Name: Kristie Chavez
Pronouns: She/Her
Instagram: Chavez_dvm

I guess I’ll start by saying I have felt “different” for as long as I can remember.  I never desired to have girl friends. I always hung out and played sports with the guys. I grew up in a very Catholic household with an alcoholic father who went on binges and would be gone for days or even weeks at a time. 

When they finally divorced, my Mom moved us all to the small town in MS. I say this to say that being gay was not accepted there. So, I just kept my head down and worked hard to move off to college. It was there that I found myself understanding why I felt so different, because I was. 

After the first semester of my freshman year, I went to my Mom, as I had no relationships with my father and asked her if I could be born gay. For a brief moment I felt this weight lifted when she said yes. This feeling lasted only seconds as the next sentence was we are all born in sin and I needed to decide if I wanted to live in my sin or overcome it. I’m embarrassed to say I chose to “overcome”. So, I went back to school and cut ties with my out and gay friends and once again, put my head down and powered through.

After a couple of years, I met the amazing man who became my husband. We had a great relationship. He was my best friend. I graduated vet school, we got married, and had a son. From the outside, we had an amazing life, but on the inside, I was miserable and guilt ridden that I wasn’t happy. 

After 11 of years of marriage, I found myself at rock-bottom with a bottle of muscle relaxers in my hand considering ending it all. If not for my son, I wouldn’t be here. It was just a few days after that I came out to my best friend Chasie. She was amazing. I was a mess. She told me that there was nothing wrong with me, she loved me, and I deserved to be happy. She supported me when I couldn’t support myself. A few months later, I told my then husband. We cried a lot and agreed to end the marriage. We started counseling to help us both move past it and raise our son together as co-parents. Through this, he has remained my best friend and one of my greatest supporters. 

My Mom didn’t take it well. She was disappointed in the divorce and my “choice” to come out. Our relationship is nearly non-existent at this point, but I can say that I am so much happier in my truth. My life is far from perfect and I never pictured myself divorced and starting over at 38, but I can say I breathe easier knowing I’m being honest with myself and everyone around me.

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