In response to: “Releasing the weight of secrets,” Oct. 15:
Secrets come from a lack of trust that others will accept you and provoke anxiety. For most of my 21 years of life, I have kept the secret that someone in my family was gay. I still tiptoe around certain conversations like when I was 12 at a birthday party.
I am not encouraging you to give up your beliefs to accept the inclusion of all people. My purpose is simply to share part of the story many people hold as secret. Just like most of us, my childhood memories revolve around family. It has been hard growing up with the anxiety that secrets entail, especially when talking with others. It is second nature to exclude or change parts of my childhood stories to bypass judgement. I understand it is one’s decision to withhold parts of themselves or their families; however, when I do feel comfortable enough to share, I am usually still left unheard.
There are a lot of us who hide our relationships with people like friends, co-workers, parents and siblings whose sexuality is controversial. Does having these relationships mean we also hold their same values and beliefs? I know am still wrestling with certain aspects of my beliefs even though I have people I love who are gay.
Those of us who have someone close to us who is gay have the responsibility of sharing experiences to help those who do not have these experiences, with hope they can limit assumptions.