To Be a Young Gay Kid

Thank you for this, Dave Holmes.

To be a young gay kid is to work around the clock. You start to feel feelings and you immediately get to work telling yourself that you're not feeling them, or that they're a phase, or that they're motivated by some part of you that's not the real you—a curiosity that's spun out of control, a sickness, a demon, if you're religiously inclined.

And the work never ends. The foreman never rings the dodo bird, you do not slide down the tail of the dinosaur, you never get to shout "Yabba-dabba-doo." You work and you never stop working and you never tell anyone, even yourself, that you're working.

You develop crushes, but you don't recognize them as crushes. You just find yourself drawn to that boy who talks and walks and yawns/coughs/laughs like he's never had to think about how to. You think about him all the time. You want to be him and you want to be with him, but you immediately tell yourself that you don't. You feel love and then you feel shame for feeling love. You pretend none of this is going on, because if anyone suspects that something is wrong, they might figure out exactly what is wrong, and then it's all over. So you push it down. You push it down and you smile, but not too much, because, again, smiling's pretty gay.

You put yourself through this process over and over, in the years when you are learning how to be a human being, and you get so good at it that it becomes involuntary. It's like a computer process, and like computers, you're getting faster and more efficient. You get so good and so quick that after a while you don't even notice yourself doing it.