Be true to yourself – Be happy.

Today marks the last official day of Pride Month. We’ve seen everything from big businesses waving the rainbow flag to parades to picnics and plenty more. The world is changing. But what does gay pride mean for me? Ironically, my wedding anniversary is in June. When we sat down to pick a wedding date, the day after our engagement wouldn’t have been soon enough for me. I just knew I was ready to marry my best friend. We needed some time to prepare therefore our wedding would to be a year out. Finally, we settled on June 18, 2016. (This also makes our wedding date a palindrome – which is pretty cool!) It was definitely one of the best (and nerve-racking) days of my life.

For those of you who think being gay is a “choice”, I can honestly say that no, it is not. At a young age, I knew that I felt different. I couldn’t explain it then… but I just knew that I wasn’t the same as everyone else. How can an innocent kid “choose” to be different? We can’t blame the media… Hell, it was the 90s – what was subliminally attacking our youth to be gay? We had a total of 4 (yes, FOUR) channels on our TV with bunny ears on top. We didn’t even get the good cartoons, let alone anything that would provoke any sort of “gay” thought. The minimum exposure I had to any sort of gay community was via my parents. My parents (okay, my mom) had some gay friends that I had known most of my life. I understood what it meant. At that given time, I just didn’t know that was what I was fighting within myself.

I suppose it was around the age of 12 or 13 that I thought I may be gay. Yes, I did and still do find guys to be cute, handsome, sexy, attractive or whatever else you can label it. No, I do not want to kiss every girl that I talked to, had lunch with, or high fived. That’s not how it works. I appreciate both sexes just the same… I’m just not sexually attracted to men…. obviously. So rant over there… back on track… Middle school – Gay – knowing….  I lived in a small, small, SMALL conservative town. It was until high school that I had 100% knew I was gay. I struggled… I often would cry myself to sleep. I fought with depression, anxiety, being bullied. Let me just tell ya, high school kids are mean! I have vivid memories of comments that were made as my “friends” suspected my inner homosexuality.

As I attempted to hide within myself, I tried lots of things to fight this urge. My MySpace would often have vague posts or quotes on it so those who followed me would question my actions. I even had went as far as doing whatever with who ever (all male at this time) just so my “friends” would stop speculating the inner gay girl inside of me. I wanted the world to believe I was straight… I wanted to believe I was straight. I had even tried being straight for a long, long time.

I held an on and off relationship for a few some years with a male just to try to be socially acceptable. During one of our off times, I was hanging out with one of my female friends (who was straight… or so I thought given that she was married to a man). My friend and I ended up kissing. Holy Shit! Everything that I had been confused about… Everything that I had been missing… Everything that didn’t make sense – The stars had aligned. My head stopped being cloudy. It just felt right.

From that point forward and years to pass, I still continued to fight my inner battle. Eventually, after a long come to Jesus meeting with myself, I realized that I needed to be happy. I needed to be true to myself. I needed to stop fighting. And here I am… Married, (step) mom, successful… and happy.

To anyone that has or is fighting this battle – Stop. It’s not worth it. Had I not been scared to take the leap of faith, I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. Be true to yourself – Be happy.

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