HomeNewsCollege students express views on sexual preferences

College students express views on sexual preferences

In recent years, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has become more accepted into society. However, young adults who have non-traditional sexual preferences still have a hard time coming out to friends, family and peers. Angelica’s Story”There are not a lot of people that know that I am gay, however they are really shocked and surprised when they find out,” TJC student Anjelica said. “I do not wear a billboard or dress like the stereotypical gay girl.”Anjelica said she knew she was gay when she was 9 years old. “I thought girls were cute and attractive, just as how my friends would describe boys,” she said. “The first girl that I had intense feelings for, I met when I was 16. We dated for about a year and a half.”Between the time she was 9 and 16, Anjelica said she would investigate on the Internet why she was the way she was. “I was involved in church, I went to counseling and talked to teachers, family members and youth pastors,” she said. “They would tell me ‘don’t worry,’ it’s just a phase’ and ‘pray about it.’ A part of me wanted to believe them because it was acceptable in society to be straight while another part of me thought that I was not going to grow out of it. I tried to fix it.”When she was 14, Anjelica said she told her family that she was a bisexual. “I grew up in Ector, which is a really small town,” she said. “When I told them I was bisexual, it was hope for them that there’s a part of me that may like guys.”Over time, Anjelica said she tried to figure out if she was gay or bisexual.”For three weeks straight, I would sit in hallways, the cafeteria or anywhere on campus,” she said. “I tried so hard to find a guy who I thought was attractive and that I wouldn’t mind dating. It didn’t happen. But I found about 10-20 girls.” In September 2009, Anjelica said she came out to her family when she was 18. “My dad and uncle were very accepting and said they already knew,” she said. “My mom said that it was my decision and that she supports me and that she would never stop loving me. She said it like she was being supportive, but Anjelica said she also came out on Myspace and Facebook.”Everyone else would put their status as ‘straight’ or ‘seeking men,'” she said. “I would put that I am gay. And since it was a small town, word traveled in about a day.”Anjelica said a reason as to why she kept holding on the idea that she was a bisexual was to please everyone else.”When I said I was bi, if people did not accept all of me then they could at least accept part of me,” she said. “A lot of people, when they say they are bi, are just hanging on to a part of them that is ‘normal.'”

Alex’s StoryTJC student Alex said he came out when he was 15.”I knew when I was 13, but I could never tell my mother,” he said. “I was raised in a very large, Irish Catholic family.”Looking back, Alex said he knew he was ‘different’ when he was 4 years old. “I never liked girls more than just friends,” he said. “As a teenager, I was not attracted to hot teenage girls or celebrities. I was always attracted to the heartthrob male.”Alex said that when he did tell his mother, she did not have a confrontation.”I have a lot of male gay cousins and I’m the youngest,” he said. “So my mom knew they were gay before they even knew. She just tells me ‘don’t be gay in public or don’t act like you’re with him’ and I’m like ‘ok mom whatever.'”Alex said he has come to terms with the fact that he gets looks in public.”I’m me and I don’t really care what people think about me,” he said. “I’m pretty sure people at school do care about me being gay, but I’ve either grown to not notice it or not care.”Alex said the hardest part about being gay is not knowing who you are.”You have all of these thoughts and you’re still just experiencing everything,” he said. “You want to wait until the right time to come out but life is funny like that, and there is no ‘right time.’ It can only happen whenever you’re ready. Everyone has to come to terms with themselves.”Alex said ignorance is also a big problem facing the gay community.”People are not educated or accepting of gays and it may be fear,” he said. “We have a large group of gays on campus. They just hide it very well.”

Josh’s StoryTJC student Josh said he definitely does not hide the fact that he is bisexual.”If anyone asks me, I tell them that I am gay even though I am attractive to both sexes,” he said. “It just helps not to get into a deep explanation of the differences between being bisexual and gay.”Josh said he usually goes for a type of look when looking for a relationship with someone.”People are people to me,” he said. “I have preferences and a check list when dating just like everyone else.”Josh said his sexual preferences have caused a rift between him and his parents. “My family is not accepting of my lifestyle,” he said. “They think I’m going to go to Hell and that I am going to contract a disease and die. But I don’t care what they think anymore. I just do whatever makes me happy.”Josh said he used to try to convince his parents that he was straight.”I would bring home girlfriends,” he said. “When I was not dating a girl I would bring home a friend that was a girl and she would be my girlfriend while we were there. However, that didn’t really work for too long.”Josh said his parents would do whatever they could to turn his life around.”They would force me to read the Bible and force me to talk to pastors,” he said. “They even went through my closet and took my skinny jeans, vans and anything that had bright colors on it.”Josh said he has younger siblings and is sometimes frustrated when they receive more credit and attention.”I love my little sister and brother to death and I will do anything for them,” he said. “However I do get a little jealous when they constantly support them with their dreams, financial situations and put their pictures in photo frames and not give a s*** about me. But that’s life.”Aside from his parents, Josh said he also dealt with a lot of disapproval from his peers.”I was home schooled so I was usually outside or going places,” he said. “I remember one time when I was walking home a group of guys jumped me because I ‘looked’ gay. I think it partially had something to do with me being black because they were black. I guess they just thought I was an embarrassment.”After dealing with the abuse, Josh said a recent discovery in his parent’s room pushed him to a limit.”They sent me to their room to get something and I found a piece of paper in their side drawer,” he said. “On it, it said ‘Leah: Star Athlete, Michael: Accomplished Doctor, Josh: Failure.’ When I saw that I had so much hate and hurt in my heart knowing that I am the mistake and burden child.”Tired of the constant criticism, Josh said he has recently moved out of his parent’s home in order to start over.”I stay on whatever couch I can find,” he said. “I know that one day I will get out of Texas and hopefully become a recording artist. I want to make it on my own and be successful and also bisexual.”

CommunityDirector of Student Life and Involvement Vincent Nguyen said TJC could use a LGBT club on campus.”I don’t know if there is a safe place or haven for these students to go to,” he said. “Last year we had a student come to us because he wanted to create an organization for the gays. He had a lot of followings. There were six or seven people who wanted to back him up.” Nguyen said the problem with starting a LGBT club was that no one would be a sponsor for the organization.”Sponsors have to be a full-time faculty member,” he said. “Being a sponsor requires very little work. They just have to participate at every meeting, advise the group on school policies and procedures, reserve a room for their group’s activities and show their support outside of the classroom.”Although the idea of a LGBT club did not receive a sponsor, Nguyen said society has become a little more accepting. “I think the majority of the campus would be supportive of a LGBT club,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why Student Senate would not approve. We want to promote a vibrant student life just like we
promised. Gays should receive the same consideration.”Anjelica said she would love for a LGBT club to be accepted.”I would love to start one but I am kind of nervous plus I might lose my job,” she said. “We have a Hispanic and African American organization. The Deaf Connection club has different people with different stories but they are all connected through sign language.”In the meantime, Anjelica said she will continue to work on becoming a Sign Language interpreter and hopes to one day find someone she could spend the rest of her life with.”I’m not sure if I want to get married, but I know that I want to adopt,” she said. “However, I don’t understand why straight people could have five divorces and keep getting remarried while gay people can’t even get married once. We have to move to another state.”

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