In eighth grade, our Navy base middle school welcomed a new, openly gay student. He was picked on relentlessly, and it made me angry to hear my friends call him names. This helped me realize I was gay too. Since I was popular, and very hung up on my friends’ opinions, I didn’t know who to tell first. So, I asked Mrs. Potter (our lunch lady) to help me. At lunch, I stood on stage with a microphone and announced it to my whole class; “I’m gay.”
My friends continued to accept me, and they even stopped picking on the new boy – who became a close friend of mine.