Lewis Freese

Minnesota + Minnetonka + USA

child to adulthood

Gender non-binary + Pansexual / 18-22 / White / Agnostic

THIS IS LONG AND EVERYTHING I AM SAYING COMES FROM DEEP DOWN IN MY HEART AND IS WITH SO MUCH LOVE. BTW, WHEN TALKING ABOUT SEXUALITIES I USE STRAIGHT, GAY, AND BI. HOWEVER THERE ARE SO SO SO MANY MORE TYPES OF SEXUALITY THESE ARE MERELY EXAMPLES. XOXO

MY STORY
I was asked by one of my closest friends to go do homework at a coffee shop. And so i went. We did about as much homework as one may expect doing with a friend. We discussed this weeks classic high school drama, closed our books and left. He decided to drive, so i got in the passenger seat and went. PSA: I never thought up to this point that my “secret” would be known. The embarrassment and fear I carried is of no possible description. As I got older and found new ways to hide my sexuality, i believed not one person would ever know unless i came out myself.

And so we started to drive, listen to music, and carry on our previous conversation. As words pondered out and silence fell, the most terrifying phrase for any closeted person came next. “So…. i have to ask you something”. He then went on to reveal to me what has become evident. Snapchat was the killer. Snapping a random guy whom i thought would keep my secret. No hard feelings to him. He told a friend who told a friend who told my friend. And so the discussion went on and what came next was what many think would. The “are you….” question. Acting in almost slow motion i thought hardly at what i may say. After my quick thinking i responded with “yes i do like guys”.

At the moment, i was terrified, yet confused, happy, yet mad, all at once. And so i began to ask him who knew as i still wanted to keep my sexuality private. He began to reveal the names of all whom new. To my luck, those names happened to all be my best friends. After another 30 minutes of driving, the continued Q and A between him and myself carried on, i was dropped off. The second I walked up the stairs, my brother asked me what i was doing for the rest of the day. I knew he did not know about my sexuality, but as my twin brother and closest person to my heart i knew i needed to tell him. However, my hand could not turn the knob on his door. Instead, i went into my room and i lay in my bed staring at the ceiling deciding what to do. I was still in a weird state of panic. The next hour was setting up times to talk to those who knew. I wanted to get all of the conversations out of the way at once to better ease myself.

The rest of the day consisted of 3 separate conversations, questions and answers, hugs and tears. As i went to bed all i could do was cry, but don’t be deceived, these tears were joyful. After one of the most confusing days of my life, i was content. A big thank you to all of those amazing friends who listened and talked with me that day

The next few days were as normal as any other. I saw those best friends who i told and to my surprise, conversations had not changed nor did those friendships. But there were still others whom i wanted to tell. my parents and most importantly my brother and sister.
Some may not understand this, but it is harder telling those closer to you than complete strangers. I felt guilty that almost 18 years had gone by and my own family were not the first to know. They would think i did not trust them or that i possibly thought i was not in a comfortable environment. But with my family, that was nowhere near the case. My parents have used the term “partner” for my whole life, and my brother and sister had never assume my sexuality nor would they care. I have always known that I was born into the most accepting loving, and caring family.

The bro was downstairs and i was upstairs. As i was watching tv, an interview of a homosexual man came on. He was describing what it was like to be closeted until the age 32. He said that as more planning went into that “coming out conversation” with his family, the harder and more obsolete it became. This just gave me a feeling that i was meant to see that show at that exact time.

So I walked downstairs, began to ramble about so many things and as i finally used the word “sexuality” he gave me a look.. He said “i don’t care who you are, you are my brother”. After concluding the conversation i went to my room and cried for at least 20 minutes thinking about how lucky i am to have this person in my life.

Another week went by and i knew i still needed to talk to my parents and sister. The only problem was my sister was on the opposite side of the country. One day sitting in bed i had this feeling of adrenaline and was ready to talk. But there was another problem, my dad was traveling for business. So i went into my moms room, shut the door, and told her i needed to talk. Again, she had that look in her eye as she already knew what i was going to say. And after more rambling and expressing to her who i truly am, 4 very powerful words came out of her mouth, “Lewis, I love you”. Another hour discussion took place, but those four words can describe all of it. When my dad came home on Friday, my mom encouraged me to talk to him, but I knew it wasn’t the right time. So i waited until Sunday. It started off like all the others: “dad i need to tell you something” and I blurted out the words “i like guys”. And again he said “Lewis I love you”. And another hour of conversation went on as all the others.

Clearly noticeable, i never once used the word gay, bisexual, ect. It is so so easy to assume someones sexualtiy. The moment a guy has a boyfriend or girlfriend, the assumption immediately falls under 3 categories, gay, bi, or straight. However, sexuality is so much more than a title. And i know that phrase is being more and more stressed in our society. However, it is so true. As many people look for titles, i can only use “not straight” for myself. I do not consider myself to have a specific sexuality and I never will.

To all those who may be struggling. Let me tell you, the burden you have on your shoulders, the constant thoughts that keep you up at night, the unrecognizable face we see in the mirror, will all go away. I am not saying you have to make it a public announcement like I am. Tell your friend, tell your sibling, tell your parent. Whoever it may be, the instant relief of transitioning from 0 to 1 person is stupendous. I know you hear it all the time and it never seems to give you the courage to step out, as it did not for me, but try to take one step forward in the positive direction. As i lay in my bed i have never had such excitement, happiness, and relief. It is worth it. Be you! In the last 8 months of slowly coming out, my life has been so much better! I have shown myself off to others as I want to be seen. If you are still struggling, or are on the fence, or just have questions, DM me, Text me, Call me. I don’t care if we have never talked. Do not worry about me sharing your secret. I have kept one for 18 years, so i am pretty damn good at it. *HMU*

To all those who may see your friend, sibling, or peer struggling, simply start the conversation with them. it may not seem appropriate or you may feel nervous, but imagine what it may be like for the other person. I have the privilege of having friends like I do. Coming out is a nerve racking, confusing, and long process for some. The simple question of “do you want to talk” can shift one’s world. It sure as hell did for me. You will never lift anything as heavy as the weight on that person’s shoulders. Reach out. Ask. it is worth it for both you and them.

To everyone else who may be uneducated about the LGBTQ community. First, it is so okay not to be educated. I’m not shaming you, however i hope this can help educate you more. I have struggled enormously with feeling so lonely and lost. It is so hard (high school was the toughest) to see all my peers around me find a boyfriend or girlfriend and feel no judgement because it is a girl+boy combination. It is so hard to be called gay and a faggot all through middle school and high school simply because those people are ASSUMING my sexuality for me. It gave me a sense of hopelessness as I assumed it was wrong or looked down upon to be different. It is so wrong to do that and to use those types of words at anyone, even if you think they are straight. Keyword “think”. Those terms are so derogatory and offensive, seriously. All it does it close and lock that “closet door” even harder. I’m not asking for sympathy at all, I am just asking to be AWARE. Try to become educated as someone close to you may be questioning their own sexuality. My friends and family see love as a whole, and because of that I am able to share with the world my long lasting secret. Give that opportunity for your loved ones.

To all of those who care, don’t care, are struggling with the same thing, or are simply interested. Sexuality defines us as much as hair color or height. It is merely a characteristic. But the LGBTQ community is still being shamed by part of society as are so many other groups of people. I believe every person is entitled to their own opinion. But one’s sexuality is not an opinion, it is a fact. You do not become gay, or bi, or trans, you are born it. If you do not agree with someone who is gay, bi, ect., simply do not interact with them. Do not give them hate or bother them with your opinion. Just leave them alone or better yet, try to accept them for who they are.

We constantly hear that sexuality, race or gender should not solely define us, but it still does. And that is ok. Close your eyes and imagine your best friend. The first thing you see if their hair color, or size, or facial features. Everyone has something that defines them, and if every time you hear my name and unintentionally think of my sexuality, that is ok. But don’t let that be the only part of me you know. Nonetheless, anyone’s sexuality whether that be straight or gay or bi, it is not who they are, it is a part of who they are. Thank you so so much for taking the time to read and learn more about me. Fact: love is love regardless of sexuality or gender. I cannot put into words how much i appreciate the love and endless support from my friends and family. xoxo, Lewis