Free to be Me

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Hey! It’s me. My story is like a lot of others. Nothing special. Nothing flashy.

I’m a southern girl who grew up in a super conservative family in a small town called Prairie Grove, Arkansas….population at the time, around 4,000. When I say a conservative family, I mean, I grew up hearing horrible things about homosexuals in the name of Christ. From my own father. I love my dad. He is a good man with great values. But he also believes that “God turns a deaf ear” to homosexuals. That “gays should all be sent to an island and shot.” In fact, the night I finally came out to my mom, I was showing her a clip of Ellen Degeneres and he said “what that ol’ sow needs to do is slit her own throat.” These are things I grew up hearing.

I was terrified of the things I felt. Of going to hell. Of God not listening to me or hearing me. Hating me. I always hung out with older women, wanting only to take care of them. I realize now that I was pursuing them hard, and a lot of times, it got me into trouble. I was used and taken advantage of by most of them for my affection and attention I provided.

I finally admitted to myself when I was 21 after only having closeted girlfriends, that I am in fact, gay. I came out to my mom when I was 23. My sister-in-law told me she was disappointed in me. My dad didn’t want to talk about it. Ever. My grandma was the most amazing woman who showed me what the true love of Christ is. She never wavered in her love for me. In her encouraging words and comforting talks.

I am a Christian. And I am a lesbian. And God loves me.

When I was 24, I was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma. Less than two years later I am a stage 3 warrior. I have a wonderful wife and 2 beautiful little girls. My family loves us and has grown so much. I want to provide that love that my grandma gave to me to any others struggling to know and accept who they really are. Who are too afraid of what culture says is normal. We were made to love. And love knows no bounds.

Story submitted by Elysia C.

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