Thursday, May 23, 2013
More Anchorage Teens Choosing to Come Out
For many Anchorage teens living in the community the reality of coming out can be the toughest challenge they ever face, but with the help of more support services teens are becoming more comfortable.
Bryson, 19, is just one of those teens trying to find his place in the community while being openly gay.
“This is the most comfortable I’ve felt with being gay and everything,” he says.
Hiding his sexuality as a child was not easy, and he says classmates have teased him since the second grade.
It wasn’t until his sophomore year in high school that Bryson finally accepted who he is.
“I’ve always known. I was tired of not being myself,” he said. “It was dragging me down and not making me a happy person, so I just finally accepted it as my life.”
He says having support services like the POWER Teen Center, located in the Downtown Transit Center, helps him be more comfortable in his own skin.
Without the resources and support the center provides, Bryson says that daunting challenge of coming out gets even more challenging.
“When you're under the age of 18, you’re still living at home, you’re still dependant on others and very scared to lose that support,” said Trevor Storrs, executive director for FOUR A’s.
But Bryson says he feels the community is becoming more tolerant of others like himself and hopes with increasing tolerance, more teens will take the step to accept who they are.