I’m From Ridgeland, MS.

by Skylar Simmons

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

In the third grade, my older male cousin misused me. I don’t want to blame him for anything that I am because I would like to think that I have written my own story. This being said, I have never found being gay a choice.

My earliest memories involve my action figures. I had a Batman and Robin from the movie that had just come out and I scratched off Robin’s mask because I liked his face. In a way, I repeated this with a John Smith doll except I scratched off the paint on his “area” and his butt. I showed my mom and she looked at me weird and asked why. I told her I just wanted to see what he had. Even before the encounter with my cousin, I had weird feelings around my guy friends. I did not understand them. For the longest time I just shoved them away and replaced them with girls. I chased them in subtle ways and longed for their company more than I realized. Not until the sixth grade did I really understand how I felt. I had my first guy crush, he found out, he stopped talking to me, and I started exploring the internet. In the eighth grade, I moved to where I spent most of my life, Ridgeland. I decided I would tell people and once I did, it was a landslide from there. I became a lot more open and I met some awesome people. I came out to all my friends that year and decided I had to accept myself or no one would. Four years later and I’m now in my first year in college, I have come out to my aunt and am starting to become a part of The University of Mississippi’s GSA and PFLAG.

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