You have no idea you are queer. You will have no idea until you are making out with the woman who will become your wife. This is fine. It does not make all those unrequited crushes you had on smart boys lies. The world is vast. You are fine.
The one thing you do know, right now, in your conservative small town, is that it’s the homophobic comments out of all the other hurtful comments you hear that make you the angriest. Anger is an emotion you will struggle with all your life; while people view you as an eternally calm and pleasant person, inside rage fills you and feels too big for your frame. Like most things, you feel like you need to express it. And when you do you inevitably feel ashamed afterwards because you didn’t know how to control it. Hold on to your anger. It does not make you a bad person.
You feel most comfortable hanging out with boys; you feel most comfortable talking about music with boys. Talking about music becomes less fun one day when a boy you grew up with, who you used to play Nintendo and drink lemonade with, said that Freddie Mercury deserved to die because he was a fag. You have a horrible memory, but you will remember this moment forever. It will be so crystal clear in your memory that you’ll wonder if you made it up.
Here’s what you need to know: hold on to that rage. Do not feel ashamed of it. But you have to channel it wisely. You have to hold that anger for the purpose of hope. You can’t hold it for redemption, for revenge, for empty, hurtful motives. You have to be angry while still realizing that your hometown is full of good people, even that boy that day. You have to be angry while still believing people are good. Listen to people. Love people. Be willing to change your perspectives. People will try to deconstruct your hope, will tell you you are only hopeful because you are privileged; will tell you you are full of fluff, that your hope is ignorant and misguided. Believe in your own anger as much as you believe in your own hope. It is the only thing that has ever made the world better.
You are going to do great things, and you are loved.