I knew that being gay isn't anything to be ashamed of. So when I decided to come out to my family well, they didn't take it so well. Now that I am leaving for college, things are starting to get a little easier. My mom can now allow herself to hug me and tell me that she loves me. My sister, who never really had a problem with my sexual orientation, she hugged me and she wanted everything between us to stay the same. As for my father, he still wasn't too fond of the idea of having a gay son. But hey, I can't change his opinion about the LGBT community.
My name is Ryan Miller. I am 18 years old and I am on my way to a fresh start at college. I couldn't wait to leave home ever since I came out to my family when I was 15. At the time, I thought that I should come out just because I couldn't hold it in any longer. Boy was I wrong to come out then, or even at all. My sister, Ally, had no problem with me being gay. She said that she would love me no matter what. My mother, she had trouble at first, but now she came to accept my homosexuality. But my father, he doesn't want to speak of anything related to the word gay, or anything related to homosexuality. He doesn't accept me for being gay, all he sees me is someone who is straight.
I am so happy that I am actually leaving home. Sure, I'll be back for vacations during the school year, but to have that independence feels great. I am honestly happy to leave home. When I was younger, I thought it would be a sad time, you know, leaving home and all. But now after going through all of that sadness and hatred, it feels great to have a fresh start.
I am attending New York University. I am so excited to go to college in the city. I lived in the suburbs my whole life. I hope to finally get a chance to get a boyfriend or even get into a serious relationship. I hope to break out of my shell and finally have the guts to do something that I've never done before. I hope that I will finally be able to do what I want to do, instead of doing what other people want me to do. I want to do something that will make me happy, not something just to please others. So I hope that my new beginning will be a blank canvas for me to start making a masterpiece.
2. Leaving home.
Finally, it is time to leave home. I bring all of my bags that I have packed into my dad's old truck. My sister doesn't want to come because she will be too upset to see me leave.
"Ryan, I want you to know that I will always love you for who you are and I don't ever want you to change. You are practically my best friend and I know that you will make the decisions that make you happy. Please remember to stay safe! I will always be here if you want to chat! So text me a lot if you get the chance! I'm really going to miss you!"
"Ally, don't worry. I know. Thanks, that means a lot. I will definitely try to text you as much as I can. I love you! And I'll miss you a lot too! See ya." I said as I hugged her goodbye.
My mom and dad got into the car, and I hopped into the back seat next to one of my suitcases. We started to drive away and I looked out the back window and I saw my sister get smaller and smaller as we pulled away.
"Now honey, I know that you know to be safe in the city, but do you know how to? I don't want anything to happen to you! You hear me?" my mom said staring at me.
"Mom, I am going to stay safe. It is not like where I'm going to be isn't a safe place. NYU is a college and they'll have security guards. And plus its not like I'm…"
"Son, just be extra cautious. Okay?" my dad interrupted.
"Okay dad, I will."
"Honey please promise to call as much as you can. Email us to. I mean, we have email accounts and plus Ally is always texting too, so you can just send her a text message too. Please? Every so often will make me have a piece of mind and not worry so much." My mother said as she unbuckled her seat belt to let me off at the train.
"Mom I will call don't worry. I have everything under control." I said as I got out of the car.
We unloaded my suitcases and my school supplies and textbooks. I hugged my mom goodbye. My dad sat in the car. I nodded toward him. He nodded back slightly.
"Ryan, I want you to know, your father is proud of you for going to NYU but he just needs time to get used to the idea of you being gay. I mean it took me a while, but I've grown to love you for whatever you are. I love you Ryan! Please stay safe and call us everyday if you can." My mom said as we walked toward the train station. "I have to come with you and help you get situated at NYU. They need a few parental signatures."
"Mom? Really? Okay. Its fine." I said as we loaded my bags onto the bus's compartments underneath.
Trains, they never really did anything for me. Sure, a lot of young boys my age grew up with Thomas the tank engine. I used to have all of the toy trains. I used to love waking up each weekend and watch more Thomas videos. But traveling on trains, that's another story. My family we never really traveled for a long distance. The most we ever traveled to was the beach that is only 2 hours away. My friends and I went to the city and we took a train, but we got lost and it all ended badly. I wish I listened to my parents' advice for once in my life.
So anyways, we were lost in the city and we did not know how to use the subway maps. We called my parents and then we got onto the train as we headed back to our hometown but all of a sudden the train broke down and we had to get a cab. My parents were pretty mad. So that didn't help with the whole "we trust you and we are going to let you board at college" thing.
On the train, my mom is reading her book for learning to cook some "extravagant" dinner. She loves to cook but I honestly don't think that she needs to waste all of her time reading and reading about things that don't turn out as planned.
One time, she cooked some meal. I forget what it was called but all I remember is that it tasted pretty bad. But of course, being the oldest child and the one who was looked up to by my sister, I said that it tasted good. But I know lying didn't help either. But hey, it made her happy so I felt good.
I, myself on the other hand, was texting my friend Jake. My friend Jake didn't start school until a few weeks. He was going to some college in our area. We were pretty good friends.
Me: Hey Jake, how are you doing?
Jake: Hey man! I am just getting last minute stuff ready for school. I hope that you really enjoy NYU. It seems like such a great place to go to college. In the city and all. School for me will be sort of boring just being in suburban setting.
Me: Jake, at least you are still going to a good school. Some people in our grade aren't even going to college because 1. They weren't smart enough or 2. They had other obligations like they enlisted in the army or they felt like they needed to take some time off from school.
Jake: True, but I still wish we were going to the same school. I mean you and me are really tight! I don't want anything to change.
Me: don't worry Jake, it won't. I promise. I'll tell you when I am coming home for a break or something so we can hang. But I got to go because we're arriving at the station! Bye!
Jake: see ya man!
Jake and I are really close friends. I've known him practically my whole life. We used to be neighbors but he moved to another house since his parents got divorced and his mom couldn't afford the house right near mine. He still lives with in walking distance but it still isn't the same as being next-door neighbors. Last year, his father was killed in a car accident, so I try to be there for him as much as I can. He knows that I am gay, and he doesn't have any problem with it.
3. Train station
My mom and I walked out of the train with my luggage and school bags. The station was filled with tons of people. It was hard to keep track of where my mom was. My mom stopped every so often so that I could keep up.
"Okay, Ryan, I believe we go up these stairs and then once we get on the surface of the street, we will follow the signs that say NYU. And we will get there with in 10 minutes." My mom said as she read her very detailed notes.
"Okay mom. I'll just follow you for now." I said as my arms were breaking from the heavy suitcases. Who knew I would pack so much.
We got to the surface of the streets. Already, I know I am going to love the city. New York is one of my favorite places in the world. The sounds and sights were all overwhelming. Cars were crowding the streets. Sidewalks were filled with pedestrians and an occasional bicyclist or dog walker.
4. The School
Finally at the school, my mom got me all situated and walked me to my dorm. Room 208. I will share my room with one other person. Wonderful.
My mom helps me unpack my stuff and we put out my new comforter and pillowcase set that we bought at Target for college dorms. It's blue plaid kind of pattern. I like it. My Twin size bed is smaller than my bed at home, but I will be able to deal with it. The desk is actually nicer than I expected. It has a lamp and plugs so you can use your laptop on it. And it has a nice chair too. I also have a closet and an armoire to put all my clothes in. Oh, it also came with a dresser too.
After a few minutes of unpacking, my room mate comes in. His name is Wes Conner. He seems like a really cool person. His father comes in and helped him get situated.
"Hi, my name is Wes Conner. I am guessing you are my roommate? What is your name?" He said as he gestured for a handshake.
"I'm Ryan Miller, it's a pleasure to meet you." I said as I shook his hand.
He unpacked his belongings and I just waited as my mom and his father were having a conversation about our background and where we're from and all the fun stuff parents like to brag about.
"Ryan, I am going to be leaving now." My mom said as she came over to hug me. I got up to hug her. "I'm going to miss you Ryan, all of us are going to miss you a lot." She said as she hugged me trying not to cry.
"Mom, its okay I'll be home during vacations. And I'm pretty sure dad isn't going to be missing me all that much. He's probably happy I'm not home so he doesn't have to be reminded of what I really am." I said.
"Ryan, your dad will always love you. He may not show it, but he is really going to miss you. I know that it seems like he doesn't seem to care for what you are, or who you are, but he'll come around. I hope you just give him another chance." My mom said to me with determination.
My mom hugged me one last time and then she turned to the door. We both said goodbye and she walked out of sight. Wes and his father did the same.
Wes seems like he could be a good friend of mine. I don't know if I should tell him I am gay just because I don't know how he would respond. I want to tell him though. But who knows, Maybe I will just wait. Or maybe I'll bring it up casually in a conversation to get a feel on how his opinions are on the LGBT community.
"So Wes, where did you go to high school at?" I asked, breaking the awkward silence.
"I went to a high school in the Philadelphia area." Wes said as he was putting clothes into his drawers.
"Oh, what a coincidence. I went to school in Philly too. I am surprised we never saw each other before." I said shocked that we both went to school in the same area.
"Yeah. So do you do any sports? Wes asked.
"Yeah, I wrestle. " I said.
"Awesome, so do I." He said. He walked over to his suitcase and put it under his bed.
"I also swim during the summer, you know, on like a swim club team. I'm not the best one on the team, but it keeps me in shape." I said.
"Oh cool. Do you also do workouts and stuff to help you stay in shape for wrestling too?" He asked.
"Yeah, I still go to the gym and my coach has practice there every other day during the summer. But it definitely isn't as intense as it is during the school year. I mean, we don't compete or anything during the summer. We could, but we don't." I said as I got up to get my cell phone that was beeping from an incoming text message.
"Same here. I'm really surprised we haven't seen each other at all." Wes said as we walked to the bathroom to put his toiletries in it.
"Are you going to wrestle here at school?" I asked hoping he was.
"Yeah I am. What about you?" he asked.
"I am too. This will be nice." I said happily that he said he was going to wrestle too.
"Nice, well Ryan, I have to go to the office to pick up some schedules and other crap, do you want to come? I mean, you don't have to, but if you wanted to you could come." He asked.
"Sure." I said. I got up and we both walked out of the dorm room.
"Hi. I'm Wes Conner. I was wondering if I could pick up my schedule and other forms?" Wes said politely to the receptionist.
"Sure, give me one minute." The receptionist said as she got up to go into the back room to retrieve the forms.
I mean I know that I just knew Wes for a short period of time, but he's starting to grow on me. I think I might actually like him, but how would I ask him if he was gay? Or how he viewed homosexuality. Maybe if I brought it up casually, it will help him come out to me. And I would come out to him too. I really like him, and I don't want this to end badly.
Wes got his forms and I got mine a minute later. After we left, we walked to the cafeteria. It was filled with a lot of people who were probably freshmen too. I felt awkward because they kept staring at me and I don't like the feeling of people staring at me. I mean, could they tell I was gay? I mean if they could, why would it matter if I'm gay? I mean, is it not okay for someone to be gay, then they should just reexamine the situation. Gays are okay.
We both got salads for lunch. We sat down at a table near a vending machine.
"So Wes, tell me more about yourself? Your family, hobbies, anything?" I said starting a conversation.
"Well my father and my mother got divorced when I was young around the age of 7, but I still see them all the time. They are still friends, just they didn't feel like being married or anything. It was a healthy relationship but just not at the level of marriage. I have a younger brother named Logan. He is 14 and he is a freshman in High School. My brother and I are both at either my mom's house for a week or my dad's house. It's cool though because they live semi close to each other." Wes explained. "But I mean, of course every kid wants to have both parents living together under one roof, but I think if you have both you're lucky. I have so many friends who lost at least one parent. It's a sad thing."
"I know what you mean. I'm happy that I have both of my parents. Even tbough my relationship with my dad isn't very good. But that is for another day." I said. "My mom and I are close and so is my sister. But for my dad he and I don't really get along anymore. He somewhat in a way "disowned" me. If you get what I'm saying." I explained.
"Oh, I kind of get what you are saying. Did you do something bad? I mean, it must be something to make your father disown you." Wes asked curiously.
"Um, do you mind if we talk about it another time, I don't feel like bursting my bubble. I'm already so happy and talking about it would make me sad. So I promise I will tell you soon." I said hoping he wouldn't get mad.
"Ryan, its totally okay. I mean, I know it has to be something personal. I respect that. Don't worry at all. Tell me when you are comfortable." Wes said as we started walking back to our room.
"Thanks man, I appreciate it." I said.
The morning will come and it will be a start of a new beginning.