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Born This Way

Derinn Wallace - Glenwood High School
Randy Eccles
WUIS/Illinois Issues



Everyone is scared of something. Whether it is spiders, clowns, black holes, or something else, we all have a fear in life. One fear that many people share is a fear of homosexuality, or homophobia. Like many other fears, though, this fear can be conquered. All it takes to overcome homophobia is an open mind and a little education. That education starts here. This I believe: homosexuality is not a choice, and being gay does not change who a person is.

There is no reason to be afraid of someone simply for being who they are.

I have always known I was different. Ever since I can remember, I have looked up to and been fascinated with girls. I knew that my crushes on girls were not supposed to happen, based on what I knew about societal norms and families. A family was supposed to have a mom and a dad, not two moms. And I never saw two girls on television kissing, but there were always girls kissing boys. While I knew I was not supposed to be attracted to breasts, I just could not seem to shake my obsession with all things female. As a child, I remember wanting to be a boy simply because I thought I was supposed to be one to have these feelings. I am one hundred percent, categorically certain that I was born with the feelings I have toward women. No matter what happened in my life, I would have been gay. The differing circumstances would arise only in whether or not I was comfortable enough to come out to my family and friends at seventeen years young. I am also absolutely positive that I am the same person I have always been, although some do not see me that way. Being gay does not change my outgoing personality, sense of humor, kindness, or other very appealing qualities that make me who I am; it only changes how people see me. Being gay is simply a way to label me, not define me. I am the same person I was before I told everyone in my life about my sexual preference. Now, they just know one more thing about me.


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I did not choose to be gay, and it does not change me as a person. The only thing that changes is how people see me. There is no reason to be afraid of something that cannot be helped or changed. There is no reason to be afraid of someone simply for being who they are. There is no reason to be afraid of something as natural as love. This I believe.


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