Sometimes fitting in isn’t as easy for some people as it is for others

Izak Zeller

I’ve told my parents, so I can finally write this. I’m gay.

I’ve known for a long time — since about 7th grade, although some people who know me may say they’ve known since elementary school. I’m not quiet about it, either. If people want to know, I’ll tell them. But I used to be different. 

Fitting in is a little more complicated than it looks. You need to have the right balance of every part of your social, school and personal life. You need to have the right attitude. You need to change parts of yourself. 

What a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m actually an introvert. I just make act as if I’m an extrovert so people will be friends with me. Those people who look unattainable are suddenly possible to grasp when you act, so I did what I had to do.

Near the beginning of my high school career, I definitely faked my personality, my demeanor and my life. My likes and interests changed drastically.

Suddenly, I started to try to fit into a mold. I tried so hard to seem like the gay kid who wasn’t “too much.” The gay kid who kept it “toned down.” I got into social media, and it practically took over my life. 

I told people things that may or may not have been true. Telling people I loved TV shows I had never even heard of before. Making mountains out of molehills. Over dramatizing events to entertain people. It was exhausting keeping up with all of the lies and having to remember what I told people.

As I racked up my years in high school, I became more confident with myself. I made more friends and I no longer feel like I have to fake it. Being gay is hard. That’s no question. In order to fit in with everyone else, you feel like you have to be a different person than your true self, but you don’t. 

I’ve found that real people, real friends, will love you for who you are. Don’t let anyone take that away.