I have always known that I was gay but growing up in my home where we went to church every Sunday and hung out with people from the church, it wasn’t something they agreed with, ecspecially my mom. So I forced myself to be straight until I was 24. It is a confusing thing. I was confused for awhie, like is this a phase or is this me. I even tried to kill myself because at the time i would have rather been dead then people knowing who i truly am. I truly believe in signs and yes I am a gay person who prays. I prayed, and asked God who am I and who am I supposed to love. I kid you not looked out the window and there was a rainbow. I know that sounds cheesy but come on, what better sign to have when your questioning if your gay or not. I remember sitting in my living room watching a tv show with my mom and two girls kissed. She made the statement “ew that’s disgusting, God hates them“. I stood up for them a little bit but I didn’t want to be too obvious. But I never hear her say that when a guy and a girl are Kissing. I always dressed like a girly girl because that’s who my mom wanted me to be but I was so uncomfortable. I finally got to the point where I didn’t want to hide who I was anymore. I slowly started telling people in my life. My friends, my siblings and some relatives and they were surprisingly so accepting. This whole time I thought they were going to disown me but they truly accepted me. They gave me confidence. They made me strong. I met someone, and she is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. We started dating last December. Then new years came around, new year new me. This sounds childish but it’s the only way I could get my mom to listen. 12am the ball dropped and I kissed my girlfriend. I sent a text to my mom “happy new year, I’m gay”. I heard nothing from her for days. She cried and cried to her friends. She told me she just doesn’t understand how I could choose this life. I told her it wasn’t about choosing. It’s who God made me to be. She pushed back and pushed back. Even when I would call her and tell her about a fire I had at the fire department or a patient I helped from a car accident, she still couldn’t look me in the eyes or say she’s proud. But I decided I will not go back to hiding who I am. So if people didn’t accept me then there’s the door. I think my mom finally started to realize that. She wanted to meet my girlfriend. she wanted me to bring her around the family. This Christmas my girlfriend got more gifts from my parents then I did and that made me so happy. I am so comfortable with who I am, I dress the way I wanna dress, I say that I’m gay out loud. i am not saying that it is easy after you come out because you will still run into problems. I lost friends, christians have called me a queer, and people stare and get uncomfortable. But it is 100 times better then not being who you are and hiding. I went to my first pride and it was amazing! I met so many amazing people who also had stories to tell. People from my church growing up comes up to me and asks how my girlfriend is. what!? I was so hesitant for the longest time and i never gave people the benifit Of the doubt. My family has made strides since the beginning and I am very proud of them. Please, listen to the song “scars to your beautiful“ it got me through so much when I was coming out. Be who you were born to be and don’t hide it for a single second. Life is so much better when you are true to yourself.