I’m From Lincolnton, GA.

by Devante Starks

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

I’ve been out since the 7th grade. I am now a senior in high school, and being an openly gay kid in a small town in Lincoln County has been no walk in the park. However, today my AP Journalism teacher asked me what being gay in a small town has taught me. First, I was I was like, “What ignorance looks and sounds like,” but the more I thought about it the more I realized living in a homophobic town such as mine has played a major part in making me who I am.

With being harassed, taunted, and mocked, I don’t think I would have ever learned to accept who I am as a person. Without them making me feel like a freak of nature for something I can’t help I would have never come to terms with who I am and who I’m soon to become. There was once a time when I never knew what happiness felt like, but now happiness comes so naturally that although I’m still in high school, I feel as if things have already gotten better. Being gay is no longer a burden to me; it’s an accessory, an accent to my vibrant personality.

The homophobes in my town have taught me something. Not only have they taught me about ignorance but they’ve also thought me that the ones who mind me being gay don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind at all. I never thought I’d get here, but I love the person I’ve become, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

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