U-T San Diego
January 30, 2013

Maybe the most emotional conversation a gay teenager could have with his parents is coming out to them. Jeremy Zaida’s toughest exchange came soon after that. Zaida was 16 when he disclosed his sexual orientation to his parents over a couple days two summers ago. The day after he told his dad, his future seemed brighter, but he was in no rush to realize it. He was spending a lazy day at home in Santa Barbara when a phone call from his father provoked his biggest identity crisis yet. The Boy Scouts of America ban gay members and Scout leaders, his father said. Zaida would have to leave an organization he had served in — belonged to — since second grade, one he had stuck with as his peers quit to pursue sports or girls or nothin’, as they might tell their own parents.