. “Aaron” I heard again but slightly louder. “AARON!” I shook my head to snap back to reality and looked to see that Ms. Garrett was talking directly to me. “Are you okay?” she said. “Yes mam, I’m fine.” I replied. “Would you mind telling me if you are here then?” My face must have turned beet red because I could feel my ears burning. The other kids in the class were laughing as I confirmed that I was present for class. The air was frigid in Ms. Garrett’s classroom on this sunny summer morning. She was always hot and kept the air going full blast. I sat at my desk trying to keep warm. I was sitting on my hands and shivering. I had forgotten my jacket at home that morning but who thinks of bringing a jacket to school during the summer? Ms. Garrett was talking in the background but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. My mind was elsewhere and going over the same thoughts again and again. Is this for real? Why? I just don’t understand. My whole being was consumed by thought and emotion. I was scared, afraid, and excited all at the same time.
The bell finally rang as my teacher was wrapping up her lecture. As she dismissed us she asked me to stop by her desk on the way out. She told me to pull a chair up to the side of her desk as she was closing the door behind the last student who left the room. This was my last class of the day so I really just wanted to get out of there. “Is everything okay Aaron?” she asked. “Your behavior was out of character today.” I tried to assure her that I was okay but tears started welling up in my eyes. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to talk to someone about it or I was going to explode. I trusted Ms. Garret but was unsure if this was something I should tell her. As she was talking I whispered, “I think I’m gay.” She paused for a second then asked: “why do you think that?” I knew that I was gay and had been battling these thoughts and feeling for months. I knew from a young age that I was different from most boys but I wasn’t sure what it was. Up until high school when I started discovering sexuality and what being attracted to someone was all about, I had no idea why I wasn’t attracted to girls. As I was explaining all of this to her, she grabbed me and hugged me and just kept saying “it’s going to be okay” over and over. By the end of our conversation, I knew that I had to tell my parents and that I had to tell them today.
I grew up in a very strict and religious home. My father was a pastor and my mother was the piano player at church. From childhood, I was taught that homosexuality was an abomination in God’s eyes. I was told that it was a sin and it was wrong. I had read it myself in the Bible so I knew this had to be true. Just the night before I spent several hours bargaining and pleading with God. I begged him to take this away from me. I did not want to be gay. I truly believed that all I had to do was pray and resist temptation and that this whole...