Being yourself is not always as easy as it seems. For some teenagers the most difficult years are high school. Students find themselves coming into who they are and getting comfortable to the person they want to be. For this teenager his life has revolved around writing stories of who he wished he were and how he wished people saw him. With his father as his hero he knows what he wants to be, a hero. But when his personal writings are posted all over social media, he decides to own his truth. He has been outed as gay and he is going to be exactly who he is. What he doesn’t expect is for the most popular girl in school to now see him as interesting enough to be a part of her group, and so the rollercoaster ride begins. He is finally accepted by all, admired by many and some are even jealous of him. All the things he wanted, by coming out he now has. Eventually, his dad asks him what has happened to all of his stories? This forces him to reflect. Who is he really? And if this person he thinks he is isn’t a representation of his father, is this who he really wants to be? He then asks the popular girl why she chose him and she is honest. Because she needed a gay accessory. This shakes him. It also makes him realize that he is more than that. Does he go back to being the person that he used to be and walk away from the popularity or does he continue to pretend for the sake of everyone looking up to him? This is a story that affects many teenagers because being honest about who they are is sometime a struggle they are not ready for.
I just got my first short story published in the school newspaper. It was about a father and son going on a fishing trip and the father falls out of the boat, but he can’t swim. The son jumps in and saves father, making him an instant hero. My journalism teacher asked me if that story had happened to me and I told her that it had not, but I wished that it had. Not so much that I wished I had saved my father’s life as much as I wished someone, anyone would see me as a hero. There’s something about people looking up to you like you’re someone special, like you matter more than anything else in the world. That’s how I look up to my father and that’s why I wanted to write the story. If ever there was someone who is a hero, it’s my dad. I don’t think I’ll ever be as amazing as him but at least through my stories that part of me can live. I know that sounds silly, but that’s just me, a closeted gay teenage kid... just dreaming.