I am 17 years old and have no doubt that I am gay. Ever since I can remember, males have appealed to me. I check guys out, I think about guys when I masturbate, and I dream about guys. I like the opposite sex and admire them; I admire them for their beauty or because I respect them. However, the opposite sex does not appeal to me sexually whatsoever.  Not many people know that I am gay.( I'm out to only my best matem and a platonic girlfriend of mine) As far as I'm concerned, you can't tell that I am gay by the way I walk, talk, or act.  Noboby else knows I'm gay, and it would be an absolute shock to most people who know me.

Now that you know a little about me, I first want to tell you that I did not choose to be gay. Do you really think that when a boy is 13 or 14, he decides to be gay? You're wrong. Ask yourself: Why would somebody choose to sacrifice a wife and a family -- and all the other things heterosexual people have -- to have sex with a member of the same sex? I did not mean to be like this.

Do you have any idea what goes through a gay person's mind? Every day and every night, I go to bed knowing that my father ( who happens to be rather conservative) is extremely anti-gay would be absolutely crushed, my grandpa would probably turn in his grave if he ever found out,  my mother would feel awkward around me, and some friends of mine would shoot me if I were to reveal that I am gay. Not only that, I have a strong faith in God -- but I am confused. If God created me as a unique individual, how can He condemn me for being gay?

I am tired of listening to straight people who are paranoid about gays. If you are in the shower bending over to pick up your soap, do you really think a gay person is going to try anything? Not all, but most, people who are gay aren't going to let the whole locker-room know they are gay and therefore get the crap beat out of them by everybody who is in there. Don't worry about a gay guy being behind you. If we wanted to stick our penises up something, don't you think we'd choose women? I hope some of you see what I am getting at now.

I will conclude by stressing to you that I did not choose to be gay, but I cannot change what I am, so I must accept myself.  I am very proud to be gay but I don't go around telling the world that I am gay. I see no point in doing that.  I want to love somebody, and I want to be loved just like all heterosexual people. To stress that more, I have a sexual drive as strong as any heterosexual person, but in a different way; a way I cannot explain. I personally do not see what heterosexual people find so appealing about the opposite sex -- but if I had been born heterosexual, I probably would know, and I am sure if you heterosexual people were born homosexual, you would understand what we see in people of the same sex.

I am not trying to get sympathy from anyone, but I am trying to get your respect. Most homosexuals are hardworking, caring people, but in any group, there is always that person who has to ruin things for everybody else in that certain group. Unfortunately, those people are the ones who get all the publicity, and people make decisions and form opinions from all of the negative stuff. Please do not judge me because of those few people who ruin it for everybody else.