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The tale of a wannabe stoner (Or, how I came out to my mother)

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Cameron in Weed, CA, 2016 — Courtesy photo
Cameron in Weed, CA, 2016 — Courtesy photo

With National Coming Out Day just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to share one of my coming out stories.

I'd like to preface this by saying that I don't condone the usage of marijuana by people under the legal age. Like everyone, I made dumb mistakes as a teenager, and all I can do is laugh about it now, so I hope you enjoy the tale of my stupidity.

During high school, I was obsessed with marijuana culture. I would watch Seth Rogen movies, listen to Kid Cudi, and become excited when the clock struck 4:20. All I wanted was to get my hands on that sweet devil's lettuce, but alas, I never could.

That was, not until a cloudy autumn day during my junior year of high school. I got it from a friend of a friend while at Pike Place Market.

I was 16 years old, driving my mom's car through downtown Seattle with weed. I was ecstatic.

Having that bag of ganja stuffed into a Bug Juice bottle felt like the coolest thing ever. I was shaking with excitement as I glanced at it every few seconds on my drive home. Honestly, I'm surprised I made it back in one piece.

I didn't know if it was indica, sativa, or even oregano. At that point in my life, it was all the same to me.

I arrived home and inspected the Mary Jane with awe. Its skunky smell filled my bedroom as I bragged to my friends that I had finally obtained the silly green stuff.

Then it dawned on me.

How the hell would I smoke it? I was still too young to walk in and buy a pipe. This led me to the internet (never a good sentence to hear, especially from a 16-year-old). I landed on a wikiHow page detailing how to make a pipe with a soda can.

It was perfect. I could drink a San Pellegrino limonata and turn it into my own personal pipe. Best part of it all? It was free.

I went through at least two cans before I was finally able to make a suitable pipe. With a stomach full of soda and eyes full of wonder, I was ready to start smoking.

I grabbed my mom's candle lighter and found a nice spot to sit in my backyard. I sat wedged in the corner of the fence so I had a full view of the yard.

It was the moment of truth. I took my first puff and was overwhelmed by the burning sensation in the back of my throat.

Moments passed.

I felt nothing. I took another hit and then put on a YouTube video that was supposed to make me feel high. "That should do the trick, right?" I thought.

Nothing was happening. "Am I doing it right?" I wondered.

I continued to smoke until the bud was just a few black specks on my can. The specks blew away in the wind.

Feeling defeated, I stood up to go back inside. That's when I saw it.

Right beside the hot tub was a purple jaguar staring me dead in the eyes. It pounced, and I ran inside.

My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. I tried to comprehend what was happening. My brain was an echo chamber of panic and anxiety. My mind shifted from the thought of the purple jaguar to the very real reality of me alone and absolutely baked like a cake.

Fear seated itself in my body as I wrapped myself in blankets. Thoughts played over and over as if my brain was a skipping record.

I needed help. I picked up my phone and attempted to unlock it. My fingers looked disturbingly long and crooked as I fumbled out a text to my friend.

She informed me that getting high will amplify all emotions to the absolute max. It was not a comforting thought in the slightest.

She told me I needed to call my mom. This horrified me. She was at work, and I felt like everyone in her office was going to be disappointed in me. I didn't know most of the people she worked with, but their opinions of me mattered just as much as hers did at that moment.

I called her and began to profusely apologize. She spoke softly and began to comfort me. She asked if I had anything else to say, so I replied:

"I'm Gay."

She said she knew, but this was my first time telling her verbally.

When she got home she was more proud of me for coming out than mad at me for smoking weed, so I didn't get in trouble.

I swore to never smoke weed again.

We all know that didn't happen.

Cameron with their girlfriend, Pride 2022 — Courtesy photo