During May of this year, junior Ian Curry’s mother was the first to find out he’s gay.
Curry said he was extremely nervous when he told her.
“[I was nervous] not because she was against it, but because I had never admitted it to anyone,” he said.
When Curry’s friends, other family members and peers began to find out, he said they treated him better than they had before, and he wishes he would have come out earlier because of it.
“I would’ve been hurt a lot less,” he said. “People stopped whispering about me being gay and instead were happy for me. It was weird.”
Curry said there was one person in particular who helped him accept his sexuality.
“A friend helped me,” he said. “I saw how happy he was with being out, and it helped me realize things about myself. But I think I only came out because I was ready, and I accepted it.”
Curry said it upsets him to hear that others usually feel nervous when telling their loved ones they’re gay.
“It makes me sad, especially because the main reason most people don’t come out is because their parents aren’t OK with it,” he said. “They go through all this suffering because of the people who are supposed to be their caretakers. It’s awful.”
Curry said giving advice to those who are considering coming out isn’t easy or consistent because it depends on the person.
“I always recommend coming out to a friend or someone you know [who] will love you no matter what,” he said. “If you are super comfortable with yourself and being gay, coming out will be the best thing ever. If you still are nervous and unsure about your sexuality, it is always smart to get help from those you trust, and hopefully those people are your family.”
Curry said society often categorizes everyone who is gay into the same group.
“A common misconception would have to be that gay guys are all the same — super flaming, hair done, stuff like that,” he said. “Really, we are just like every other guy. There are gay guys I know that people would assume are straight just by looking at them. There are so many different kinds of gay people that we can’t always be grouped into a category. Just because we are gay doesn’t mean it changes our personality.”
When people use gay slurs, Curry said whether or not he takes it offensively depends on the context.
“[The words] don’t really bother me, but if someone is using them hurtfully toward me or others, it does,” he said.
Curry said he thinks homophobes are usually flawed in their reasoning.
“Most people seem to be homophobic just because they don’t understand how it works and how anyone could ever be ‘not straight,’” he said. “Now, everyone has a right to their opinion, but just because a book made way too many years ago said it was wrong doesn’t mean it can apply to this time.”
As far as the possibility of eventually getting married to another male goes, Curry said he’s not too concerned, but anti-gay policies still upset him.
“I feel like the [United States] looks at me as less of a person than a straight one,” he said.
However, overall, Curry said coming out has only brought good things.
“I love it,” he said. “My quality of life since I came out improved 110 percent. I have so many loving friends, and I know how much I get supported. It’s just amazing.”