Thank you for giving me hope! (a youth perspective)

imageI’m a 19 year old guy coming to terms with my sexuality.

I’ve been surfing since I was 12. I live in a small coastal township. I have a few friends, none of which are gay, let alone any in the township. I can relate to my friends with surfing but other than that we have not much in common. So I really understand the feeling of isolation people can feel. Lately I’ve drifted apart from them. We are all into different things and now that we are adults we are going off in our own directions and I’ve been surfing on my own for a while now. 

I came across “OUT in the lineup” on Netflix a few nights ago. I found myself having a life changing moment. It’s like this movie was made for me. To tell me that I’m not abnormal. That I can be myself. That I can be happy. But more importantly, that I’m not the only one.

I don’t want my sexuality to define me as a person. I wanna be known as that guy who surfs, likes social media, plays PS4, skateboards, listens to hiphop and just so happens to be gay. (identifying myself as gay is a huge step for me)

I found myself agreeing with pretty much everything the interviewees shared. People were saying the exact same things I’ve had on my mind and in my heart for a long time now. THAT…floored me. I don’t feel abnormal anymore. This film really spoke to me and has given me courage. I’m not out yet, I’ll work towards it in baby steps eventually. Least I know there’s a community out there that I can belong to. That’s really empowering for me and I’m sure a lot of people like myself.

Seeing other gay and lesbian surfers who are happy and socialising gave me a huge smile. It’s funny how I thought I was the only one (naive really) because I’d never heard of or seen gay surfers, let alone professional gay surfers. And then to see gay and lesbian couples who have a happy life and surf together really moved me. I want that in my future. 

Those were major hardships these athletes had to endure coming up through the years. That’s the sort of thing that would break me. And here they are standing on the other side stronger. Mad love and respect to them. Again I was floored at the stories on suicide. I’ve had dark thoughts a time or two. I guess we all have. I’m strong enough to shrug that off. Others are not. My heart breaks for them. The surfing community still has deep seeded homophobic attitudes. I’ve seen and experienced it first hand. But it’s nice to see there are those who don’t care about orientation. l thought in this day in age people would be way more enlightened. It frustrated me that straight professionals avoided discussion on gays in the surfing community even though there are things going on around them that are linked. I mean really? Really? Like wow man! Wow!!! Hear no evil. Speak no evil. See no evil. I feel really empowered (pissed off actually) to get on board and help in some way to break down these walls. I don’t know what I can do to help but I want to.

Now that I know there is an international community of like minded people out there…I want to meet you, surf with you, ask about things that are on my mind and listen to what you have to say.

This is why signed up on the GS website and have started making contact with really good people. Even started making plans for surf meets. I wanna get in touch with people like me and be happy.

I’m grateful to the creators of this movie for opening my eyes, lifting a weight off my shoulder and empowering me to take steps to being myself. And thank you so much to the people who told their stories to us. Your courage is opening up my life. They made me smile, laugh, get choked up, feel empowered, feel frustrated yet more importantly…they made me “feel”. It’s been a long time since I felt strongly about something. 

Thank you for giving me hope!

13 thoughts on “Thank you for giving me hope! (a youth perspective)

  1. Your story also makes me feel good and you are a wonderful writer. Message the members in your area and hopefully you can find someone to surf that lives near you. Through this site I gave met some wonderful friends

    1. thank you friend. im stoked this even got posted. i never knew I was looking for this community until now and I feel hopeful and positive

      I wanna make as many friends as possible and surf my ass off


      1. You’re nothing but a lying fake catfish. Just remember karma is a b***h and I hope she pays you a visit and reminds you of reality. You’re disgusting! Rot in hell prick!

    2. Unfortunately it’s all fake, I’ve just been via social media and cell phone been chatting with Aurelio Nader 0278653014 said lived in Taupo and is “Italian” for past several months, talked a tone and felt like I’d marry this guy someday & he said the same to me and made me feel so loved. Turns out every image here and ones he sent to me are of “Cameron Dallas” and American youtuber. Last week I lost all contact with him then after crying my eyes out found same images of him but wasn’t him was someone else who isn’t even in NZ.
      I’m literally heart broken, I felt like I found someone I could spend my life with and it was all fake.

  2. Happy to hear you’ve found a good place within yourself. It’s a little startling to see people so closed minded sometimes but I’ve been astounded by the amount of good and open people as well. We can get close minded ourselves, too easily sometimes, but love can come in many different forms, and finding people who share passions is a great place to start. Hope you all the best dude.

  3. It really does get better with time. You’re still young and have lots of it, and I’m betting that you’ll find lots of other gay surfers in the future as your horizons expand. PS, You’re a great writer!

  4. Very sweet story my dear. I would like to have you like a Friend and invite you to come to Portugal, Lisbon and stay in my house. I have a great pleasure to receive here in this Place and show you a beautyful beach we have, magic places, and many things. Please come here and make a surf trip we me and my friends. I also have your problem, im a gay guy and my friends are hetero. But we play surf together, and than i invite you to play with us

  5. Hey man, what a great story.
    I am a Canadian who grew up snowboarding and skateboarding. I know exactly what you are talking about, just my experience was on snow rather than water. I started to get more into Surfing in the last few years during my travels and recently found this site as well. Be true to your heart and you will attract the people in your life that you deserve. You can set your mind to have a life that is anything you want it to be, so good on you for having the strength to follow your desires and dreams. We are all out there with similar battles. It’s encouraging to see you opening up and allowing yourself to expand. Stay positive and the world will be your oyster.

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