Jack Pedroza

Oregon + USA

Writing Their Story

Gay + Male / 17 and Under / Hispanic or Latinx / Christian

“Write your own story” is what I’ve been told since I was young. That we can be whoever we want to be. As we get older we find that our choices are made for us. We have standards. Well, in writing my story, I wrote what people wanted to hear. I was an honor roll student at a private school. I was a ladies man. My parents had already picked out who they wanted me to marry. I played sports and was well-liked.

Just before my Sophomore year of high school, I moved to a different state. We went from a 2A private school to a 1A charter school in the country. During that time I came out to my brother and cousin. I was nervous. I would tell myself, when alone, I’m gay. Over and over. I had to come out to myself, and I had to accept myself. Every time I would say, “I’m Gay,” I would get this feeling inside, guilt. I was raised a Christian and was taught that being gay was a sin.

That year at my new school I stayed in the closet. I was afraid. Many people asked me if I was gay. I’d say no, or I’d joke around with it. I survived the year, almost. I was no longer an honor roll student. I stopped caring about my grades because I was focused on hiding my sexuality. Junior year I decided that this year was my year. That I wouldn’t care what people thought of me. That lasted up until I was ready to go to school. I spent another half a year in the closet. I then came out to my best friend on the bus. And that was my plot twist to the story everyone around me was trying to write. When people asked If I was gay I’d answer, “yes.”

People talk and soon everyone knew except my parents. I still haven’t come out to my parents because on the topic of the LGBT community, they say people who are gay have mental problems. Everyone that I came out to is supportive, and those who found out by word of mouth never seem to care.

So far my story is positive, but I haven’t gotten to the real plot yet, my parents. My parents are Christian, and so am I. As a Christian I believe that Jesus came and died for us. The laws the Bible states are laws that we decide whether or not it still applies to our today’s society. Such as the law stating that we can’t eat food that is “unclean” no longer applies today. I am ready to come out to parents, but they aren’t. I hope that one day, they’d let me write my story.