Hey, my name is Daniel, and I am 15 years old. This is a story of how I handled bullying.
I was bullied from about 4th grade through 8th grade. You know, the normal making fun of my appearance, the way I act, or just anything that would demolish my self-esteem. I handled elementary school okay, but when I entered my new Christian middle school, the harassment peaked.
I knew I was gay, but I didn’t know whether to come out or not. The people at the school decided to come out for me and labeled me as gay. I was basically out-casted. I ate lunch in the bathroom and avoided contact with my fellow students as much as possible. They, however, started to shove me around and even called me a faggot. The teachers were around, but they pretended not to hear.
I was fine dealing with this harassment, but one day, when I went to our mandatory church service during school, I couldn’t take it anymore. The church service was going fine until the pastor started talking about how wrong being gay is and how it goes against God’s will. The pastor heard some of the kids calling me a faggot the day before, and I knew this service was directed at me. As the pastor continued his sermon, the kids started whispering and looking at me. At one point, everybody turned to look at me, even the pastor, and gave me foul looks. Then, I burst out of the room and ran to the office to call my mother.
I changed schools, but it still didn’t get better. These kids were unfortunately friends with the people from the other school, and they were also told that I was gay. I had very similar experiences at this school. They tried to get under my skin by calling me names, shoving me around and even throwing large rocks at me. I just decided to not acknowledge their hate anymore and started to find joy in books, swimming and volunteering, which are all passions of mine.
When I graduated, I got ready to attend the high school where I am happily at right now. It is unfortunately in another city than where I actually live because I just wanted a fresh start. Dealing with my depression from all the bullying was hard, but with the help of my mom and some counseling, I started to feel much better. I began to make some new friends and saw a major improvement in my grades at this new school.
I am not ready to come out to my new friends yet, but I hope to build up enough strength to do this. As I get older, I feel more comfortable with myself. Being gay is just a small part of who I am. I’m also a smart, athletic, caring guy who just wants to be loved and accepted.