United States

Since the age of 10, I’ve known I was different. I grew up in the church so I thought I was broken because I was gay. I battled depression, self harm, suicidal thoughts until about the age of 16. I used to pray that God would fix me. I finally realized that God wasn’t changing me because I wasn’t broken. I came out to my best friend in high school when I was 16. But I still hid it from my deeply religious parents. For about 11 years, I lived a double life, hiding a huge part of who I was from my parents. I was Mr Gay Pride at school, and the perfect son at home. I still battled depression and the constant fear of abandonment. The suicidal thoughts would still creep in and the self harm would make me feel better, but I hid that from everyone. I reached out to a few trusted people but that was a rare occurrence.

Today, I’m happy to say that I have finally come out to them and they have accepted me for who I am. I wish I reached out to a therapist earlier because you don’t have to fight this alone. Fuck bringing shame to your family. Your mental health is more important than “honor”. YOU matter more than honor. You matter.