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  • I was born in china in May of 1996. Nine months later I was adopted by my two dads and moved to Seattle. My parents got married a few years later.
    For kindergarten and first grade I went to a private school near Capitol Hill. As is expected of Capitol Hill, most of the parents were borderline hippies. These borderline hippies raised borderline hippie children who became my classmates. All the students, including myself, were raised to be very open and free and loving. This then led to the students to be very sexually curious and active. Basically my kindergarten class was an orgy for five year olds.
    My first sexual experience with a girl was at a playdate with one of my friends. We played on her slide and swing set for a while and had dinner and then went to bed. Now at this age parents usually don't mind co Ed sleepovers so we slept in the same bed. We did the whole "I’ll show you mine if you show me yours" and did some kissing. Afterwards we both said "cool."
    My first sexual experience with a boy was that same year at another playdate. We made a blanket fort and hid inside. We did the whole "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" and did some kissing. Afterwards we both said "cool".
    I didn’t really understand the whole concept of sexual orientation until I was much older mostly because growing up I was surrounded by both gay and straight people so I never really noticed a difference. It also helped that I went to a school for mini hippies.
    I moved to Mercer Island at the end of first grade. Another family moved up the street at the same time and I became good friends with their son. It was in second grade that I started to have "crushes". But keep in mind that these were second grade crushes so basically if someone was nice to me I had a crush on them. My friend and I would talk about all the people we had crushes on and I had more crushes on boys and he had more crushes on girls. Me, desperate to fit in, made up some crushes on the popular girls. But I still didn't really put anything together.
    By third grade I had narrowed down my list of crushes to one person. I wrote his name on my wall, but then covered it with a sticker immediately. I stopped telling my friend about my crushes and simply said I didn't like anyone. He continued to tell me about all the girls he liked.
    In august of the summer before senior year, I had my first kiss. It was also the first time I had sex. I finished my session with my college planning consultant and didn't want to go home so I went to see a movie. I saw The Way Way Back. After the movie I was in this weird haze. I was happy, sad, confused, nostalgic, excited, and tired at the same time. On my way home I downloaded Grindr. The PG description of Grindr is that it is an app on which gay people can chat with each other. After uploading my best selfie and writing a coy about me section i started chatting with guys.
    I met one guy who lived a couple of miles away and we decided to meet up. So I snuck out for the first time in my life and met him at the park and ride. We then drove to the Luther Burbank parking lot and fooled around a bit. Then we went to his house and had sex. Then he drove me back to the park and ride and I walked home. On my way home it started to rain so it was very dramatic. Once I was home i deleted Grindr. He never told me his name and I never told him mine.
    After that I told myself I was bi. I did this because I didn't want to be gay. I didn't want to be gay because most people assumed I was gay and it bothered me that people seemed to know me better than I knew my self. I didn't want to be gay because of the assumptions people would make about me. I didn't want to be gay because I didn't want to stand out. I didn't want to be gay because I didn't want to be the gay son of the gay dads. I didn't want to be gay because I didn't want to be like my parents. I didn't want to be gay because my grandparents already had to deal with their son coming out, and they had always secretly hoped that I would turn out straight.
    I didn't tell anyone about the grindr guy until December. My friend had driven me home from rehearsal and we were parked outside my house. She was talking to me about a guy she had met but felt weird talking to me about it. So I told her the whole story. Afterwards I swore her to secrecy and that was that. It turns out that she told one of my other friends, but I didn't find out about that until after I told the other friend anyways.
    From December on I went through phases of downloading grindr and then deleting it to downloading it again, but I never met up with any of the guys I chatted with. Then the night before the Superbowl parade, I met a guy. It started out the same, just chatting until we decided to meet up. He met me at the park and ride and then we drove to his house. This was the first time that I ever experimented with "adult substances". At the time I was being a horny, impulsive, and stupid teenager so I didn’t question it when he offered me something, despite all of my DARE training. I had also never really heard of any drug related experiences other than pot so I never put together how dangerous other drugs could be. Then fast forward a couple of hours and he drove me home.
    Once I was home I started texting one of my friends. I knew that I had to tell someone and she was probably my most experienced friend. So I told her everything, from the grindr guy to the drug guy. (These are the names I gave them). She was understandably worried about me but was super supportive about everything else. I couldn’t sleep so we kept texting until she literally fell asleep mid text.
    The next morning my main friend group picked me up to go to the parade. I had hinted to them over text that I had to talk to them about something in person so they were kind of freaking out. It was super awkward since we had to go pick up two other people who I did not want to talk to about this so I had to do a speed through version of coming out. However I had already told one of them I was gay, she told another, and then the third friend just assumed. So once I got through the whole gay thing I told them about the previous night. Thus started the lectures. Thankfully we picked up the other people so the lectures were put on hold but they kept giving me worried glances like I was going to go crazy and belonged in an asylum.
    The night of the parade I told my gay parents I was gay, and told them about the drugs. I left out the part about Grindr and the guy’s age though since parents can only handle so much. Obviously they were supportive about me being gay. In fact I think that they had always hoped that my brother and I would be gay. So they are half way there. They were not supportive about the drugs. They gave me the same lecture that my friends gave me except that my friends, mostly being theatre kids, were much better at monologuing. They gave me the whole sex talk, except the gay version which they were much more comfortable talking about. And then I went to bed.
    Over the next couple of months I would meet a few guys but steered clear of drugs. My friends were very scared that I would get kidnapped and murdered so they wanted me to carry pepper spray with me at all times. I was not going to do this however, so we developed a system in which I had to tell them where I was going and when as well as tell text them as soon as I got home.
    I hung out with the drug guy one more time, yet again being a horny, impulsive, and stupid teenager. I got the same lectures from my friends but I already knew everything that they were telling me. Also some people found out and started telling other people, as high schoolers do, so I knew it was time to stop. I not only deleted my grindr app, but I also deleted my account. Ever since then I have been drug and anonymous sex free.
    Recently I have become obsessed with some gay you tubers and I have watched a lot of coming out videos. They sort of inspired me to do this video since a lot of them have really helps me.
    Every coming out story is different, but maybe mine is similar to someone else's. I am not exactly a very good or nice person, but if my story could somehow help someone out there then I figure that I might as well tell it. I learned a lot about myself in the past nine months and most of that was by myself. So hopefully someone will find my story helpful; whether it be a cautionary tale, a story of hope, or simply educational. But do know that our community spans religions, genders, age, social and economic standings, and race. There are people out there for you.
    I made a lot mistakes in discovering myself, but I wouldn't have it any other way. My mistakes helped me discover myself: the good and the bad, the gay and the gayer, and the past, present, and future me. I hope that you mess up just as much as I did.
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