Before I introduce our Sunny Star, Scott Morrison, I would like to personally thank him for having the courage to share his story with not only me, but with all of you. I hope that Scott’s story will encourage you to have perspective and compassion for all people; you never know what someone may be going through. With that said, Scott has high hopes for the future and is living a very happy life in Florida with his boyfriend, Ethan. He is majoring in English and plans to attend law school after getting his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. In his free time, Scott enjoys gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do; he’s a third degree black belt so watch out!
1. What is your current relationship like and how has this affected your happiness?
SM: Honestly, I feel like my current relationship is the one that will last me a lifetime. A lot of the decisions that I have made in this past year have been for this relationship because I feel so passionately that Ethan is the one. I truly do believe that fate brought us together and we conquered a 3500 mile-long distance relationship for seven months. I can’t imagine life without Ethan and he means everything to me. I thought I was happy before I met him, but honestly nothing can compare to finding true love.
2. Were you always open about your sexuality?
SM: I was never open about my sexuality. But homosexuality is kind of interesting; other people “know” that you’re gay before you “know” that you’re gay. When I was in 4th or 5th grade I started to realize which boys were attractive and which ones weren’t my taste, but I always associated those feelings with the fact that 95% of my friends were girls and they liked the same boys. However, I also noticed which girls were attractive so I always pursued relationships with girls because that’s what you’re “supposed to do.”
Throughout middle school I was always the kid getting picked on, called gay slurs, and bullied typically because I have mostly girl friends, and maybe the accent on my speech is a little more feminine than most guys. I didn’t consider myself gay and it would upset me that I was always the target, especially for those reasons.
It wasn’t until high school that I started to notice that I was physically attracted to boys, but I was also physically attracted to girls so I continued to pursue relationships with girls. I didn’t want to be gay. Kids are mean, you can make yourself a target, and some people in society just don’t consider homosexuality legitimate. I tried really hard not to be gay, and while a girl did “conquer” me for almost two years I eventually lost the inner struggle. I’m not going to say that I was unhappy for the first 18 years of my life for being something that I wasn’t, but I do think that I was a lot less happier than I am now.
3. How did coming out affect your happiness?
Scott with his boyfriend, Ethan
SM: I came out in the first couple weeks of college. The kid that sat next to me in my lecture class was new to Ventura and asked to hang out sometime and I thought that it would be cool to make some new friends. After I got to know him a little bit better he told me he was homosexual, I was a little bit intrigued; I had never been friends with any gay people before and I was curious about my own sexuality so I experimented. I ended up liking it…a lot. Eventually everyone close to me found out and it felt like such a weight had lifted off my shoulders. I’m a much happier person!
4. What was the most challenging part about coming out?
SM: There are two things that were especially challenging about coming out. The most challenging was being honest with the girl I was dating at the time. I felt horrible. I felt like I ruined her, took advantage of her, made false promises, etc. In reality I did have a lot of feelings for her but in the end when I lost that inner struggle, something clicked and it ended suddenly. I’m always going to feel sorry for doing that to her, but I know she’s a strong person and I know we’ll still be friends for years to come.
The other challenging part was dealing with my parents. I had been planning on telling my mom first since I thought she was going to be the most supportive and the most accepting…but I never got that chance. She had been doing some investigative research of her own and confronted me about my lifestyle. She did not take things well…to say the least, which really made it uncomfortable for me in my own house. When my dad found out his response was, “I’ve been waiting for this day for about 10 years.” He was completely accepting of it and I was shocked, but because of his support we’ve grown a lot closer in the past 11 months which is something that we never were while I was growing up. Since then, my mom has gotten over the shock of it all and we’re back to being best friends.
5. What would you say to people who think being gay is a choice?
SM: I would tell them that they’re wrong. There is really no argument. You’re born gay and that’s the way it is. Anyone that “chooses” to be gay is doing it for the wrong reasons. Typically they’re doing it for attention, or for the shock factor, but it’s not something that you can “choose” to be and truly be happy.
6. What stereotypes about homosexuality bother you and how does this affect your happiness?
SM: The homosexual stereotype that bothers me the most is the idea that all homosexual men are feminine, talk with lisps and high voices, dress in drag on the weekends, wear makeup, and walk with one hand up in the air while the other hand is on their hip…you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Just because I like boys doesn’t mean that I have to act like a girl and certainly doesn’t mean that I want to be a girl. I’ve been gay my whole life but now that I’m open about it I still act the same way I always have. I’m not going to change the way I walk and talk just because that’s what society expects.