As a boy growing up in a town of less than 1,000 people then moving to a town much larger, it was difficult to accept me for me. It wasn't until I moved to a much bigger city and began my venture through college that I began to think about my true self. I was still scared of my sexuality and not only hurting those around me, but also not being accepted. When I decided enough was enough and I should no longer hide who I am, the outpour of acceptance was wonderful amongst my friends. When I came out to my family, my father had the hardest time (and sometimes still does struggle with me being gay).

Now that I have finally accepted who I am, I am wanting to make more of a difference in the field of education. As a middle school special education teacher, I find myself working with the most diverse group of students and I want to make a difference. I hope one day I will be leading a club/organization for middle school youth to come together and talk or support diversity!

Story submitted by Erik

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