When did you choose to be straight?

    Once again I have been hearing about my "choice" to live the "gay lifestyle" so I thought I would spend a moment talking about when I "chose" to be gay.  I feel it is important that everyone know when I "chose" to be gay so that the straight people who read this would think about when they "chose" to be straight.
     I "chose" to be gay at age five.  I remember the day very well, it was my very first day of kindergarten.  There were two kindergarten teachers at Jefferson Elementary, one female and one male.  The classrooms were across the hall from each other.  My teacher was the female teacher.  On our first day of class, both of the kindergarten classes got together for an orientation about our new school and we got to meet the other teacher in our grade.  It was at that exact moment, the moment I first saw the male kindergarten teacher that I chose to be gay.  I felt the first pangs of a student to teacher crush.  He was tall, with brown hair and blue eyes and a smile that would melt the heart of any five year old.  Throughout the year I would go out of my way to see that teacher and I would secretly wish that I could grow up and we would be married.  I never told anyone about my feelings, I knew even then that no one would understand.  In fact, to be totally honest, even I didn't understand my feelings.  I just knew that I didn't like girls the way I liked boys.
     As I went through elementary school, my feelings did not change.  I knew that I had "chosen" to be gay and that was the way it was.  I was picked on because I wasn't like the other boys, I was bullied and made fun of, I got into fights and did not have a lot of friends and all because at age five, I "chose" to be gay. 
      In sixth grade sex education class, I learned a word for my feelings, homosexuality.  I learned that I might not be the only boy who had "chosen" to be gay.  I was happy yet afraid that someone would find out so I kept my feelings locked deep down inside of me.  I was alone and lonely all because at age five, I "chose" to be gay.
     In junior high, I continued to have feelings for boys but because I knew what was expected of me, I dated girls and even shared my first kiss with a girl.  (That didn't go well.)  And yet, I looked at the boys around me.  Was one of them feeling what I was feeling?  Was one of my male classmates a homosexual too?  And the bullying and feeling like an outcast  got worse, all because at age five, I "chose" to be gay.
     Senior high is supposed to be the best time of a young person's life.  For me, it was not.  I knew that I was different (gay) and I knew there had to be others but I felt so terribly alone.  Again, I dated and had a girlfriend.  We went to prom.  We had fun but then people started asking if we would be the "high school sweethearts" that grew up, got married, moved to the house with the white picket fence, had two children and lived happily ever after.  I knew that would never be my life because at age five I had "chosen" to be gay.
     In college I again dated women and we had fun but once again, I knew that I was not like most of the others I palled around with.  The only difference, the bullying decreased and I began to feel more like myself, the guy who at age five "chose" to be gay.
     Then, in 1986, I met the man who changed my life and my perception of my life.  I met the man that I eventually married.  That man and I eventually moved into the house with the white picket fence.  He is the man I chose to live the rest of my life with almost exactly 20 years after my first day in kindergarten, the day I "chose" to be gay.  He and I will grow old (and better) together.  Along the way he has helped me to finally realize that because at age five I "chose" to be gay, I made the choice to live my life openly and honestly.  Openly and honestly as a happy gay man!  And all because at age five, I "chose" to be gay.
     So the next time you hear someone say that gay people "choose" the "gay lifestyle", please feel free to correct them and say, "No, they choose to be honest".  And that is because you know someone who at age five "chose" to be gay.
  

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