Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outspoken: Gabriel Leitner

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outspoken: Gabriel Leitner

Article excerpt

For years, I lied to those I cared for the most. I could not bring myself to tell them what I perceived to be the horrible truth.

I always knew I was different. I didn't act like the boys I grew up with. My brothers were typical all-Americans. I, on the other hand, felt much more comfortable around females, doing the things that they did. For me, normalcy was playing dress-up in my motheKs clothes.

As I grew up I was berated and called names like "faggot," "queer," or "sissy." It hurt, but I internalized the pain. I became somewhat of a bully. I believed that if someone felt as bad as I did, then that would make it better.

This was one of the most confusing times in my life, and it only got worse. Puberty hit, and it got harder to be around other boys, especially the ones to whom I was attracted. I withdrew deeper into myself, so afraid of disappointing those I cared for and of not being accepted.

After some time I did what any normal teenager would do--I rebelled. …

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