Writes of Passage: Nathan Cain
Let me start by saying you will never have someone say they have been in your shoes— and mean it— more than I do right now. Your life isn't going to be easy. You will go through so much that people your age can't even fathom, but that's what will make you such a strong person later on in life.
No matter what people tell you, know that God loves you and that there is a place for you in this world where you will finally find peace with religion and yourself... So don't even pick up that bottle of pills. Don't EVEN think about taking them all! The world has so much more to offer you.
I know you have given your older sister Rachel hints that you are gay, but she is a moron and thought you were just playing. Don't write her an e-mail about being gay. She has always been the one who protected you from the world, so sit her down and tell her you love her and that you are scared. Tell her that all you really want now is for her to protect you again.
If you write her the e-mail she is going to have a mental breakdown and tell mom and dad. Your mom will then show up at your door crying. Your family will be torn apart and you will be kicked out of your apartment. You will never get your family back the way they used to be, and you and Rachel will never be the inseparable pair again.
Amidst this rough patch, you will eventually come to terms with what happened to you when you were little. You will understand it was nothing you did and that some people are just sick. We forgive but we do not forget. Don't let it haunt you, and don't let it torture you into thinking that you had done the same thing to the boys you experimented with at a young age. You were 9, he was an adult. Completely different from two little kids exploring each others bodies.
You will hit some rough patches when it comes to your love life. You will be lied to. You will be cheated on. You will have to deal with alcoholism and drug addictions. But I am not going to tell you with whom or when these things will happen. They will shape and form you into a very strong person that uses his past experiences as a driving force to do anything he puts his mind to. When we hit the bottom there is nothing left to do but pick ourselves back up. Don't let these falls define you. Let the way you rise above them set you free.
Never lose your sense of wonder in the world or the amazement you feel when you notice small things that others pass up. Have an open mind and be caring to anyone and everyone. Don't be afraid of love. Yes, it does exist. When you experience it, pour yourself into it. It’s the most amazing thing in the world. Never hold back. It may only last for a little while, but the quote, “It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” is soooooo true.
Be spontaneous! You think too much about the consequences of everything. I'm not saying be an idiot and run through life without a care in the world. Only a fool does that. But let loose and have some fun every once in a while.
It will be ok. I promise.
Be seeing you soon,
Nathan Cain is a 22-year-old student in the Dallas Metroplex Area. He lives with his ball python, Elphaba.
Read more letters in our National Coming Out Day section on Gay.com.