I consider myself a lucky man, considering all that I have lived through. I was about 6 years old when I realized I was bisexual, but after 7 years of being bullied by females and being publicly humiliated constantly, I lost all desire of ever being with a woman. At the age of 12, I was sure that I was gay, but I couldn’t deal with the truth. During this time, my life was imploding. I was being bullied at school, I was raised to believe that I was an abomination, and suddenly, my parents announced their divorce. A few months after my family broke up, I decided that life wasn’t worth living. I opened my father’s safe, pulled out the gun, pointed at my head and pulled the trigger.
This is why I am a lucky man. The gun wasn’t loaded. And even though I genuinely wanted to die right there and then, I didn’t have it in me to look for the bullets and give it one more try. I would love to say everything went fine from then on, but I would be lying. I’ve flirted with the idea of suicide many times. But I always manage to push forward.
When I came out to my parents, they didn’t believe me. Life went on as if though nothing had changed. It took them at most 2 years to get used to the idea of me not being with a girl. They still can’t tolerate the idea of seeing me with another man. I became the first person to ever come out of the closet in my high school. Being gay is difficult, but I think being gay in a small catholic country like Costa Rica can be even worse. Every time I would feel depressed because of people’s senseless bullying, I would seek help in my community and would find that all the help was in the US, Canada, or Europe. So naturally I felt isolated.
So I decided to study harder, and apply to boarding schools in the US and leave the country before I would be more than willing to take my own life. And after a lot of effort I was finally able to leave Costa Rica as a student. I love Costa Rica with all my heart, but I don’t feel safe being gay in the country. I don’t feel free as a gay man, having to watch my every step, having to keep track of who knows and who doesn’t, having to hide it all the time.
When I finally started classes at my school, things slowly started to get better again. I started to smile more often and make friends, but still, I was and am the only openly male gay student in my school. It depresses me sometimes, especially now that I’m in my senior year and I see that I will graduate high school without my first kiss, without dating, without any romantic experience whatsoever. I’ve been too busy fighting all the time.
But at least now I’m off to college. I got into my top choice, and I hope that in the next four years of my life, I’ll be able to grow even more. I love my life now, I have a sense of purpose and a sense of direction. And even though the sacrifices have been great. I left my country, my friends, my family, I am proud of what I have accomplished. I am more than a gay teen; I am a survivor. I have survived and overcome every obstacle that society has put in front of me, and with the same triumphant strength I will keep pushing forward until I see myself respected as a human being.
Life may not be always fair, but it is beautiful and worth living. Experience has taught me that the hard way.