Growing up gay in a small town…

Growing up gay in a small town…
Name:Christina Caviness
Pronouns:She/her

First off let me say hey and introduce myself. My name’s Christina, but I go by Chrissy. I’m 31. I grew up in a very small town in Virginia. It’s the type of small town where everyone knows who you are and almost every move you make. I’ve lived here my whole life, except for a year away at college and some time gone with the military, but that’s a different story. I was raised in a very religious family. Church every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night youth group, and I even went to a Christian school. My grandfather was a pastor for I can’t even remember how long and my uncle was a youth pastor and still is. As you can tell, gay was not the way with my family, but I always felt different growing up. Almost like I didn’t belong or fit in with the people I associated with.

I kissed my first girl in first grade. I’ve always been attracted to women, but I was always taught that it was a ‘sin’ to be attracted to the same gender. Okay well if that’s the case then why are people born gay? And yes I do believe that. Yes, I have dated guys, but I did it to try and make my family happy. I knew it would be an almost impossible task to have them accept me for who I am. So I tried, but dating a guy is just not for me. Being who I was, a lesbian, got me kicked out my last 2 weeks of my senior year in high school, kicked out of my parents house several times, called names, and had jokes made about me. I never really knew where I fit in at times.

As I got older, I realized that I needed to live my life to make myself happy. Not everyone else. I realized that I didn’t need the friends, family, coworkers, whoever they may be to be okay with my life choices. I am who I am, and it’s either love me for that or lose me completely. You can’t live your life for others, because at the end of the day you are all you have. I had to hide who I was for such a long time. It was miserable. I was unhappy. I wasn’t me. I officially came out to everyone on Facebook (a lot of people already knew. Trust me it was obvious), but I had never officially said it to certain friends or family members. I was 29 when I made that Facebook post after watching the movie Love, Simon. Ever since then, my life has been so different, but in the most positive way. I no longer have to hide. My parents love and accept me, and I honestly think it’s brought us closer. I wish I would’ve officially came out sooner, but rejection is a scary thing. Especially being rejected by the ones you love the most. One last thing…I know being gay/lesbian/bi/trans, whatever it is you may be, can be a scary thing for most people, but hiding who you truly are is worse. Hiding what makes you happy and hiding your true identity to make others happy…that is probably the most scary and worst feeling I’ve ever felt. Be who you are. Love whoever the fluff you want to love. Be happy. Live life, and always ALWAYS love who you are. You are loved by so many whether you think you are or not. Love is love so be true to yourself!!! Love all of y’all ❤️🌈