"John" VS "Gay John"

I’m going to start this article with my favorite quote “Through Others; we become ourselves” - Marina Diamandis.

I relate to this quote for many reasons, the most important one being when I was growing up I kept trying to figure out who I was. I tried being like my parents, my teachers, my friends, tv show characters, etc. and as I grew older, I picked the bits and pieces I liked and molded who I am today. Of course, I had a few bumps here and there where I lost myself especially during my high school career, I was trying to come to terms with my sexuality and for a while, I couldn’t. Not because I was depressed or couldn’t accept the fact that I liked guys, but more because of the stereotypes there were with being gay. They had to be flamboyant, they had to be dressed a certain way, couldn’t play sports, etc. So I knew that the moment I came out everyone would start seeing me as only “gay.” So when I was starting to come out, I struggled with it because I wanted people to see me for who I was and not just for my sexuality. Some of my friends didn’t understand this and still don’t, to be honest. At the time they would go ahead and out me because they said it isn’t that hard and I hated it. My theories were right, and no one saw me as “John” anymore. I went from being the best friend to the gay best friend, and I couldn’t act a certain way or do certain things because people would say “that’s not what gay guys do” or “you do that cause you’re gay huh.” I felt like I couldn’t be me because the things I liked, or wear things I wanted to because it all went back to me being gay. Couples would use me to get the other one jealous and would touch me, hug me, and kiss me because I wasn’t a person but an object now and I guess a game in their relationship. When I would watch movies, every person who was gay had the same stereotype. They all dressed the same, acted the same, and only cared about sex. After a while, I had become everything they thought of me to be and stopped caring because I thought that’s what being gay was all about. I became the stereotypes that were presented to me, and I hated myself for it. The only thing I didn’t fall into was the sexual lifestyle because I promised myself I would wait until I was married. After high school graduation, I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again and that in college I would be myself, and no one would take that way from me, but it got worse. 

During my first year, everyone said I screamed gay. I guess they could tell from the way I dressed and my mannerisms were, Or maybe it was the fact that I had a boyfriend that gave it away. I tried hard not to let the stereotypes get to my head this time around, but they did anyway and affected me in many different ways. I started to wear things that I felt uncomfortable in only because I wanted to be what everyone else said I was. I hit my lowest point when I lost my virginity. Of course, I missed it to someone I loved at the time, but my thought process wasn’t something I’m proud of. I don’t speak much on what happened that night because I’m a little embarrassed, but I let the idea of having to be sexual to be gay get to my head. Now I regret it, almost every single day, especially since my boyfriend at the time broke up with me about a week later. After we broke up, I started having more sexual encounters with guys, and I began to realize that the stereotypes were even being given to me by my community. I was labeled as a twink (A young gay guy who has a slim body and little to no body hair) because of the way I “acted.” I didn’t even know what a twink was, but it was whom I was supposed to be. When guys started figuring out that I had hairy legs and arms they were shocked because I wasn’t the twink they expected me to be and treated me horribly because of it. I started to hate myself because I wasn’t happy with myself and I wasn’t making others happy either. I say the two most important parts to me realize I wanted to change was losing my virginity to my boyfriend, and feeling like I wasn’t accepted within my community. I started seeing a therapist after all of that because I was despondent and didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t diagnosed with depression, but there was something wrong. After a few meetings, my therapist and I found out I had been feeling misplaced with myself and with the world. I went to therapy once a week for two years. At first, I was a little embarrassed to tell anyone because I didn’t want people to think of me a certain way but after a while, I stopped caring and embraced that I was seeking help. During the two years, I learned the most about myself and how the people in the past and my relationships with boyfriends, friends, and family are what led me to this unhappiness. With her help, I was able to see how everyone made me feel so disconnected and how none of it was my fault. She also introduced me to a theory that my friend Janelle also told me about. It’s the idea that when people come out unconsciously, they fall into the stereotypes even though that’s not them at all because of what they see or have heard of what the lifestyle is like. It took me a while to fully understand who I was and how I wanted to be seen by the world.

Now I would not say that I’m gay. No, I’m not saying that I’m undoing my sexuality, but the stereotypes that I fell into weren’t just me, and I want people to stop seeing me in that way. If a question about my sexuality comes up, I say “I like guys” and move on with the conversation. My closest friends have accepted this as well and try not to use the word around me as often because it can be a little triggering at times. Although, I have made progress and people are starting to see me more as “John” than “Gay John” I still struggle with how people perceive me because I like men, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the things I do. I started learning K-Pop dances, and somehow that has helped me with understanding myself. When I perform these dances I don’t worry about what others will think of me; I don’t worry about how I’m seen, all I can think about is how happy I am doing something that finally feels like John.

(Inserting a video once it is recorded)

 

Until next time fans,

XOXO,

John Ceja (Blair Waldorf)