My coming out story isn’t just one story. It is many pages, chapters, and parts that lead to me “coming out.”
During Pride month I always find myself thinking about a past time in my life. A time when I had to hide who I was to do what I wanted to do, which was play college basketball.
Because I went to a religious school. A place where people are supposed to be accepted and loved. But I was anything but accepted and loved.
I was made to feel shame.
I was punished.
I was made to feel less than human.
I was outed by someone I trusted.
I was forced into a very uncomfortable meeting with the Dean of Students and the President. Honestly, I felt I needed an attorney there with me…
I could have lied and continued to hide who I was, but at that point…I was tired. I was tired of hiding the real me from the world.
In that moment I stood proud.
I accepted who I was.
I was done hiding.
And because of that, the school kicked me off the basketball team.
They required me to go to THERAPY.
I was suspended from school.
That same day I withdrew.
I had to get an attorney for my records to be released.
I took a year off from school to reset and gather myself. Was it easy after that? No.
Was everything peachy at home? No.
My heart hurts for other people out there in the world that can’t be themselves and if they are, they are then discriminated against.
I encourage you all to be yourselves and be PROUD!
If I would have continued to hide the real me, I would have never changed schools and met my wife and had our children.
It won’t always be easy and it may put you in a tough situation, but when the time is right and you feel comfortable, go for it!