One year ago I came out on facebook. It was October 11, national coming out day. I came to a point in my life where I simply could no longer live my life by what other people expected of me.
So I came out. To everyone. A lot of people were extremely supportive.Others were less than excited that I was sharing something so "personal" on facebook.
But the important thing isn't what those people think. And so many people were happy to be part of something I was sharing with them about myself.
Coming out isn't about them. It's about you. It's about you being ok with being gay. It's about you being ok with being different.
So much of my life has revolved around that decision. Not the one to post a few words on facebook, but to live my life by what I know to be true instead of letting other people define me.
I've been with my boyfriend for 8 months now. We started living together last month. I'm so happy, it's hard to put in words.
But what I can say is that none of this would have been possible if I let my fears get the best of me. It's not easy, standing up to my family and (though not very many fall in this category) friends who are against my "lifestyle." It hasn't been easy to talk to my parents and have them get used to it.
But things do get better. My Mom invited us to Thanksgiving and Christmas, at home. I know that part of her doesn't accept things, but she's grown so much, and come to love me for who I am rather than who she thought I was or wants me to be. I hope she'll come to love him too, in her way. That might be a longer process. But it's really not possible to have a relationship with my parents that somehow excludes this important part of my life.
I know there is a lot of hurt in our community, in the gay community (and yes, it exists), in the Mormon community, and especially in the Gay Mormon community. But beneath all that pain, I think most of us love each other, and are trying to sort the rest out. My Mom is the last person I expected to come around to me being gay. But she even apologized for her ignorance, and for what happened.
Change has to happen. Things can't continue how they've been. Luckily, things are working out for the best for me. I know some aren't so lucky.
But if you aren't so lucky, don't give up. There are so many of us that would love to put our arms around you and help you up, figure out what to do. And if we are going to be serious about preventing suicide, or the even more prevalent depression in our community, then we've got to do that.