When you’re 13 and deep down you know you’re gay, life can be pretty tricky.
Britain in 2009 in a small town at the heart of Yorkshire, could probably make any young LGBT kid feel like they’re suffocating in loneliness and fear of what the future may bring.
So when anyone shows an interest in you it’s nice, almost an escape from isolation. A 27-year-old teacher showing a bit too much interest in a shy, closeted, 13-year-old on the other hand, not as nice.
He took my mobile number from the school system and started asking how I was, after a few weeks it’d be, ‘need a lift home tonight?’. To me, back then I didn’t think about the dangers of this. Not from being misguided just because I thought he was a friend. My grades in his class were far from amazing, I didn’t show much interest or potential.
However, one sunny summers day- I got home and my mum hugged me and told me how proud she was that I’d been picked to go to an after-school club to develop my skills further.
After attending the said club, I knew something was up, he suspected it too.
‘Hey, you were quiet today, are you okay handsome? xx’.
After a long and in-depth conversation about how I felt towards other guys and that I actually don’t really like girls. My teacher told me he was attracted to me and had been for some time. When I didn’t reply – because I was asleep- I woke up to a stream of texts onto my little Walkman phone.
‘I don’t want to do anything with you though because it’s too risky’ to the ‘are you there?’.
He advised me I should destroy my sim-card because if I were his friend I wouldn’t want him to get into any trouble and he had a lot on at the minute because his wife just had a miscarriage. So if I told anyone I’d ruin his life. I was on Summer break at this point and I threw my sim-card into the drain outside my house. That was that I could go back to the safety of my isolation. He wasn’t at school when the new term started.
After bottling up all these feelings and the effects its had on my mental health, I looked for help from my university in 2016. I was astounded by the first comment I got after putting my feelings on the table and talking about the effect it had on me after nearly 6 years of inner turmoil.
‘So, do you think that’s what made you gay?’ she asked.
After I clarified that in fact no, I’ve always been gay. She went on to clarify that he didn’t physically abuse me. After I made it clear that I didn’t have a sexual abuse claim she was very disinterested and told me to reflect on it some more, or look into other help. I left University a month later and decided to focus on a career and pursue Journalism without a Degree.
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Words by Harry J Nettleton
Boy Blue Web is a new opinion website brought to you by 21-year-old ex-Journalism student and Leeds resident Harry J Nettleton. Harry is passionate about the LGBT community, check out more of his blog, thoughts and opinions on life right HERE!