Man Up


Dear Readers,

The boys in my gym class started teasing me, calling me a sissy, a homo, gay, and even occasionally a faggot. I was last to be picked for kickball, second only to the kid with a learning disability. At the YMCA, where my class would go each week for swim class, I was swatted and hit with wet towels in the locker room, while trying to shield my naked body and put on my dry clothes. From then on, I dreaded going to school, my grades slowly started to suffer, and I started gaining weight. I became a “fat kid” almost overnight. I found comfort in the junk foods I consumed on a daily basis. My attitude started to change too. No longer did good grades come easily, instead I got irritated with my homework and aggravated with my family. Often I wondered what I had done that was so terrible to cause this much pain.

Sincerely, The Open Closet


PS. THIS IS JUST AN EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK: “The Open Closet: Letters From A Gay Man” (Available on AMAZON & KINDLE)

If you enjoyed reading this letter and would like to read more, please consider purchasing a copy and help spread awareness of issues  plaguing the LGBT community.



10 thoughts on “Man Up

  1. Ah, the dreaded ‘what are the requirements to be a man’ question. You have read my blog, so you know that I have, and still do at times, struggle with this issue. Middle school for me was the height of my being teased, so I can relate. Isn’t it disgusting how children are taught to talk to each other? To me, you sound like you were strong, interesting and talented, even while you dealt with those rough later years. Good for you for getting through it.

    1. Thanks Adam! It was a pretty tough time, but, I guess it helped prepare me for the road ahead. If it weren’t for the friends I made in the arts programs, I might not have. That is why I am always fighting for the arts programs to stay in schools, when educators deem the arts unrelated to the success and performance of their students! I appreciate you reading and sharing!

      1. I hope you do not mind that I mentioned your blog in my newest post. I have just really enjoyed your words and I think you deserve the shout out. Let me know if it makes you uncomfortable in any way.

      2. No problem Adam! I appreciate you thinking of me, and also helping to spread the word on this issue. “Coming out” as you know, is tougher than most people realize and it effects more than ourselves. I am greatly enjoying reading your blogs as well, and I hope I am able to return the favor in future! Best wishes!

  2. I found your blog via Adam, who simply seems like the kind of guy I trust … well, it was a great introduction, because you write with grace and fluidity. I love it. I owe Adam big time for pointing me in your direction!

  3. I rather dislike the term “Man up” because of what some people mean by it. You again have written a very thoughtful piece. I transferred high schools to one that had drama and from then on I did many community shows and made life long friends. I did not know at the time that such a change would also change the path of my life.

    1. It is funny how connected people can be, even unintentionally. I believe paths cross for a reason, and with each person I meet, I can gain some life experience or lesson that I will always carry with me. Thank you Rich for reading and sharing.

  4. I didn’t know about your childhood experiences with school or your parents. You will gain so much wisdom and clarity through this. It’s a very positive and heart warming thing you’re doing; opening yourself up like this.

    1. Thank you Aubrey—I am learning a lot about myself, and others in the process. And in trying to let go of the past, I am finding a renewed strength and optimism for the future! Thank you for reading and sharing!

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