By the time I was in 7th and 8th grade, I knew the secret I was keeping. But I tried the best I could to never let that out of the deepest darkest corners of myself. I remember playing along with the other kids making fun of gays. I guess I figured if I could make fun of gays, I could learn to hate them... and then I would be cured. It was stupid logic. It only made me hate myself all the more. It wasn't that I was making fun of any kids, we just talked about the idea of being gay as such a negative thing.
I soon found myself staying as far away from anything "gay" as I could. I didn't want to have any ties whatsoever to the word. I developed a real phobia of being touched in any way, and kept boys in general at a safe distance. I didn't want any of my interactions with them to be mistaken as flirtatious or otherwise gay. Little did I realize that by keeping my distance from guys and my continued friendships with girls probably made me more likely to seem gay.
I enjoyed High School for the most part. I was in AP classes and did well in school and had a really good group of friends (primarily girls). I wasn't interested in dating at all. It wasn't until junior year when the first prom was around the corner that I felt I had to even go on a date. Everyone knows that Prom is an essential part of the high school experience, and I didn't want to regret not going. So I asked a friend of mine to prom. A year later she came out as a lesbian. No, I didn't turn her gay... rude. At the time we were both trying to fit into social norms even though it was so against our natures. We just didn't know that the other person was going through the same inner battle.
Senior prom came and I took another good friend of mine. When you have trained yourself to hate touch, events like prom don't go so well. She was a pretty girl, and sporty. We were really good friends, and since I had never really felt what a crush was like, I mistook feelings of friendship for a crush. I wanted to have a crush so bad. I wanted to prove to myself and others that I was a normal, heterosexual guy. Well, needless to say, that flopped.
In the meantime, my feelings of shame and the need I felt to put out a facade began to isolate me. I found other ways to feed the part of me that was so evil. Ways that the world wouldn't be able to detect. In high school, I began looking at porn. I was not at all interested in looking at girls. Instead I discovered images of guys... which led to gay porn.
I would try my best to stop. It wasn't that it was taking over my life, but I knew it was bad and that I needed to stop. But when it is your only outlet as a closeted gay kid (who still wouldn't accept that he was gay), it becomes very difficult. Soon though, I had a mission to prepare for and I knew I had to clean my act up. So I did the best I could to do that during my first year at a local college as I read scriptures, prayed, and really sought out religion in my life. Soon, the day came where my mission call arrived in the mail.