high school

I Just Want to Understand the Other Boys
Although the teasing continued for the rest of the school year, I honestly learned to ignore it. I became a recluse at a very young age. This reclusiveness made the other kids – especially the other boys – a bit of a mystery to me. Particularly physically. Looking back, I realize I was in a bit of a paradox: I didn't want the other boys to see any of my body, but I also had somewhat of an interest in theirs.
YOB ConvoCast 052: Daniel Wants a Travel Buddy as a SEVEN!
YOB ConvoCast 052: Daniel Wants a Travel Buddy as a SEVEN!
Daniel remembers the first time he felt shame for showing enthusiasm as a child, and how that response impacted his introversion -- a rare disposition for Sevens. He discusses his love for travel, moving from the Philippines to the United Kingdom, visiting 35 cities in one year, seeing a different country every month, and even coming to America for multiple YOB retreats. But when does a love for travel turn to escape? When is escape healthy and courageous, and when is escape more detrimental? Regarding sexuality and relationships, was he constantly trying to escape something uncomfortable, something painful, something sad? We close the conversation with the growth and beauty of a Seven who can stay put and persevere -- with others, with self, and with God.
YOB ConvoCast 051: Aaron Unleashes the Anxiety as a SIX!
YOB ConvoCast 051: Aaron Unleashes the Anxiety as a SIX!
Aaron discusses the anxiety surrounding his sexuality through the years, including coming out to others as an adult and coming out to himself in high school. He also shares openly about taking medication to help with his anxiety. Throughout the episode we read lots of YOBBER feedback, much of it centering around anxious attachment with other men: how much ongoing reassurance is needed for the relationship, and how much is unhealthy? We talk a lot about fear in this episode, particularly relational fear and this ability to live out a Side B life, but also of courage and comfortability and the Six's ability to be incredibly loyal and steadfast! Perhaps if YOB and the greater "Side B" movement endure through the years, Type Sixes will be a big reason why.
One Day You'll Actually See Me, Mom
One Day You’ll Actually See Me, Mom
My mom didn't start saying she loved me until she became a Christian in the early 80's. Now she says it almost every day, and I feel like she's doing it to make up for all those lost years. As far as I'm concerned, those "I love you's" are empty because she's been saying it to the straight Michael she's always preferred instead of the Michael actually in front of her. And because of that, I've learned to tolerate her acknowledged denial of my life.
YOB ConvoCast 049: Tom & Alex Feel All the Feels as FOURs!
YOB ConvoCast 049: Tom & Alex Feel All the Feels as FOURs!
Tom and Alex discuss the qualities they love about being Fours: artistic, empathetic, and yes, unique. In times of security they're objective and productive, taking action and creating things that add beauty to the world. A Four's "superpower" is empathy, giving others permission to "feel all the feels" with them, too. Tom and Alex also dive into their dark side of Four-ness: the neediness, the manipulation, the constant craving for approval, particularly from other men. Fours are often described as people who perceive lacking a critical "missing piece," and as queer or SSA men this hits especially deep for Tom and Alex. In adolescence did they miss some critical component for masculinity or sexuality, along with connecting with the other boys? What is the path forward for a Four in those whirlwinds of emotional stress?
Pride and Strength for the Struggle
Pride and Strength for the Struggle
Another Pride Month gone; another year I didn't participate. I've never been one for any kind of parade, but part of me believes participating in Pride means I have accepted the part of myself that remained hidden for so long.
"For Forever" and My Longing for Brotherhood
“For Forever” and My Longing for Brotherhood
It was the first song I'd ever heard that touched upon my most simple yet desperate longing; buried beneath the pangs of my sexuality, a clear yet unattainable desire – to have a best buddy, someone who tells me he wants to be with me, someone to goof off with, someone to sit beside in a country field. Someone by my side when I'm hurting.
The Pride of Surviving My Youth
The Pride of Surviving My Youth
Who was it that said Pride is a celebration of having survived? I can certainly relate to that. I don't know who said it before Ryan did, but I'm processing Pride with new eyes and new appreciation this year, and hopefully for the rest of my life. Recognizing the blessing, even the miracle, that I'm still alive. Indeed, I could have died years ago because of my sexuality.
Adrift as a Child or a Man
Adrift as a Child or a Man
I still have that Link costume somewhere in my closet. Perhaps it's the wandering through the woods that I love, the isolation, the music; or, perhaps it's something deeper that has stuck with me after all these years. Perhaps it's that I feel like the protagonist: adrift in time, unsure whether I'm a child or a man. This is how I feel as I move back into my childhood bedroom – the place where my sexual trauma occurred.
Let's Talk About Erections (Again)
Let’s Talk About Erections (Again)
Years ago a YOB post like this initially proved to me that this site had something new and interesting to offer the world. It made me feel seen and understood like almost nothing I had read before. That original post no longer exists here, and I've seen your emails wondering where it went and what frighteningly candid content you can instead send your friends. To answer my own self-doubts above: I believe this post will be valuable to someone. It's important. It's worth it.