- How do you have time to do all these things?
- Why are you doing all of this?
- Why is your mind wired to think only one way?
- Why are you so weird?
Recently I’ve thought about if and undeniably when I would include my sexuality into the skoolhaze blog. If I had my choice, I wouldn’t. I’ve always made it a point to keep my sexuality separate from my work, period. However, recently a group of my students asked me to start and lead an LGBT group at our high school, and although I have absolutely no desire to do it – I’ve been asked by my people, so I must.
Growing up I remember my mom constantly telling me that because I was a young black boy I would have to be better than everyone around me just to be considered equal. At the time I HATED when she would say things like this. I would always respond that I was the same as everyone else in the most irritated tone that I could find. Growing up in the chicago suburbs, in a high school that offered the midwest’s view of diversity, I benefited from being the son of a police officer and social worker. I am Theo, and my parents are pretty much Mr. and Mrs. Cosby. My home was a place where my sister an I were both one of few blacks in the honors and ap courses my high school offered at the time. She was the more natural academic than I. Luckily, my passion for running soon blossomed into a track scholarship at Indiana State University.
Fast forwarding through my years I think it’s fair to say I live in a world where I do everything I care about to the best of my abilties. This includes teaching high school, attending graduate school, creating Skool Haze, maintaining the gym, and pushing forward my other bourgeoning projects. It’s no secret to me that these things have become a perpetual cycle of self-induced one-up-ness. Growing up and being trained, for lack of a better word, through my fraternity, competitive track teams, Public Relations degree, and my early career experiences in sales I can’t imagine living in a life where I didn’t constantly outshine myself for myself. It’s been a blessing that I’ve been able to tie my own determination to trying to lift those up around me. My parents are heavy believers in service to others, and modesty and respect for everyone, in particular their feelings. So… those values are heavily linked to who I have become as an adult.
People ask me why I go so hard and I really don’t know how to explain it to them. I mean, I love what I do, and I’m suited for the trails I envision my work will take. It’s beginning to look like it’s no coincidence that I happen to aspire for something so idealistic and grand.
The article “Young, gay, and trying too hard” on Salon.com explains why I am who I am, and why I do what I do. It explains to people who support me, and those that don’t just why I do go oh so hard for the causes.
To be even clearer I don’t consider myself “in the closet”. However, it is something I’ve never really led a conversation with. If anything I think the article helps explain why I find it difficult to talk about myself. I have a bit of a modesty-complex, which means I’m down to talk about pretty much anything except myself.
I’m not sure what else to say, and to be honest I’m still processing the article and its significance to why I am the way I am. Nonetheless it’s a great look into a part of me that I don’t often share. The fact that I know what it’s like to feel safe with a trusted advisor/counselor as I did with the sports psychologist back in college is the reason why I have to step outside myself and help my high school students and perhaps anyone else I’m able to. The fact that I know what is like to grow up fortunate and lucky in an America that still doesn’t quite view everyone as equals is the reason why I feel so compelled to do my best with Skool Haze, YBMI, and Creative Dreamers.
Anyways, check out the article below and let me know what you think.
PDF File – Young Gay and Trying Too Hard