I grew up in a religious household. Nothing too strict but we went to Church pretty often. I grew up with the thought that homosexuality is wrong and that you're not that good of a person.

As I was finishing up high school, I started to develop feelings for guys. I fought with myself as this was totally against what I grew up knowing. Eventually, I decided to go off to college away from my hometown and figure myself out. I met some great friends after my first year at this new college. I even got myself a boyfriend in the meantime. However, I was afraid to tell anyone about it. It was my secret... but I hated keeping it secret. Why should who I love be a secret to everyone else? I went to my friend's dorm at night and came out to them even though I was afraid to admit it. My friends fully supported me and told me they were happy for me and wanted to meet my boyfriend. I was relieved. A weight lifted off my shoulders. Because of this, I gained confidence enough to tell more friends through casual conversation. They've all been great support systems in my life.

Next, I came out to my parents and my younger brother. Although my brother felt a bit strange about it at first, he hasn't treated me any different for it to this day. My parents told me they were disappointed that I didn't tell anyone sooner. My extended family found out about my boyfriend and, unfortunately, they didn't take kindly to it. It does bother me that they're not supportive of this but I take comfort knowing I have friends and some other family members that have been my support system and seeing me for who I am as a whole.

I'm still with my boyfriend to this day as well, despite not everyone around us supporting our relationship. I've learned a lot about myself through these times. I've learned that I've become a strong person with a strong support system.


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