As middle school progressed, so did the teasing and insecurity. 7th grade I was desperate to try and change these feelings, so I pretended to have a crush on this girl (let's call her Victoria because that's a sexy name and I don't know anyone named Victoria). I tried very hard to win over Victoria's heart as a 12 year old boy, and I succeeded for a time. We were both in the awkward young teen love stage where we both liked each other but were too grossed out by cooties or something (like the fact that she was a girl) to actually talk about it. Eventually in mid 8th grade, she told me she didn't like me anymore and I was absolutely traumatized. I cried and listened to sad music because I thought that my chance to become straight was shot.
As dramatic as that sounds, as a little gay boy it was a legitimate stressor for me. It caused me a lot of depression because no matter how hard I tried to pretend to like girls I could never actually like girls. All my friends were talking about the people they had crushes on, and the people I had crushes on I felt like I was forbidden to admit. So I continued to try and have crushes on Breanna, Marissa, and Alexa (all alias names) to no avail. They would all have crushes on me and eventually tell me that they didn't like me anymore. I was crushed (pun definitely intended).
Then came 9th grade and along with 9th grade came seminary because it was the first year of high school. We were studying the Book of Mormon, which I thought was a fantastic start to my seminary experience. The Book of Mormon was the keystone of the gospel and it would be a fantastic way to develop and strengthen the foundation of my testimony. My teacher's name was Brother Garrett and it was one of the most spiritually strengthening years of my life. Also one of the most depressing.
I was on top of my scripture study and I made sure to pass off every scripture mastery. I took notes, pondered, and prayed about everything I was taught that year because I figured if I was spiritual enough, God would provide me an answer to my prayers and I could become straight, making the following years of my life a lot easier to handle. In the meantime the bullying intensified.
Some of my classmates would pretend I wasn't there, run into me in the halls and call me a "faggot," "gay," or "queer." Someone even sent me a fake valentine for valentine's day from a well known gay guy at our school to spite me and that guy. The thing that hurt the most was when I found out that one of my best friends spread rumors about me around the school that I was gay (which, I mean.. was true. But 1) I didn't tell anyone yet and 2) You just don't out people. Period.). Because of this rumor, the bullying got so bad I had to go see the school councellor to get it to stop. He called her in to face me and apologize but she pretended nothing happened and walked out of the office with her head held high. Because of this, I became very withdrawn and defensive because I didn't know who I could trust. I even began to withdraw from my closest friends.
I remember a specific incident where I fasted and knelt beside my bed praying specifically to be healed from having these feelings and feeling so very empty as I didn't get any divine answer from God that I would be changed due to my faithfulness. I became numb inside as I sobbed into my sheets.
The end of ninth grade rolled around and I couldn't take the bullying anymore. Like I said, I distanced myself from my friends and applied for a varience to go to Davis High, which was roughly 15 miles away from where I lived in Bountiful. I had my escape and new start in order and I couldn't wait.