See The New York Times article "Coming Out in Middle School."
In 1966 I was 13 years old and I knew I was gay. No doubt. Puberty was playing a trick on me. While other guys were looking at girls, my hormones, for whatever reason(s), were screaming at me to look at guys.
It was a lonely time. (And for 31 years after that it continued to be a lonely time.) There was no one then to talk with, not even my religious leaders, like my youth leader and pastor, who were of a very conservative Baptist stripe. For teenagers today - though 43 years later - it can still be difficult. After all, it is never easy to be perceived as "different," especially for teenagers, and especially for teenagers within in a family, group or society, like a church, that definitely defines gay as totally unacceptable. That's why schools must create and maintain a "safe space," as the Methodist minister said, for all.
Since 1997, age 44, I've been openly gay and finding many other gay Christians, open and closeted, from around the world.
Open is decidedly best for me! Queer! Christian! And happily married! God, it took a long time to get here - but I've arrived as far as accepting my sexual orientation - and, sadly, with little help from the church as I knew it. God has been good to me in this area of my life in spite of his caring-but-ill-equipped-in-this-department church leaders who, though they give their lives to the church, it was without knowledge.
1966, the year I knew I was gay, was a very good year . . . that is, now that it is 2009 and I can look back on the last 12 years as open and honest and partnered. You see, 1966 was a very good year because now I'm loving the life God gave me to live. In 2009, I'm loving the 1966 queer teenage boy that God loved. I'm loving me. That makes 1966 a very good year.